19 December 2015 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

WITADA Top 1019 December 2015 
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


In this week’s Top 10 we travel around from Libya to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia, Syria, Malta, and we look at toothbrushes, palm oil, and much more.


1. We don’t often hear news about Libya’s prisons and this feature article from Human Rights Watch changes all that. This is disturbing stuff – there are thousands of people being held in arbitrary detention, facing torture and ill-treatment. In this article Hanan Salah is interviewed about her experiences as the only human rights advocate visiting these prisons.


2. There have been some real advances in addressing sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the development of 15 legal clinics bringing justice to victims.


3. Mongolia has just voted to abolish the death penalty, effective in September 2016.


4. The refugee crisis in Syria is having a massive impact on the education of children with over 400,000 Syrian children not in school. Human Rights Watch has a feature story on this issue.


5.  A simple thing like a toothbrush can highlight our global inequalities – check this out from Ideas.TED.com


6.  The New York Times has featured a photoessay, Uncertain Journeys,  from Ashley Gilbertson who spent three weeks photographing the refugee crisis in Europe – and it’s well worth a look.


7. Greenpeace has some disturbing info on palm oil and paper companies and the forest destruction that results in Indonesia. “Indonesia now has the highest rate of deforestation of any country in the world. A quarter of Indonesia’s forest has been destroyed in the last 25 years alone.”


8. It makes a lot of sense to put international energy into improving life in many African  countries as a strategy for addressing refugee issues. There has recently been a two day summit in Malta on these very issues resulting in the formation of a $2 billion trust fund.


9. A selection of old photos dating back to the 1920s has been uncovered in Port Macquarie and they are providing an insight into the lives of some of the Indigenous people of that place and time.


10. Photojournalism is a powerful medium for change. In this series of photos, posted on The Guardian, there are some of the most amazing shots of events that changed the world. We hope you feel inspired!


Great to have your company again this week. As we come to the end of the year make sure you’re on the lookout for our special editions and blogs over the next few weeks as we reflect on the year that has been and aspire to a more peaceful one in 2016.