Global development Headlines

  • 'I struggle without him': wife of jailed Reuters reporter marks grim milestone

    Imprisoned in Myanmar after investigating the Rohingya crisis, Wa Lone has met his infant daughter just twice in the 12 months he has been behind bars In late October, in a meeting room inside Yangon’s famously brutal Insein Prison, Reuters reporter Wa Lone met his three-month-old daughter, Thet Htar Angel, for the first time. The moment he took the infant into his arms a warm, white substance trickled from her mouth on to his shirt. The baby had vomited on him. Wa Lone, desperate for the...

    the Guardian
  • 'Yemenis are left so poor they kill themselves before the hunger does'

    As peace talks to end war in Yemen continue, three local aid workers from the Norwegian Refugee Council describe its devastating impact More than 10,000 people in Yemen have been killed and 3 million forced to flee their homes as a result of almost four years of fighting. An estimated 22 million people are now in need of aid and up to 13 million face starvation. As talks to end the conflict continue in Sweden, three Yemeni aid workers from the Norwegian Refugee Council talk of the physical and...

    the Guardian
  • MPs voice fears over £1.28bn aid fund amid claims of links to torture

    Lack of accountability in security programme fuels allegations that UK taxpayers are unknowingly complicit in rights abuses MPs have expressed concern over the government’s flagship £1.28bn global security programme, saying a lack of transparency and accountability lends weight to allegations from rights groups and watchdogs that taxpayers are unwittingly complicit in human rights abuses. Campaigners at Reprieve have accused the government of failing to release full details of a new “rule of...

    the Guardian
  • UN states agree historic global deal to manage refugee crisis

    First international pact on mass migration reached between 164 nations, despite US-led objections The first ever international deal on the refugee crisis was signed on Monday by a majority of UN states, despite vociferous objections led by the United States. The historic, non-binding global pact seeking to better manage mass migration was approved by delegates from 164 nations following 18 months of debate and negotiation. German chancellor Angela Merkel hailed it as an “important day”. Continue...

    the Guardian
  • Claims that NHS rubber gloves made by forced labour spark inquiries

    UK and Malaysia investigations launched after Guardian reports allegations that firms are exploiting workersRead more: NHS rubber gloves made in Malaysian factories accused of forced labour Related: NHS rubber gloves made in Malaysian factories accused of forced labour The UK and Malaysian government have launched separate investigations after the Guardian reported allegations that factories supplying rubber gloves to the NHS were exploiting migrant workers in conditions of forced labour....

    the Guardian
  • Humanity is on path to self-destruction, warns UN special rapporteur

    On 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Nils Melzer says global community has failed to learn lessons of second world war As those who lived through two world wars die out, taking with them real memories of past atrocities, the world is back on a path to self-destruction, a leading authority on torture has warned. Human rights are facing a “worrying backlash” from a global community that has failed to “learn the lesson” of the past. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • 'We’re going to kill you': Nicaragua's brutal crackdown on press freedom

    Journalists have been beaten, arrested, and robbed in the wake of the civil revolt that paralysed the country earlier in the year Nicaraguan TV journalist Miguel Mora was driving home from work when he was pulled over by armed police. “They ordered me take off my glasses and put a hood over my head,” says Mora, who directs the 100% Noticias news channel. “Then they took me by the neck and forced me into a pickup, where an officer told me: ‘You’re responsible for the death of police. If you keep...

    the Guardian
  • 'I was sexually abused, humiliated and beaten. Legal victory was a great balm'

    After the inter-American court ruled in her favour against the Venezuelan state, Linda Loaiza tells of her long fight for justice In March 2001, when I was only 18, I was kidnapped and for almost four months I was kept forcibly bound and gagged, deprived of my freedom, subjected, threatened with death and held without any communication with my family. I was sexually abused, burned with cigarettes, humiliated and beaten. I was forced to consume drugs. The man who kidnapped me called me his...

    the Guardian
  • NHS rubber gloves made in Malaysian factories accused of forced labour

    Exclusive: firms supplying health service allegedly exploit thousands of migrants The NHS is using medical gloves made in Malaysian factories where migrants are allegedly subjected to forced labour, forced overtime, debt bondage, withheld wages and passport confiscation. A Guardian investigation has revealed that at least two companies supplying rubber gloves to the NHS – Top Glove and WRP – are allegedly subjecting thousands of migrant workers from Nepal and Bangladesh to exploitative working...

    the Guardian
  • Qasr al-Yahud: a mission to restore faith – and hope

    In the West Bank, at the third most holy site in Christianity, work is under way to clear thousands of landmines and reopen seven ancient churches abandoned since 1967’s six-day war Bravery comes in many guises, but in those whose work demands courage on a near-daily basis, it often takes the form of a certain studied nonchalance. Lasha Bluashvili, who makes his living clearing landmines, is a case in point. He would rather go to the trouble of making me a cup of tea – here in the Judean desert,...

    the Guardian
  • Rohingya survivors: 'why do they want to destroy us?' – in pictures

    In Cox’s Bazar, photographer Renaud Philippe met Rohingya Muslims who managed to flee the Myanmar military’s brutal crackdown. ‘The Rohingya Crisis: A People in Exile’ exhibition runs until 19 Jan at the Guardian’s London offices Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • Pressure grows on UN official accused of encouraging 'harassment and abuse'

    Inquiry urges leadership change amid claims UNAids chief Michel Sidibé has presided over culture of favouritism and bullying A culture of favouritism that tolerated harassment and bullying has been allowed to fester within a major UN agency, according to a damning independent assessment that calls for a change of leadership. The independent report, commissioned following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and bullying by senior staff at UNAids, said Michel Sidibé, the agency’s executive...

