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SWM 2014: The dangers of living as an undocumented migrant in Morocco 

Case study by Ioana MoraruIn August 2013 Ismaila Faye, a 31-year-old Senegalese, was stabbed to death on a bus after he refused to vacate his seat next to a Moroccan woman. The murder, widely condemned as an act of racism by the Senegalese community and local rights groups, is just one example of an endemic problem in the country: the mistreatment of its sub-Saharan...

SWM 2014: Hate speech and Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a minority 

Case study by Glenn PayotFrom religious freedom and education to justice and employment, Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a minority has for decades suffered discrimination in almost every aspect of their lives. A key element in their marginalization, however, is the dissemination of negative stereotypes and misinformation about the group, as well as the failure of authorities to effectively address these representations. Faced with the challenge of...

Sri Lanka: Who is responsible for attacks on innocent Muslims in Aluthgama Town? 

After multiple atrocities against innocent Muslims in Aluthgama, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has finally requested some Muslim MPs to produce evidence of the religiously-motivated attacks on Muslims in Aluthgama.One can only wonder, where does our president live? Does he live in Sri Lanka or on another planet? It is self-evident that all these discriminatory attacks are carried out by BBS cohorts following the inciteful speech...

Africa/USA: Future "Big Africas" 

Writer and activist Sabamya Jaugu challenges Africans to "go it alone" in terms of economic development. For too long, claims Jaugu, Africans have leaned on the shoulders of their former colonialists and deprived themselves of independence. They purchase foreign-produced commodities at a high expense, even though they do produce enough of their own. The Big Africa concept provides a radical solution to these economic...

SWM 2014: Using radio as a tool for peace in Burundi 

Studio Ijambo was launched in 1995 by the organization Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in the wake of the genocide in Rwanda. Like its neighbour, Burundi was struggling with significant inter-ethnic violence of its own. The aim of the programme was to establish an alternative platform to promote dialogue and tolerance through the radio, in contrast to the hate speech and incitement spread by...

SWM 2014: Taking steps to promote peace and reconciliation in West Africa 

Case study by Paige Wilhite JenningsThough much of this chapter makes grim reading, there are concrete grounds for hope in the region. In Sierra Leone, where around 60 per cent of the population is believed to be Muslim and another 20 to 30 per cent Christian, ethnicity played a role in over a decade of war. Religion, however, reportedly did not. Sierra Leone, according...

SWM 2014: Drawing the line between hate speech and freedom of expression in Canada 

Case study by Phyllis GerstenfeldLike the United States, Canada is a diverse, multi-ethnic society with a history of violence against and oppression of indigenous people, but its hate crime laws are still relatively new and evolving. One important difference between the United States and Canada, however, is that Canadian law has stronger measures against hate speech – that is, about offensive words or images...

SWM 2014: Using street theatre to tackle discrimination in the Dominican Republic 

Case study by Livia Saccardi‘They do not accept us. In Haiti we are not Haitians. In the Dominican Republic we are not Dominicans. So where are we from?’‘She told me that my parents were foreigners, and she did not want to give me my papers. After one week I went back there and I told her that my parents are not foreigners and that...

VIDEO: Interviews with editor and author of MRG's State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2014 

Lucy Claridge, MRG's Head of Law and Carl Soderbergh, MRG's Director of Policy and Communications, speak about the 2014 State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, which focuses on hate speech and hate crime.Download the full report at www.minorityrights.org...

Nigeria: Ogoni people hail London court ruling against Shell  

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has hailed the landmark decision of the London Technological and Construction Court, which held that Shell would be liable for damages inflicted on individuals and communities even if the cause of such damage was sabotage done to its infrastructure, if it has failed to take enough steps to protect the assets including pipelines from...

State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2014: Case studies 

Hate crime towards minorities and indigenous peoples is a daily reality in many countries across the globe, says Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in its annual report, but is often ignored by authorities.The international organisation’s flagship report, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2014, focuses on ‘Freedom from hate’ and presents compelling evidence showing that hate crime and hate speech are prevalent...

SWM 2014: Photo story 

Hate crime towards minorities and indigenous peoples is a daily reality in many countries across the globe, says Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in its annual report, but is often ignored by authorities.The international organisation’s flagship report, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2014, focuses on ‘Freedom from hate’ and presents compelling evidence showing that hate crime and hate speech are prevalent...

Indigenous Peoples and the UN: Triumphs & Tragedies 

It has been 13 years since the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) began holding annual meetings amongst the representatives of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous peoples from over 90 different countries. The meetings mark a global effort to address the rights of indigenous people and unprecedented progress has been made. Nonetheless, there is ongoing frustration amongst indigenous peoples who continue to...

Nepal: Is REDD+ indigenous-friendly? 

Funded by the World Bank and part of a UN initiative to Reduce Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), the REDD+ programme introduced by the government of Nepal has emerged a national priority since 2010. However, this government-led effort to combat climate change has come under fire from indigenous rights activists, who have raised two questions: how is the programme going to be...

Nepal: Indigenous people - still a long way to go  

Looking back over the last 18 years in the history of Nepali Indigenous People (IP), starting from the very first International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on August 9 in 1995 right up to 2013, there are stories of both glory and despair. Even though IPs, also known as Adivasi Janajati, comprise a significant proportion of Nepal's population, they have systematically suffered marginalisation by the...

Nepal: VIDEO - The exclusion of indigenous people in political decisionmaking  

Nepal’s indigenous people (IP) had hoped that their important stake in the historic Constitution-drafting process would be recognised and that, in the new Constitution, their rights would be legally protected in a manner consistent with the basic principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169. But their expectations were frustrated, as the Constitution-making process ended on 28 May without a finalised Constitution, thereby...

Nepal: Indigenous locals demand that development projects respect their rights 

For the past month, local communities such as the indigenous people of the Sindhuli District have been obstructing the works of the Khimti-Dhalkebar 220KV electricity transmission line project. It is the highest-capacity line in Nepal that is funded by the World Bank and is working in collaboration with Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).While the project is aimed at developing Nepal’s hydropower potential in an environmentally...

Nepal: Indigenous women want recognition and equality  

Indigenous women in Nepal have suffered a decline in welfare over recent years, according to a new report by activist and investigative journalist Dev Kumar Sunuwar. Though they once enjoyed a greater degree of freedom and a higher socio-economic status than 'high caste' Hindu women of Indo-Aryan origin, who were restricted by patriarchal control and religious orthodoxy, indigenous women are now being gradually deprived...

Nepal: Muslims still being punished for 2004 hostage massacre  

Right after the massacre of 12 Nepalese hostages by Islamic militants in Iraq on 1st September 2004, Nepalese Muslims not only suffered violent attacks on their Jame Masjid (Mosque) in Kathmandu, but also on their businesses and family homes. Since then, they have been living in fear, treated with suspicion and portrayed as terrorists. Nepalese Muslims remember the 2004 massacre as "a black day”...

Nepal: Indigenous languages on the verge of extinction 

“Our mother tongue Kisan is already near extinction,” says Bhim Kisan, a Master’s student in Linguistics at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Speaking to investigative journalist Dev Kumar, Bhim explains that few indigenous Kisan children speak the language of their ancestors. According to the National Census Report 2011, only 601 Kisans can speak Kisan of the total of 1,739 population.As Dev discovered, the Kisan community are...


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