Peace & Justice

Articles, stories and news about peace and justice.

Long Journey To Peace

Cambodia sets its sights on finally being free of landmines Tong Try remembers how, in the first years of his life, his father would polish his sky-blue moped out front of their flat in Phnom Penh. Now in his 50s, he can still hear the satisfying purr of the moped when idling, and taste the balut duck eggs his father would bring back from the market. That happy memory is from before more than 30 years of violence in Cambodia—civil war, foreign bombing, the Khmer Rouge regime, and ongoing conflict from 1979-1998, when warring factions laid an estimated 4 million to 6 million landmines around the country. Boyhood photo of Tong Try Tong Try is coordinator of the Mine Action Unit at UNDP Cambodia. © UNDP / Paul VanDeCarr Over a million mines have been cleared by the government, and many others...

A Hindu-Muslim Friendship That Helped Shape How the World Measured Poverty

One half of a friendship: Amartya Sen, the renowned Indian economist and a Nobel Prize winner, at a meeting in Brazil, 2012.  They were two young men studying at Cambridge University when they met in the wake of the bloody Partition of British India. One was a Kashmiri-born Muslim and the other a Hindu-born Bengali. But the two, Mahbub ul Haq of Pakistan and Amartya Sen from India, soon formed an intellectual bond and deep friendship. “It was an autumn morning in early October 1953 and Mahbub — elegantly attired (indeed I would say, nattily dressed) — was walking rapidly down King’s Parade on his way to the first lecture of the term by the redoubtable economist Joan Robinson,” Sen recalled in 1998, speaking at a memorial service for Haq, who had died that year at 64. “I was also going ther...

10 Things We All Should Know About Indigenous People

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. To mark the occasion, the President of the UN General Assembly has convened a high-level event to take stock of progress and discuss what more needs to be done. It’s a good time for all of us to consider why it’s important to protect indigenous peoples’ rights. Here are 10 things we all should know about indigenous people. 1. WHEREVER WE LIVE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE OUR NEIGHBOURS. There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. Indigenous communities are present in all geographic regions and represent 5,000 different cultures. 2. INDIGENOUS PEOPLE SPEAK AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S 7,000 LANGUAGES. Indigenous languages ...

The world has much to learn from indigenous peoples

From my lifelong experiences, being an advocate for the rights of some of the most marginalized peoples, allow me to share what I have learned and come to see as essential elements to ensure peaceful societies and sustainable development in a plural world. Celebrating diversity Indigenous peoples contribute to diversity, and their history emphasizes the importance of revitalizing and celebrating ancient cultures, music, languages, knowledge, traditions and identities. Living in an era where xenophobia, fundamentalism, populism and racism are on the rise in many parts of the world, celebrations and positive messages about the value of diversity can contribute to counter negative stereotypes, racism and discrimination and instead foster tolerance, innovation and peaceful coexistence between ...

Living Free and Equal

In the quarter-century since the publication in 1990 of the first Human Development Report, the world has made astounding strides in reducing poverty and improving the health, education, and living conditions of hundreds of millions of people. And yet, as impressive as these gains may be, they have not been distributed equally. Both between countries and within them, deep disparities in human development remain. Consider infant mortality. In Iceland, for every 1,000 live births, two children die before their first birthday. In Mozambique, the figure is 120 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. Similarly, in Bolivia, babies born to women with no education are twice as likely to die within a year than babies born to mothers with at least a secondary education. And these disparities cont...

The biggest barriers to universal human development

A decent and dignified life for all 7.5 billion people in the world is possible. The world is not short on technological and financial resources. And so everyone could have a quality education, a secure income, access to good healthcare and live in a clean and safe environment. Why should anyone be hungry when we know that reducing food waste, changing diets and increasing yields could provide food for double the current population? Likewise, if the world can spend some 1.7 trillion USD on the military each year, generating the estimated 1.4 trillion USD required annually to finance the SDGs is certainly within the realm of the possible. So why are 1.5 billion people still multidimensionally poor? Why are deprivations in fundamental conditions of life like food, decent work and clean water...

Theory in Practice: Saying NO to Child Labour

From the clinical safety of our first world offices, the idea of child labour, and indeed child slavery, seems improbable, implausible, even unbelievable. Yet it is a fact that globally there are millions of young people doing hazardous work in dangerous conditions, that is severely harmful to their physical, mental and social wellbeing. Many of these jobs are illegal, enslavement or trafficking of children is common and exploitation, hunger and abuse is widespread. In 2015 world leaders agreed and adopted Sustainable Development Goals; a set of 17 goals and 169 targets including three specifically aimed at ending child labour, slavery and trafficking. While it is disappointing to learn that recently in India, a controversial child labour bill has been passed by the lower house of parliame...

Lost Password

Register