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Can minority and indigenous women benefit from international agreements? 

Without the material and political backing to act upon them in a comprehensive and disinterested manner, international agreements and resolutions are benchmarks, statements of principle, rather than action plans. This does not detract from their importance. The history of human rights is one of gradual rather than spectacular gains. History also tells us that rights are never just handed down from above, but have...

Iraq: Violence against minority women is rife and poorly addressed 

According to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) reporting to the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Iraq in 2010, women from minorities are ‘the most vulnerable section of Iraqi society’. Their minority status and gender identity put them at particular risk in a female population that is already experiencing great trauma.Violence against women in Iraq has been an increasing problem since the conflict...

Kenya: MRG Street Theatre Programme spreads messages of peace 

MRG's international Street Theatre Programme uses the power of theatrical performance to challenge racism against indigenous and minority groups. In Kenya, MRG has partnered with Sponsored Arts For Education (SAFE), a local charity that uses street theatre and community programmes to educate, inspire and deliver social change. Gina Rico, MRG Street Theatre Programme Assistant, recently travelled to Kenya to support the project there. Her photos (below)...

Namibia: Protest by Himba and Zemba Indigenous Peoples 

By Rebecca Sommer Hundreds of semi-nomadic Himba and Zemba marched again in the southern African nation of Namibia on Dec. 5, 2012, protesting what they believe are Namibia’s human rights violations against them. The protests were in Opuwo, a small town located in the heart of the “Kaokoland” in the far north of a country that 100 years...

Sri Lanka: The Price of Tea - campaign video supporting Tamil tea pickers 

Ceylon tea is a global brand and is one of the biggest income-earners for Sri Lanka. But an average tea-picker earns less in a day than the amount you pay for a cup of tea at your local café.Minority Rights Group International, Society for Threatened Peoples, The National Campaign on Dalit Rights, Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, International...

Nigeria: Genocide in Plateau state 

“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent the change of power. We must use minorities in the north as willing tools and the South as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control of their future”... by Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of...

Tanzania: Pastoralists face famine as effects of drought are worsened by government neglect 

A severe hunger crisis has developed over the past two months in the Ngorongoro area in northern Tanzania. Seasonal rains have largely failed in October and November, weakening cattle that are now dying of disease. Consequently, the local Maasai people who depend on their cattle for nutrition, are starving. A large number of children have died of malnutrition and related causes already. An investigation...

Southern Africa: San Peoples sign common rights declaration 

Members of the San peoples in Southern Africa have signed a Declaration on their rights and what they want their respective countries to do in order to advance their issues. The Declaration is a product of the three days San Rights Regional Conference held in Gobabis, Namibia.The conference was organized by the Working Group of Minorities in Southern Africa and brought in San representatives...

MRG Documentary Film: Say My Name - using street theatre to combat discrimination in Rwanda, Botswana, Dominican Republic and Kenya 

In many countries minority groups face discrimination, and negative stereotypes divide national and local communities.Say My Name documents the work of MRG's Street Theatre programme in addressing these issues, following professional and minority actors as they work together to combat discrimination and racism in four countries. In Kenya, Rwanda, Botswana and the Dominican Republic, we see how street theatre is used to educate and inspire communities with performances in...

Video: Interview with Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief 

MRG’s Head of Programmes, Shobha Das, interviews the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, on religious freedom around the world, particularly in Pakistan. Professor Bielefeldt discusses the controversy surrounding The Age of the Innocents film, as well as some of the positive responses to the video from around the world. He also identifies barriers to freedom of...

Sri Lanka: Indian Tamils - A fertilizer for the economic well-being of the country 

'Before I go into my story I would like to give a brief introduction to myself. I am Subashini Selvaraj from Ratnapura District which is located in a beautiful hilly part of Sri Lanka. Originally I am an Indian Tamil girl who is unrecognized in the country with broken dreams and hopes. Thanks to God that I have got a chance to help my...

Syria: Map of Western (Syrian) Kurdistan  

After months of work and cooperation with many Kurds both inside and outside Syria, YASA, the Kurdish Center for Legal Studies & Consultancy, has created a map of Western Kurdistan.The first phase of the project is completed, and we are currently working on the second phase. People and experts who want to join us or have any comments or suggestions can contact us using...

Philippines: Human Rights Superbody 'We will find no justice from the perpetrators'- indigenous peoples  

Indigenous peoples' organization Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP), described the 'superbody' created by the Aquino government to address the cases of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations as "a feeble cover up to the growing list of human rights transgressions committed by State forces." Last November, President Aquino created an Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) to handle cases of extra-judicial...

Georgia: Armenian political prisoners Armen Gevorgyan and Ruben Shekoyan released from prison 

In October 2010, as a result of false accusations, well-known figures of the Armenian community of Adjara, Armen Gevorgyan and Ruben Shekoyan, were arrested without evidence and sentenced to 11 years in prison.In accordance with the Law on Amnesty adopted in December 2012 by the Parliament of the Republic of Georgia, on January 13, along with other 190 prisoners Armen Gevorgyan and Ruben Shekoyan...

Bangladesh: MRG visits a Dalit Sweeper colony in Dhaka 

MRG's Programme Assistant, Livia Saccardi, visited Bangladesh to attend the National Dalit Women Rights Conference on 28th July 2012 in Dhaka, organised by MRG partner Nagorik Uddyog (Citizen's Initiative).Dalit women face multiple discriminations, from majority communities and from within their own community. They are discriminated against because of their gender and because of their caste.Dalits are considered “untouchable” and “unclean” because of the jobs they...

Libya: Amazigh freely celebrate New Year for only second time in centuries 

Today The 13th of January 2013 is the first day of January 2963 in the Amazigh calendar. This new year has a special taste in Libya .The Libyan Amazigh are celebrating this new year freely for the second year in the past few centuries, because of the freedom that Libyans are enjoying after the success of the 17th February revolution.Yesterday morning I...

Colombia: Short film on the exploitation of natural resources, conflict and displacement 

This film, produced by Swedish NGO Colombianätverket, describes the violence and displacement faced by indigenous and Afro-colombian communities, at the hands of mining corporations and armed groups. The documentary features interviews with MRG's Media Officer, Emma Eastwood, and human rights defender Gustavo Ulcue, as well as excerpts from MRG's 2011 film Suárez Gold: Afro-Colombian miners defending their heritage, by acclaimed Colombian filmmaker and journalist Hollman...

Egypt: Coptic community prepares for coming parliamentary elections  

On Saturday 12th January, human rights activists and members of the Coptic community, invited by AlKalema Center for Human Rights in Egypt, held a conference in a Cairo hotel to discuss a collective action plan to ensure fair representation of the Coptic minority in the next Parliament. The Conference schedule had indicated a discussion over possible strategies to be conducted over the coming parliamentary...

Egypt: Criminal court sentences whole Christian family to hard labour 

The criminal court in Beni Sweif governorate, upper Egypt, on Sunday 13th January 2013, sentenced a whole Christian family of eight people to 15 years of hard labor for changing their religion and their address on their national number identity card. The changes had been made in order to reconvert to Christianity after their mother’s conversion into Islam many years ago and her marriage...

Colombia: Defeating Invisibility - Landscapes of Violence and Human Rights Violations Against Afro-descendant Women 

The Black Communities’ Process in Colombia (PCN) released a report on the plight of Black women and launched the Afro-Colombia Women Human Rights Defenders Project, accompanied by the following press release: "As the Colombia government sits at the table to negotiate peace with the armed opposition group FARC and the nation hopes for peace, Afro-Colombia communities continue to see an escalation in violence from...


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