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In 2017, sex workers in Canada continue to live and work in unsafe conditions, face predatory and state violence, immigration raids, deportation, surveillance and arrest as well as see their human rights violated. Meaningful sex work law reform in Canada is long due.
Libya is a beautiful country, but my welcome to it was anything but. I had been in Tripoli less than a week and already my parents' worst nightmare was coming true. Our compound, which was home to most UN agencies and several embassies including Canada's, was under attack.
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Guatemala is also one of the most violent places on Earth for girls and women. Foreign aid is vital in this conservative Catholic nation. Yet, the future of many local organizations focused on reproductive health education is in the hands of policy-makers about 2,800 kilometers away, in Washington D.C.
While the collective voice of women - and men - is greatly needed, we still need organizations to lead the charge and set the agenda to advance gender equality and take action for any meaningful transformation with real staying power.
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As humanitarian partners scale up their response to provide urgent life-saving support to the most vulnerable children and families, we're also left fielding questions about how, once again, the situation could deteriorate to such a point that a formal declaration of famine was made.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is one of the most widely read children's books of all time. It follows the evolving relationship of a boy and a tree through their lives. Many interpret the tree as Mother Nature and the boy as humanity demonstrating how society has a tendency to exploit its natural resources.
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The truth is, extreme weather events that cause flooding, prolonged drought and contaminated water sources are becoming far more frequent. In 2016, global temperatures reached a record high for the third year in a row, and reports of extreme weather events continued to come in from around the world.
Plan International Canada
Through inaction we are implicated. Through apathy we are condemned. History will not judge the DPRK regime kindly, but what of us who allowed it to stay in power for so long? What Pandora's Box awaits us with the fall of North Korea?
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As a Youth Advisory Council, our purpose is to provide Plan International Canada with guidance and insights that enable the organization to represent and mobilize a national network of youth, so it can live up to its commitment to improving the lives of children and youth around the world.
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Not all that long ago, peace was viewed as the occasional pause between a long lists of conflicts. If we aren't careful, we will soon be in danger of replicating such a timeline. Peace becomes an investment in what we can accomplish; war morphs into everything that we can lose.
Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has been dragging his feet about deploying Canadian peacekeepers to Mali. Canada should never again contribute troops to the endless UN-led peace missions that pop up around the world. In 70 years of peacekeeping, I'm at a loss to think of a single mission that succeeded.
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Two refugee crises may be more than 70 years apart, but they have striking parallels.
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In a flagrant violation of the agreed-upon ceasefire, the Syrian government launched a heavy offensive on rebel-held Wadi Barada valley in the final days of December. Residents have been deprived of running water and electricity and are being bombarded by hundreds of missiles and barrel bombs.
Cities around the world are collecting data on all of the same things, yet the way that it is being measured is wildly uneven. WCCD and its work in developing ISO 37120 - the first international standard on indicators for sustainable cities changed all of that.