Global Issues

A Changing Battlefield Complicates the Fight to Help Child Soldiers

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.06.2015 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Every day we witness the power of young people to transform their communities and the world. The potential lost when a child is handed an AK-47 instead of a schoolbook or soccer ball is one of the greatest tragedies imaginable. But as governments stop recruiting children, over the past year militias and terror groups like the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Iraq and Syria, and Boko Haram in Nigeria, have horrifyingly indoctrinated thousands more. And the way these militias use their children is changing in terrifying ways.

#BringBackOurGirls and the Limits of Clicktivism

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.17.2015 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

One year later, what has #BringBackOurGirls accomplished? It didn't bring the girls home. Second-hand reports suggest that 57 of the girls escaped their captors, but the rest are still out there, likely sold off as child brides (or sex slaves). Recently, a UN official said there's evidence they may be dead. It's a sad illustration of the limitations of "clicktivism" -- the use of online media to advance causes. There must be a plan to engage supporters once they've clicked, and keep them engaged, even after the hashtag stops trending.

The Unique Law School Coming Soon to Happy-Centric Bhutan

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.02.2015 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

In February, the king of Bhutan signed the royal charter for a school of law -- the very first in this tiny Asian nation. This law school will be unique. It will experiment with new methods for training lawyers that engage them in the country's drive for greater prosperity through happiness.

Veterinarians Don't Just Heal Pets, They Can Help Heal Poverty

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.26.2015 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

For many developing communities, like those in South Sudan animals are walking bank accounts, dowries and life insurance policies. To lose your livestock is to lose everything. Veterinarians Without Borders (VWB) tackles a problem many don't even realize exists.

Thomas King's Lessons in History, Humour and Compassion

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.19.2015 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The black and white photo is an almost cliché depiction of simpler, happier times. Two young boys, dressed up in Roy Rogers-esque cowboy duds. Ironically, both cowboys are actually Indians.

The Masculinity Crisis Is Important to Explore

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.12.2015 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Boys and young men often erect a front of dominance, control, even aggression, because they believe that is what is expected of them. That toxic culture has tragic consequences. In Canada, the male suicide rate is three times that of women. Boys are three to five times more likely to drop out of high school than girls.

How Canadian Police Training Missions Improve Peace and Fight Corruption

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 03.10.2015 | Canada Business
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Since 1989, thousands of Canadian officers have volunteered in the world's most dangerous countries to train police. It's one of Canada's least recognized international development initiatives and, as Terry Gould puts it, "the last vestige of Canada's blue-helmet heritage."

Why 2014 Wasn't Exactly a Year Worth Tweeting About

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 02.25.2015 | Canada Living
Craig and Marc Kielburger

On balance, however, this was not a good year for world peace. Russian aggression in Crimea and the Ukraine, and the West's response, pushed the world closer to a new Cold War. Revelations about the CIA's use of torture were enough to shake anyone's faith in the goodness of humanity. Meanwhile, the Middle East spiralled downward with greater violence in Gaza, Syria and Iraq. At home we are still not on track to meet our emissions targets. And the strongest praise environmentalists could muster for the climate change deal reached in Lima, Peru, last week was to wince and say it is "better than nothing."

From Ayr to Here -- Studying the Scottish Experiment in Youth Voting

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 12.30.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The entire school in Ayr, Scotland, vibrated with anticipation. The lunchroom sounded more like a debate hall than a cafeteria. Kirsty McCahill watched the clock tick down to the closing bell. She rushed home, then to the nearby community centre to do what no Scottish 16-year-old had ever done before that day: vote on the future of her country.

Long-Overdue Nobel Recognition for Children's Rights and the Power of Youth

Craig Kielburger | Posted 12.24.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig Kielburger

The lesser known but long-fighting Satyarthi is a trailblazer for children's rights; Malala is the next generation. She is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and at 17, the first teen. This is a profound and long-overdue recognition for the role of youth in changing our world for the better.

How Young Canadians Become Jihadists

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 12.17.2014 | Canada Politics
Craig and Marc Kielburger

So many young Canadians are looking to make their mark on the world. Some pick up a shovel to build a school or a ladle in soup kitchens to serve the homeless. A small number choose a different way, traveling to Syria to pick up an AK-47. Where does the road diverge between the youth who choose the path of helping and those on the path of harm? And for those on the road toward extremism, are there points along their journey where they might be set on a positive path?

If You Give Women in Poverty the Right Tools, They Will Flourish

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 10.21.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Although she attended primary school, Daisy's family couldn't afford the fees to send her to high school. But when Barengetuny was 19, development workers began travelling from village to village by motorcycle, including her community of Motony, introducing women to the micro-finance "merry-go-round." Now she's an established businesswoman.

