Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
I believe that if children are to enjoy their right to an education they must be taught by teachers who are properly trained and supported. There is a pressing need to consider how best to train teachers - both new teachers and up-skilling the large numbers of currently unqualified and under-qualified teachers through in-service training.
British engineering is facing a serious skills shortage. Yesterday, the think tank IPPR published a report claiming that 'an additional 87,000 graduate level engineers will be needed in the UK each year between now and 2020' in order to meet growing demand, but that 'the higher education system is only producing 46,000 engineering graduates annually'. Well as a starter for ten, that maths doesn't look good.
I believe my inner feminist has always been within me. Far from lying dormant, it has been growing since I was child. I grew up in a house with four other females and one male. Only when I went to school and started learning of gender inequalities (the lack of education is argued to be the epitome and root of gender inequality) I came to realise how much I was in the minority, as too was my father.
Across the world, there are 108 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, with more people displaced by violence than ever before. These people have had their lives torn apart by war and natural disaster, and many are starving and in dire need of shelters and medical assistance. Most of them are women and children.
Why aren't people on the streets in protest at North Korea's crimes in large numbers, the way they are over Gaza or were over the war in Iraq? Why isn't there a mass public movement, of the kind that helped bring down apartheid in South Africa? Why aren't Bono, Richard Gere, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie doing anything to bring the North Korea cause into our hearts and homes?
As Israeli missiles lay waste to Gaza, Hamas rockets fly and innocents die in civilian planes downed in eastern Ukraine, Syria has slipped even furthe...
Six out of the world's ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, but their potential will not be realised without long-term improvements to education, health and the opportunity for women to give birth in environments free from violence. The further prize is increased productivity and economic growth.
Not before time, it appears, the West is reining in its clients in Kiev and urging them to refrain from using the Ukrainian army to put down opposition in the east of the country. Good sense has prevailed at last in Western capitals and further bloodshed will hopefully be avoided in Donetsk and Lugansk.
There was a reason Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, chose to announce his support for an initiative to forgo exploiting the Tiputini, Tambococha and Ishpingo oil fields under the Yasuni National Park - home to indigenous peoples and one of the most biodiverse places on earth - on 5 June 2007: 5 June, today, is the United Nations' 'World Environment Day.'
Traces of cocaine in our tap water, screamed recent newspaper headlines in the UK. It's alarming, despite reassurances that these are miniscule amounts that pose no risk. But imagine the headlines were about deadly pathogens like E. coli or cholera, and that even these miniscule amounts could harm adults and kill children.
Unlike hashtag campaigns that have come and gone before, #BringBackOurGirls has unified a global audience and, apart from a microscopic percentage of Boko Haram supporters, the whole world is behind the message, if not the means, of the campaign. Hashtag campaigns about everything from Orca captivity, to gay marriage, to Invisible Children; even the #YesAllWomen hashtag have all divided national and global opinions (rightly or wrongly) where #BringBackOurGirls has united the world's population in solidarity.
During my visit to the Unicef-supported Basic Education School for displaced grade one to four children at the Aleppo University I met a number of confident, upbeat children, not shy to ask tough questions... As a mother, I could not hold back my tears when a young girl got up and asked me: "When will this war end?"