On November 3, 2019, the New York Times Magazine featured a photo-essay, “How Does the Human Soul Survive Atrocity?” written by Jennifer Percy, with haunting photographs of war-affected children by Adam Ferguson. This feature brought readers face-to-face with some of the Iraqi children who experienced the violence and horror of ISIS captivity and are […]Continue Reading →
The sexual abuse allegations against Oxfam staff came to light because Oxfam has one the best reporting systems in the aid industry. Sexual harassment, exploitation and assault is commonplace in the entire aid business, from the smallest voluntary agencies to the biggest United Nations organizations. The claims about orgy parties in Oxfam compounds, hiring of sex workers, and sexual assault of children in Oxfam’s British charity shops are sadly very credible. What they point to is a system-wide problem, which needs a radical change in institutional culture—not a vindictive scapegoating of one particular agency.Continue Reading →
Preventing extremism and terrorism is a complex and multifaceted endeavor, but it can include working with governments to encourage them not to abuse and terrorize their own citizens, which can generate more extremism. On the other hand, providing good quality health services, education and security, and enabling meaningful participation in decisions that affect their lives, can enhance citizens’ enjoyment of their human rights and offset the allure of extremism. Demonizing these states, and thereby increasing their fragility, can only make things worse for everyone.
We all need to find common ground between the Trump administration’s foreign policy goals and existing efforts to address the problems of fragile states and the displacement that ensues. In addition, we need to find better ways, perhaps involving the private sector, or through civil society effort, to work with other countries and humanitarian organizations to promote leadership and provide financial support for humanitarian and development response. We cannot leave it up to the next administration to address the needs of the millions of people being driven from their homes by war, persecution and natural disasters.Continue Reading →
This policy brief by Dyan Mazurana, PhD and Daniel Maxwell, PhD presents the implications of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy for the people they strive to assist, Sweden’s own humanitarian policy and operations, and more broadly the whole humanitarian community. It provides recommendations on how a feminist informed humanitarian policy should be implemented to intersect […]Continue Reading →
ISIL’s message: Where the world “denies” potential recruits their masculinity, the Islamic State is ready to confer. The group promises these young men that by immigrating to the combat zones of Iraq and Syria, they will “reclaim” their masculinity by assuming their idealized gender roles of fighter and protector.Continue Reading →
Why would these girls and women, some of whom bring their own young children, decide to journey to one of the world’s most dangerous warzones under the control of a violent insurgent group? Of course, not all women and girls under ISIL control have had any choice whatsoever in their circumstances, perhaps the most dramatic and well-documented examples stem from ISIL’s treatment of Yazidi women, who have been sold as sex slaves, as discussed below. But for the growing group of older girls and women who have responded to ISIL recruitment efforts, a range of promises draw them towards the group.Continue Reading →
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