    the Guardian
  • Johannesburg: thousands homeless as fire destroys township

    Local charities call for donations after blaze wrecks 500 homes in Alexandra A fire has devastated one of the most crowded neighbourhoods of Johannesburg, destroying 500 homes and leaving thousands of people homeless. The fire broke out late on Thursday afternoon in Alexandra, a township in the South African city that is home to more than 400,000 people. Continue reading

    the Guardian
  • 'No world to leave our children’: progress on women's rights still lags, shows study

    Researchers find efforts to curb early marriage are failing while laws in many countries allow men to hold sway Progress on women’s rights has been far slower than expected across the world as a report shows underage marriage rates have barely come down this decade, while dozens of nations still legally prioritise men. Forty-one countries recognise only a man to be the head of the household; 27 countries still require that women obey their husbands by law; and 24 countries require women to have...

    the Guardian
  • 'We need more food, not less': US cuts leave Palestinian refugees in crisis

    As a top UN official in Gaza accuses Donald Trump of using aid as a political weapon, fears of a major emergency are growing In November 1948, Khadija Hijjo and her family fled Israeli forces advancing on the village of al-Jura, close to what is now the Israeli city of Ashkelon. “We had land, we grew grapes and strawberries and dates, and we used to sell them in Jaffa,” she says. “Then, when we came to Gaza, we slept on the ground

    the Guardian
  • South Sudan urged to end death penalty as evidence shows children among dead

    Rise in state-sanctioned executions condemned by Amnesty International as ‘outdated and inhuman’ Children are among those being executed in South Sudan, in an “extremely disturbing” escalation of the state’s use of the death penalty, according to Amnesty International. This year, seven people, including one child, were hanged, the highest number since the county gained independence in 2011 , according to evidence provided to Amnesty by legal professionals and government officials. Continue...

    the Guardian
  • Africa cocoa industry failing on deforestation pledge – campaigners

    Tens of thousands of hectares cleared in Ghana and Ivory Coast since vow to end practice The cocoa industry is failing to meet a highly publicised pledge to stop deforestation in west Africa and eliminate tainted beans from supply chains, environmental campaigners say. Big chocolate companies and the governments of Ghana and the Ivory Coast continue to be responsible for the deforestation of tens of thousands of hectares of land over the past year in former rainforest-covered nations, despite...

    the Guardian
  • Jamaica's LGBT rights activists take pride in two decades of progress

    Once branded ‘the most homophobic place on Earth’, Jamaica has an increasingly liberal outlook Early one late summer morning, more than 200 people gathered under the lush canopy of Hope Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica, for a breakfast party. The revellers ate – ackee, saltfish, fried plantain – and swayed to a soundtrack of dancehall and soca. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Revealed: Disney's £35 Ariel doll earns a Chinese worker 1p

    Undercover investigation exposes illegally long working hours and low wages for staff at factory producing toys for Disney She sings. She sparkles. And she’s made by women paid just 1p for each doll that shimmers off shop shelves. This Christmas, tens of thousands of children the world over will excitedly tear the wrapping paper off an Ariel doll – Disney’s Little Mermaid – secure in the knowledge that it was made for them by Santa’s happy elves at the north pole. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • In the face of climate change, ranking states by prosperity invites disaster

    Forget neocolonial indices that put wealthy countries ahead of poor ones on the path to development, we’re all in this together If you were asked to name the most prosperous countries in the world, you’d probably reach for a familiar list. It would start with the Scandinavian social democracies, the Netherlands or Switzerland, meander across to Canada, and end up somewhere between Australia and New Zealand. Such a thought process would be completely valid. These nations regularly feature at or...

    the Guardian
  • Invest in Africa's youth before migration to Europe doubles, says UN official

    With continent’s population set to soar, agriculture chief Gilbert Houngbo stresses need to make rural life profitable Economic migration from Africa to Europe driven by poverty could double in the next decade unless urgent investment is made in job creation for young people in rural areas, the head of a UN financial body has warned. The global population is forecast to reach 9.9 billion by 2050 – a 29% increase – with most of that growth in Africa, where the population is expected to double to...

    the Guardian
  • Defying the Taliban: Afghanistan's secret schools for girls – podcast

    Suraya Pakzad talks to Lucy Lamble about her work championing girls’ education – and living on red alert for the next Taliban raid When Suraya Pakzad was just 12 years old she witnessed the murder of her headteacher by a member of an extremist group. Later she saw two of her classmates blown up in a missile strike. She explains how she completed her schooling against the odds – and decided to fight the Taliban’s ban on education for women and girls, which even involved keeping kerosene at the...

    the Guardian
  • Mohammed bin Salman should be prosecuted over the Yemen conflict

    After waging war in a manner that made deaths from hunger and disease inevitable, the Saudi prince should be tried for starvation crimes There is a manmade famine in Yemen, even if it has not been officially acknowledged. The man who made it is Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and there is strong prima facie evidence that he should be charged with causing starvation in an international court. Along with the comparably culpable Mohamed bin Zayed, crown prince of the United...

    the Guardian
  • 'My life is spent in this car': Uber drives its Indian workers to despair

    After promises of high earnings, fare cuts and increased commission have left drivers with car loans they can’t pay off Moham Kumar wolfs down a few spoonfuls of spiced black chickpeas for lunch between passengers. It is 3pm. Kumar has been on the roads of the Indian capital since 9am without a break. He will continue driving until 9pm or 10pm. This is his routine, seven days a week. “When I get home my daughter is asleep. My life is spent in this car,” he says. Continue reading...

    the Guardian