Videos

Ghana Research | LGBT

The Ongoing Insecurity of LGBT Ghanaians


Source: Human Rights Watch/YouTube (January 2018)

A relatively stable constitutional democracy, Ghana has seen the beginnings of official outreach to its LGBT citizens in recent years as it has signed on to pro-LGBT international accords and treaties, but new research from Human Rights Watch (HRW) reveals ongoing persecution and gender-based vulnerabilities. Though rarely enforced, a law criminalizing same-sex relations that emerged from the country’s colonial legacy has led to the political and corporal endangerment of LGBT Ghanaians, exposing them to intimidation, violence, fears of public exposure, and little to no recourse to law enforcement protection. Lesbians, bisexual women, and trans men have faced especially high levels of violence and labor precarity, and anti–domestic violence laws have done little to protect them given the lack of trust in the legal system. In response, HRW conducted interviews with LGBT Ghanaians to track insecurity across a range of social, legal, and economic domains and issued a set of recommendations to improve protections for the community.

Study

‘No Choice but to Deny Who I Am’: Violence and Discrimination against LGBT People in Ghana” (Human Rights Watch | January 2018)

Read

‘One guy took a cutlass’: gay women at greater risk of violence in Ghana” (The Guardian | January 2018)

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Solace Initiative

Global Feature | Atheists & Secularists

The Global Effort to Rescue Persecuted Atheists


Source: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science/YouTube (September 2016)

With more than a dozen countries criminalizing atheistic expression and anti-atheist sentiment widespread even in purportedly secular countries, organizations have popped up around the globe to rescue persecuted atheists, lobby for civil rights, and promote community and security for atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers. Secular Rescue was launched by the Center for Inquiry in 2016 in response to the recent spate of murders of secularist Bangladeshi writers and intellectuals, and its efforts have drawn attention to the plight of freethinkers living in the Global South in need of asylum. The Atlantic recently profiled the organization as well as the conditions contributing to the greater visibility of atheists in regions conventionally assumed to be inhospitable to the growth of secularism and freethought.

Read

The ‘Underground Railroad’ To Save Atheists” (The Atlantic | January 2018)

Center for Inquiry Launches ‘Secular Rescue’ to Save Lives of Threatened Activists” (The Center for Inquiry | September 2016)

Connect

Secular Rescue

Atheist Asylum Program

 

U.S. Feature | Prisoners with Disabilities

Seeking Justice for Prisoners with Disabilities in the U.S.


Source: Disability Rights Washington YouTube

The failure of prisons to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, ruled applicable to prisons in 1998, has created a quagmire within the criminal justice system: although people with disabilities are incarcerated at rates far higher than their demographic proportion and comprise nearly a third of the total prison population, they are funneled into systems that refuse to follow the law when it comes to adapting their protocols and facilities to those disabilities. Beyond the mass incarceration of people with disabilities, once incarcerated, disabled people face longer sentencing, solitary confinement, inaccessible vocational training, poor education administration, and limited medical access, exacerbating the negative effects of physical and mental illnesses and creating cycles of re-marginalization and inadequate preparation for release.

VICE News examines the impact of incarceration on people with disabilities and attempts to advocate on their behalf given the numerous conflicts of interest present in the reporting and petitioning process.

Read:
Punished Twice” (VICE News)

Related reads:
Making Hard Time Harder” (The AVID Prison Project, June 2016)
Disabled Behind Bars: The Mass Incarceration of People With Disabilities in America’s Jails and Prisons” (The Center for American Progress)
Know Your Rights: Legal Rights of Disabled Prisoners (The American Civil Liberties Union)

Mexico Feature | Afro-Mexicans

The Political Reemergence of Mexico’s “Invisible” Minority


Source: Fusion YouTube

Despite a half-millennium of life in Mexico, Afro-Mexicans have seen their political visibility decrease dramatically as the ideology of mestizaje (racial mixing) has become central to Mexican national identity. As in many parts of the Americas, how blackness is defined in Mexico is distinctive, unique to the convergence of circumstances that shaped identity through culture, economics, geography, ideology, and law. Today, the contemporary political landscape, with its interest in multiculturalism and the rectification of historical disadvantage, has pressed black Mexicans to seek greater administrative recognition. But with relatively small numbers and lacking a non-Spanish native language, Afro-Mexicans have been officially indistinct from either the majority non-indigenous and mestizo population or minority indigenous groups, unwilling to acknowledge the historical circumstances that have made recognition of Afro-Mexicans as a minority a priority and denying the financial and political support that such recognition would bring.

However, in 2015, an interim census allowed for respondents’ self-identification as “black”—itself a disputed term among Afro-Mexicans—for the first time, giving new visibility and coherence to the more than 1 million black Mexicans in the country. