WITADA’s Year in Review – Our Top 10 Stories

Document_2013-09-21_14-12-14 (1)Welcome to our Year in Review for 2015. In this post we are sharing with you some of the developments in human rights and social change over the past 12 months. It’s certainly been a big year with a number of key achievements but also some terrible injustices and human rights abuses as well as conflicts and wars claiming innocent lives.


As always at WITADA we aim to cover some of the lesser known social issues and developments from around the world that you are less likely to read about in the major news cycles. And of course we also aim to feature many stories of inspiration and change from all corners of the globe as people everywhere work towards a more peaceful and equitable world. It’s our hope that this will affirm for us all, even when we’re feel a little overwhelmed or defeated, that we are not alone in this journey for social change and human rights.


We hope you enjoy browsing through our Year in Review and we invite you to share our post and offer any thoughts or comments on our Facebook page.


1. The Refugee Crisis has dominated global human rights and social justice news stories in 2015. And rightly so. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has published the ‘2015: The Year of Europe’s Refugee Crisis’ and Amnesty International has reviewed the refugee work that they have achieved in 2015. Both The Guardian and the Observer have launched an appeal to raise money for six charities working this area.


2. Medicines Sans Frontiers has their 2016 wish list –  7 things that could really change the world.


3. UN Women has reviewed the year in terms of gender equality issues and there are certainly some things to celebrate as well as much more work to be done in 2016. In Australia we say goodbye to Rosie Batty’s term as Australian of the Year. As a result of her capacity to use her position of power to create change, both community attitudes and public policy in relation to domestic violence have shifted and the work of many people in this area over many, many years is being recognised and affirmed.


4. Human Rights issues abuses remain some of the most important and pressing stories each year. As 2015 comes to an end we’re looking at some of the progress that has been made in human rights through the year. Amnesty International has put together a collection of 50 stories in which supporters of AI have made change happen as well as 12 human rights wins for 2015. Human Rights Watch will release their report for 2015 in January but in the mean time these are the most clicked-on stories from their web site this year.


5. In the new year we’ll be talking more about hunger and poverty and other important issues to do with meeting our basic needs so keep an eye out for our new series of stories and articles on ‘Our Basic Needs’, but for now here is a review of 2015 from the United Nations World Food Programme.


6. Greenpeace has a great story on 5 female activists who “did not wait for change to happen – they stood forward, stepped up, and took a leap for the environment.” Great reading!

7. Marriage Equality has certainly featured in 2015 with the historic vote to legislate for marriage equality in Ireland in May. And of course then in June the US Supreme Court legalised marriage equality throughout the US. In Australia progress has been, well actually there hasn’t really been any at all to speak of. Buzzfeed has an amusing take on marriage equality progress in Australia in 2015!


8. The World Health Organisation has reviewed the year in global health issues and the work that has been done to address some of the most persistent health issues around the world.


9. Don’t forget to head along to our web page to check out WITADA’s New Year post – A New Year – Our Hopes for 2016.


10. We leave our look back into 2015 with some great photos. UNICEF has shared 25 of the most powerful photos of children in 2015 and they are moving and beautiful! And just because the world is an amazing, diverse and beautiful place, here are The Guardian’s 2015 Travel Photographer of the Year pictures and the National Geographic’s best travel photos for 2015.


Wishing you all a peaceful and prosperous 2016 and we look forward to your company again this year.