Why Archbishop Desmond Tutu Is Focused on Forgiveness

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 10.14.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

What astounds us is that, despite everything he saw and endured during the apartheid years, Tutu remains one of the most joyful human beings we know. A laugh is never far from his lips. When music plays, he is the first on his feet dancing. We can only attribute this to his mastery of the art of forgiveness. Tutu's soul remains unburdened by anger and vindictiveness.

Kofi Annan: Global Solutions Will Be Defined by Youth

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 09.23.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Is it just us, or does the world feel a bit scarier lately? The world needs experienced leaders -- grizzled global firefighters with the wisdom to staunch the flames and guide us through turbulent times. One is Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Remembering Greatness: Happy Birthday, Madiba

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 09.16.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Nelson Mandela would have been 96 this week. It's the first birthday since his passing -- celebrations replaced with mourning and reflection. With the passing of Mandela, humanity lost a quiet voice of reason -- one we still sorely need in an increasingly polarized world. In honour of Mandela's birthday, here are some of our own fondest memories of "Madiba."

Are You Doing Your Part to Fight Child Labour?

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.26.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

While much of the onus lies on individual nations to strengthen their laws and enforcement against labour exploitation, van de Glind also pointed out that Canadians can do our part, too. And if exploitation continues because it remains profitable, we as consumers can make it less so. Before checking out the half-off sale at that popular clothing chain, do your research. Check web sites to read what companies say about their sourcing. If the information isn't easily available, write the company and ask. The more pressure companies feel from customers, the more attention they will pay to ethical sourcing.

Tax Fairness: International Businesses Should Pay Their Due

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.19.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

There are many tricks -- most of them currently legal -- multinationals use to avoid paying taxes in developing countries, including a tactic called "profit shifting." This often leads struggling families in the developed world paying more in income tax than international businesses.

The Power Is in Dad's Hands to Teach Sons Respect For Women

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.12.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Creating a society where all men respect women starts in the home. Boys look up to the adult males in their lives. With Father's Day approaching, dads are realizing the power they have to make a difference. We can't fight the violence until all men respect women as equals. And this Father's Day, changing men's attitudes starts with dad.

Giving Back Is Just Good Business

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.29.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The evolution -- we might even say revolution -- taking place in the field of corporate social responsibility has been fascinating to behold. For the best companies, making your employees recycle, and cutting a big cheque once a year to some lucky charity, is no longer good enough. They're making "giving back" an integral part of doing business.

How One Woman Tackled Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.22.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

In a developing community, a child willingly skipping class is nigh unthinkable; education is a resource more precious than gold. So when the students filed in to see Khady's empty seat, it was a gaping void that could not be ignored. The 12-year-old had been pulled from school by her father. She was to be married the next day.

We Need to Talk About Missing Women All Over the World

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.15.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Dig deeper into the current headlines and the sickening stories mount. The so-called "honour killing" of women by their husbands and families in Afghanistan is rising. Police in Paris allegedly raped a Canadian tourist. Rebels in the forgotten crisis in the Central African Republic rape and murder women with relative impunity. And it's not just about high profile atrocities. When was the last time media talked about the missing women of Asia?

Mia Farrow's Ode to the World's Strongest Mothers

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.08.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

With Mother's Day approaching, Farrow has a challenge for all of us living in comfort here, far from the struggles in central Africa. This Mother's Day, take a moment to think outside our own families. Make this Mother's Day not just about our own mothers, but about all the mothers of the world -- especially those faced with overwhelming adversity.

India's Monumental Exercise in Democracy

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.25.2014 | Canada Politics
Craig and Marc Kielburger

In addition to being the biggest with 800-million potential voters, and most expensive at $35 billion, the Indian Parliamentary election also has the world's largest youth vote; political parties that reach all the way to our shores; reserved parliamentary seats for minorities; and electoral corruption on a mind-blowing scale. Here are five things you didn't know about democracy in India.

From Generation Me to Generation We: How Millennials Are Changing Business

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.08.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The TIME magazine cover last May cried: "The Me Me Me Generation: Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents." For all the bashing of millennials, when it comes to spending and working, their priority is making a difference. Businesses that want to attract the best workers and remain profitable must make it their priority as well.

Afghan Illiteracy Can't Be Solved by Simply Slapping Up More Schools

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.01.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Since 2006, Canada alone has pumped more than $180 million into education in Afghanistan, according to the Canadian Foreign Affairs project browser. Thousands of schools have been rebuilt or rehabilitated by western nations. Afghan government statistics show more than -- up from just 5000 in 2001. So why is it that, despite this decade of massive investment, the literacy rate for women is still only 22 per cent according to UNICEF? It's the same problem we've seen so many other places: failing to realize that building a school is not the same thing as providing an education.