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The Photo of the Drowned Syrian Boy is Social Media at its Most Impactful

Can one horrible photo change refugee policies around the world? It would appear so. In just two days, the photo of young Aylan al-Kurdi has spread virally via Facebook and Twitter.

What Happens When 40% of Kids Are Not in School?

An alarming report from UNICEF. “Forty percent of children from five conflict-scarred Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children said Thursday, warning that losing this generation will lead to more militancy, migration and a dim future for the region.An estimated 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school, out of a total of 34 million, UNICEF said.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis Makes its Way to Europe’s Doorstep

The Syrian refugee crisis has finally made it to Europe’s doorstep. Over the past several weeks, masses of refugees have made their way to southeastern Europe, mostly en route to Germany and other countries in northern Europe.

Can One Horrible Photo Change Europe’s Refugee Policies?

It is very tough to view. But the Independent did the right thing by putting on their front page the image of a drowned Syrian toddler, washed up on a beach in Turkey.

Refugees Vs. Migrants? The Word Choice Matters

What’s in a name? That is a question journalists, politicians and policymakers are asking themselves in addressing the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

An Open Letter to the New York Times Public Editor: Say “Refugees”

Dear Ms Sullivan: I’m the editor of UN Dispatch, a blog about the United Nations and global affairs. I’ve closely followed the Times’ coverage of the refugee crisis in south eastern Europe.

Seriously, Hungary?

Authorities in Hungary shut down a train station rather than let refugees leave for Germany. The government is seemingly doing what it can to make these refugees feel as unwelcome as possible.

The Killing of Farkhunda

A new BBC World Service documentary tells the shocking story of Farkhunda Malikzada, a young Afghan woman who was lynched in central Kabul earlier this year.

The Ninth Time Is Not A Charm: Elusive Peace in South Sudan

Following months of meditation and efforts by South Sudanese and international negotiators, a long-awaited peace agreement was finally signed last week, and a cease-fire began over the weekend.

Three Hurricanes, At Once

The global humanitarian system is already stretched extremely thin. The next few months could be rough.

Water is an MDG Success Story. Sanitation is Most Certainly Not. Why?

Water and sanitation are two sides of the same development coin. In development and UN speak, they are rarely discussed separately.

Episode 79: Juliana Barbassa

Juliana Barbassa is a journalist and the author of the new book Dancing with the Devil in the City of God: Rio di Janeiro on the Brink.  We have a great conversation about the current political upheaval in Brazil; how preparations for the 2016 summer Olympics are changing the character of Rio; and why corruption in Brazil’s political system is seemingly so endemic.

South Sudan Ceasefire Comes…And Goes

This was somewhat predictable. The key question is whether or not the security council will make good on its promise to punish those who violate the agreement, “South Sudan rebels on Sunday accused the army of violating a ceasefire just hours after it came into effect, by bombarding their positions along the White Nile river.

Is Mali’s Peace Deal Dead?

Earlier this summer, the prospects for peace in Mali looked bright.  After intense negotiations, a peace deal was signed by the major belligerents and it looked as if the three year civil war may be coming to a swift close.

MERS Cases in Saudi Arabia Surge Before the Hajj

2 million Muslims are expected to travel to the Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage next month. Could be a problematic combination.

This Gay Syrian Refugee Risked it All. And Lived to Tell His Story to the Security Council


Earlier this week the UN Security Council did something it’s never done before: it held a meeting specifically focusing on violence directed against LGBT people.

Down to Just Three Ebola Cases Worldwide

Some excellent news on the ebola front. “There were 3 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the week to 23 August, all of which were reported from Guinea.

Coming of Age in Mumbai’s Brothels


Ed note. This is an excerpt from the #1 best selling Amazon Kindle Single e-book, Daughters of the Red Light: Coming of Age in Mumbai’s Brothels, by Shanoor Seervai.

Is Jamaica about to become a more friendly place for gays and lesbians?

Is Jamaica about to become a more friendly place for gays and lesbians? In an attempt to establish a more human rights centered presence in Jamaican government, a new Human Rights Institute is being built with the support of the United Nations Development Program  and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Salva Kiir Comes to His Sense (Sorta)

Kiir has come under enormous pressure, including the threat of international sanctions. And now, it looks like he’ll sign a peace deal.


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