Noreen is a researcher and educator with over 20 years of experience in the field of human services. She has successfully managed and developed educational projects across sectors. Noreen enjoys living the transnational life with her husband as she analyzes and supports various issues in strategic global philanthropy, as well as social capital and enterprise development.
The Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) faction held a summit on January 21st in the German city of Koblenz. The coalition is led by five notoriously radical, extreme-right-wing politicians in Europe: Frauke Petry, head of Germany’s Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party; Marine Le Pen, presidential candidate and head of France’s National Front party; Geert Wilders, leader of The Netherlands’ Party for Freedom (PVV); Harald Vilimsky, Secretary General of Austria’s Freedom Party (FPӦ); and Italy’s Northern League leader, Matteo Salvini. Galvanized by the UK’s shock vote in June last year to leave the European Union, as well as Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the US, Europe’s nationalists are more than content to ride the populist wave into 2017. Deutsche Welle describes all five leaders as the “leading faces—but not necessarily members—of the European Parliament’s right-wing.” Dubbed the “European Counter-Summit“ event, it gathered Euro-skeptic groups who believe that the best thing for Europe is the demise of the European Union. The event underscored a united call for a so-called “patriotic spring.” At least that’s what Wilders advocated in his speech, which was said to have been met with “rapturous” applause.
Manakashi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch says, “The role of civil society is to be the bearer of bad news.” As India faces scrutiny on the world stage, that could be a core reason behind the crackdowns.
The human rights group Navsarjan has fought thousands of cases on behalf of India’s “lower caste” Dalit community since 1988. Now, the Indian government has targeted the nonprofit: India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has blocked Navsarjan from receiving the funding that accounts for nearly its entire annual budget.
Air India officials says that at flight check-in, women often say that they would rather sit near a female than a male. The airline carrier is using this to explain its choice to provide women-only seating to passengers on its domestic flights.
Samar Abbas, IT worker and president of the Karachi-based Civil Progressive Alliance of Pakistan (CPAP), has been missing since January 7, 2017. He was reported missing while visiting Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Abbas’s vanishing occurs just days after four other activists went missing. The Times of India reports that the United Nations and Amnesty International are expressing increasing concern. Human Rights Watch (HRW) is pushing the Pakistani government to more urgently investigate “the apparent abductions of [the] activists who campaign for human rights and religious freedom.”
Voice of America reports that opponents of the current government call the suspected abductions “planned and coordinated” ways to crack down on criticisms of state policies.
Gazing at the bell tower of Melechen’s cathedral is a 20-foot-high inflatable effigy of a refugee created by a Belgian artists’ collective. The art piece is meant to encourage interaction between locals and new arrivals.
In Poland, where activists recently mounted demonstrations that helped defeat an unpopular abortion measure, civil society actors are concerned that the government may be looking at more stringent measures to control the sector’s human rights or liberal organizations.