PEACETALKS #25: Canada, Climate Change, and International Conflict

The security of communities, nations, and the entire global community is increasingly jeopardized by environmental threats due to climate change. Weather events are becoming more extreme, droughts are becoming more severe, water is becoming scarcer, and coastlines are shifting.

While northern and southern countries both contribute to these effects, they tend to experience these impacts unevenly – an imbalance that leads to development challenges and security implications that must be viewed as a matter of economic, social, and political concern.

Please join us on March 11th...

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Forging New Homes for Syrian Refugees by Layne Carson

An unthinkable number of Syrian men, women and children have been forced to watch their homes burn to the ground. Metaphorically and literally, they have seen their houses, communities and nation burn for four long years in a vicious civil war. Many have been forced to flee and are currently waiting in desperate anticipation to be able to return, so that they can rebuild their lives. For now, they persist in a kind of limbo. They have lost that critical foundation which allows them to move forward. So they wait to have a home again, to live again. This is the plight of the refugee.

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PEACETALKS #24: Security, Surveillance & Human Rights

Digital communications technologies have great benefits for freedom of expression and the right to information. Governments seek to spread their adoption because of the economic benefits they bring but at the same time they want to maintain control over them. Governments are increasingly adopting mass surveillance technologies to monitor social media and broader internet usage. Some governments use customized spyware systems to target activists, human rights defenders, journalists, demonstrators, NGOs and political opponents. In some countries, the Internet is substantially censored to...

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The Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) started as an organ for coordinating the activities of women organizations and groups in Liberia in 1998, in between the two civil wars that ravaged the country from 1989 - 2003. They now serve as an umbrella organization for over 105 local women’s rights organizations. The vision of WONGOSOL is to achieve a just and fair Liberian society where women and men equally participate in and benefit from decision-making processes at all levels. They work to build the capacity of women’s organizations and other stakeholders to improve their...

Issues Briefs

Reflection 20 years after the Rwandan Genocide - by Alan Martin

When I left journalism school in Montreal there were two promises I made myself: a) I would never cover town council meetings; b) stick a microphone in the face of a grieving family member and ask “What are you feeling?” and “How’s about a picture for the front page?” Both, I felt, were below me.
 

The first promise fell by the way side within three months of graduating when I found myself covering the rural satellite towns of Sudbury, at the time a struggling mining centre in Northern Ontario. For $3 a column inch I did that. It was my baptism to the darkside of the business.
 

The other earnest pledge took longer to catch up to me. Almost six years later I went to Rwanda to write a magazine piece about the pursuit of justice in a post-genocide era. Within a day of being there I had asked more people about the intimacies of their grief to last a lifetime. For if one is to write about genocide how can the privacies of both the deceased...