Foreign Policy Blogs

Human Rights

(You gotta) fight for your right

(You gotta) fight for your right

Crystal balls, horse-drawn carts, headscarves and tarot cards. If we were playing a word-association game, what group of people would spring to mind? If your brain is leaning toward ‘gypsy’ then you get a point. In Europe, gypsy is a common way of describing Roma and travellers; however, this fairground fairytale image of a freewheeling […]

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Post-Windsor Progress

Post-Windsor Progress

Federal agencies are beginning to revise their policies in the wake of the decision in United States v. Windsor, where the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the controversial definition of marriage contained in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This paradigm shift has the potential to promote a rapid change in the […]

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Repatriation Still a Far Cry in Bhutan, Says Exiled Journalist

Repatriation Still a Far Cry in Bhutan, Says Exiled Journalist

Evicted from Bhutan at the age of 11, Vidhyapati Mishra spent two decades in U.N.-funded Bhutanese refugee camp in eastern Nepal before resettling in the United States. Just a week before his departure from Nepal to Charlotte of North Carolina, self-learned journalist Mishra also featured in the New York Times with his powerful narrative story […]

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Uniform: restriction and liberation

Uniform: restriction and liberation

Depending on how you are dressed, you can signal your status, identity, job and a myriad other markers which help locate you in a sociopolitical context. They can show your distinctiveness, or membership within a group. Many jobs require a uniform, from the armed forces to hospitals to customer services, and in many countries around […]

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The Whistleblower (2010)

The Whistleblower (2010)

Sex trafficking. It happens all over the world but is largely invisible to most. What The Whistleblower (a drama, not a documentary) does is expose it as it occurred in Bosnia in 1999, four years after the Dayton Accord was reached. Rachel Weisz plays Kathryn Bolkovac, a police officer from Nebraska who joins the United […]

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U.S. Prospects for Ratification as MLC, 2006 Enters into Force

U.S. Prospects for Ratification as MLC, 2006 Enters into Force

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) will enter into force. The MLC, 2006 is an extremely comprehensive convention considered to be the “fourth pillar” of international maritime law. Though it enjoyed unanimous adoption within the ILO, the sheer breadth of the MLC, 2006 raised skepticism […]

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Ciao, Bella: Death in Italian

Ciao, Bella: Death in Italian

When the moon hits your eye like’a big pizza pie…that’s amore. Substitute “moon” for “man” and “that’s amore” for a significant proportion of Italian women. Exact figures on domestic violence are unknown for obvious reasons, but the more troubling occurrence of women being murdered is also not noted in official statistics. At least 127 women […]

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Asia’s Pivot: Stepping on Human Rights, Reviving Realpolitik

Asia’s Pivot: Stepping on Human Rights, Reviving Realpolitik

In late July, following 28 years of authoritarian rule in Cambodia by the Prime Minister Hun Sen, citizens of the impoverished southeastern Asian state went to the polls for elections. What followed was a shocking setback: Mr. Sen’s ruling Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) saw its number of seats in the 123-seat parliament reduced from 90 […]

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Impending Change for China’s One-Child Policy?

Impending Change for China’s One-Child Policy?

Recent media excitedly report on the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) contemplation of abandoning its decades-old “one-child policy.” However, the official press agency, Xinhua, merely wrote that the PRC is still “deliberating” on studies and whether to “relax” the policy or not. Xinhua reported the spokesman for the National Family Planning Commission as maintaining that […]

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Pride and Prejudice and Banknotes

Pride and Prejudice and Banknotes

Back in May I wrote about the derisively named “storm in a teacup” over the decision of the Bank of England to remove reformer Elizabeth Fry from the £5 note. Why this was controversial to some was that it meant that no women, apart from the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, would appear on paper currency […]

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Malala’s Islam

Malala’s Islam

Malala Yousafzai requires no introduction, especially not now that the United Nations has recognized her birthday as “Malala Day,” celebrating  this girl from Swat Valley, Pakistan, who has such a strong desire for knowledge that even a bullet to the head could not waiver. Addressing the United Nations on her 16th birthday, Malala said: “[t]he […]

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Chong Chon Gang Saga Encouraging More International Scrutiny of DPRK

Chong Chon Gang Saga Encouraging More International Scrutiny of DPRK

The recent international shipping scandal involving the Chong Chon Gang, a decrepit, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-flagged (DPRK) cargo ship with a dodgy track record has raised many important questions involving contemporary issues on the international laws of international security, maritime law, human rights, and labor rights. This high-profile incident occurred not long after the […]

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The Humanitarian Toll of the Syrian Crisis

The Humanitarian Toll of the Syrian Crisis

Syria long ago became a source of a steady trickle of bad news but recent reports coming from several UN agencies working in Syria highlight just how dire the humanitarian situation there has become. First up is a new report from the World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization that found as […]

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Libya and the Sahel: Has a Dictator’s Demise Doomed the Region?

Libya and the Sahel: Has a Dictator’s Demise Doomed the Region?

After the fall from power in 2011 of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libya’s de facto ruler for forty-two years, there was no lack of backslapping bonhomie among NATO country members who had helped overthrow the despot from power. Indeed, the West’s bombing sorties had been skillfully executed, with France and Great Britain playing key roles in a campaign […]

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The shadows of the informal economy

The shadows of the informal economy

In which sector of the economy are women disproportionately (over)represented? And even though they are in the majority, still get paid less than their male counterparts? There may of course be more than one answer to these questions, however for the purposes of this blog post, the one I’m going with is “the informal economy,” […]

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