Call to register: Webinar for media in lead up to World No Tobacco Day

We welcome you to register for an exclusive media webinar in the lead up to this year's World No Tobacco Day, where noted tobacco control experts will present and respond to questions live!

Bodily autonomy and sexual rights are integral to development justice

Susmita Choudhary, IPPF
The dream of development justice cannot be realized unless governments also recognize bodily autonomy and sexual rights for every human being, especially for those who are marginalized and seldom heard or 'visible'. If we look closely at the data, it will become evident that women and girls are among those key populations whose rights get violated when it comes to bodily integrity and sexual and reproductive health, and rights. Susmita Choudhary from International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said that "sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are not only women's issues but also issues of other constituencies we work with, and different areas we work on, are also linked to SRHR. It is indeed a cross-cutting issue!"

"I could have been Mary Jane Veloso"

Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, Indonesia
(First published in The Jakarta Post, 20th May 2015) 
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso was spared from execution at the last minute. She got a temporary reprieve but still faces execution. Veloso is a migrant Filipino domestic worker just like me. Like me, Veloso was forced to become a migrant domestic worker because of poverty, because of a commitment to support her family, because she had no other choice.

Asthma mortality rampant in developing countries

CNS image Library/2014
Clarity Sibanda, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
The statistics on asthma are indeed worrying, as it is estimated that globally nearly 300 million are living with the illness and nearly 250,000 are said to die prematurely every year from the condition. It is disheartening to note that this public health issue affects high and low income countries equally, but the burden of mortality falls most heavily on the developing world where some 80% of asthma-related deaths occur. Third world countries like Zimbabwe are ineptly facing the asthma scourge.

Will HLPF push for accountability in post-2015 development agenda?

Kate Lappin, APWLD
Without robust accountability and monitoring mechanisms, how will people ensure that their governments deliver on the promises they make towards post-2015 sustainable development agenda? Past experience tells us that governments may make promises at the global level but seldom translate them into ground realities back home! Even worse is when at times the commitments made by governments in one treaty are contradictory to their obligations in another! Profit-driven corporations often have a major influence in policy making and thwart measures that may harm business interests.

Post-2015 development agenda cannot put 'some on the blind-spot'

Photo credit: CNS: citizen-news.org
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had said earlier, "our goal must be a world of dignity, opportunity and well-being, where no-one is left behind." But there are specific communities that feel they are slipping on the blind-spot as post-2015 sustainable development agenda-setting process is moving forward - indigenous peoples and people in the Pacific nations are among them. "Why is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) working group document leaving us behind? That is why United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) has expressed specific concern over the way SDGs are again overlooking the rights of indigenous peoples" said Pranika Koyu from Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

Without redistributive justice, some will remain 'more equal than others'

Photo credit: CNS: citizen-news.org
"Inequality has grown so high and so obscene that 85 people in the world hold as much wealth as 3.5 billion - half the world's population; within the year just 1 per cent of the world's population will hold more weath than the remaining 99 per cent" - this was one of the key messages in a powerful poster exhibit calling for development justice, at the ongoing Asia Pacific CSOs Forum on Sustainable Development in Thailand.

Will post-2015 development agenda integrate economic, environmental and social pillars?

Photo credit: CNS: citizen-news.org
Key consultative processes have been going on globally to gather the broadest voices with the intent to effectively shape the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. In the Asia Pacific region there is a considerable effort put in to engage different communities and sectors in these consultations. Representatives of 17 constituencies are in Thailand to take this dialogue further ahead and consolidate peoples' agenda for development justice before the regional intergovernmental meeting (Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development - APFSD) opens later this week.

Children with asthma: A mother’s nightmare

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
“My worst fear is what will happen to my two children if I am ever unable to be around to take care of them”, says Khabonina Masina, a mother of 5 and 3 year old boys. Her children showed signs of asthma from as early as when they were 12 and 9 months old respectively, and since then her life has never been the same. Her daily routine has been disrupted by her children’s health, late night hospital visits, absenteeism at work to attend emergency calls from the children’s pre-school and the constant changing of child- minders who cannot manage the care and attention required by her children.

Xenophobia in South Africa: A game of politics

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
The basis of winning in politics is to find a common enemy or cause that arouses deep seated emotions in a large population across religion, economic status or race. The leadership in South Africa has found Xenophobia as a uniting propaganda. If you are economically stable and staying in low density suburbs like Sandton you are made to believe you are not safe because foreigners are the “crime drivers” in your neighborhood since they do not have proper immigration papers to get good employment.

"Slow but steady wins the race": Lilawati

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Photo credit: Rahul/ CNS
[CNS Images] This is the inspirational story of Lilawati-a teacher cum farmer. The mother of 7 children—4 daughters and 3 sons, of whom one son died at the age of 25 years—66 years old Lilawati lives with her retired husband, 2 sons and their wives, a widowed daughter-in-law (who is a teacher) and 5 grandsons and 5 granddaughters. Lilawati, one of five siblings, lost her parents when she was very young. Her elder brother brought up the family. Lilawati could study only till Class 5 and was married off when she was just 15 years old.

Ministries urged to protect health policy from those with conflict of interest

Photo credit: CNS Image Library/2015
A petition campaign signed by over 70 noted public health experts have been sent to Union Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Law and Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, appealing them to permanently firewall health policy making from those with a conflict of interest.

With no cure in sight, controlling asthma is essential

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
With no cure in sight, experts believe that controlling asthma is essential to ensure good quality of life for those living with it. "It is Time to Control Your Asthma" is thus the sub-theme of this year's World Asthma Day, an annual event earmarked for the first Tuesday of May, which is organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), in collaboration with healthcare groups to raise awareness about asthma care and control globally.

Controlling and managing asthma is key to live a normal life

CNS image Library/2014
Rahul Kumar Dwivedi - CNS
Living a normal life is possible if people with asthma can control and manage the condition well, say experts. This year's World Asthma Day theme is "You can control your asthma." Asthma is a chronic, long-term condition that varies in severity. It can be a serious and even life-threatening problem. Caused by the swelling of airways, asthma can hinder day-to-day life by limiting activity and reducing quality of life. Asthma can be called a condition of management. While there is no cure, proper treatment and routine check-ins with health professionals can provide patients with a higher quality of life.