Imagine giving birth to a healthy baby, but being unable to prove that the infant is yours. Imagine your child, older now, being refused enrollment in school and denied healthcare. For many new mothers living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this is an everyday reality. All because their children don’t have birth certificates. While Congolese law requires families to register their newborns within 90 days, this can be a near-impossible task, especially for poor parents and those living in remote areas.
While migration is a time old phenomenon, the last few years have seen a series of acute refugee crises erupt around the globe. Across Latin America, South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East, widespread conflict, political violence and chronic poverty are driving increasing numbers to risk everything in search of safer and better lives. The most visible of these crises is in the Euro-Mediterranean region, through which hundreds of thousands of migrants have fled since 2014.
“My father’s brother was disappeared. We never found out what happened to him.” – Maria,* age 28 To say that Guatemala’s thirty-six-year civil war was brutal is an understatement. An estimated 45,000 people were forcibly disappeared — and another 200,000 killed. Heartbreaking accounts of the conflict include stories of capture, torture, rape, and massacre. However, […]
Courage. Resilience. Determination. Tenacity. Grit. Whatever you choose to call it, the qualities that compelled Wai Wai Nu to take the tragic denial of her rights – and subsequent imprisonment during what should have been her university years – and turn that experience into a force for good is nothing short of extraordinary. In […]
In addition to unthinkable violence, LGBTI people around the world often face discrimination when it comes to accessing employment, housing and health care, not to mention rejection from their families and religious communities. Over several days, I spent time with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists from around the world at the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) meeting in Bangkok. Time and again, activists for LGBTI rights have shown themselves to be remarkably resilient, weathering attacks and backlash because the stakes are higher without this fight.
Environmental defenders, whose work often includes land and resource rights, the rights of indigenous communities, and both state and nonstate threats to healthy environments, are among the human rights defenders most at risk. A report by Global Witness states that Latin America is the most dangerous region, and Honduras the most dangerous country, for environmental defenders. Of the 185 killed worldwide in 2015, 122 were in Latin America, while in Honduras 12 were killed in 2014 alone.
When I asked Min Min, the Executive Director of Olive Branch, how he would describe his work, he said “We help local people to help themselves in defending and claiming their fundamental rights and freedoms…our ultimate goal is that local people take an active role in defending and promoting their own rights.”
How do you access a remote jungle where groups of armed men have children in their ranks? This is the question Murhabazi Namegabe faces each day working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In a country where tens of thousands of children are forced to be rebel soldiers or slaves, Fund grantee BVES […]
Every day, we are inspired by the human rights activists who demand dignity for the most vulnerable members of their communities. Jan Sahas, based in India, is one such organization. In the face of abuse and intimidation, Jan Sahas champions opportunity for women and girls known as Dalits, or “untouchables.” Because of their low placement in […]
Migrants sitting on the border fence between the Spanish enclave of Melilla and Morocco. Photo courtesy of José Palazon. December 18, 2016 Written by Chloée Ponchelet Chloée Ponchelet is the Fund’s Program Officer for Migrants’ Rights, overseeing the Fund’s initiative to support activists that document and expose the grim reality facing migrants in transit, and advocate […]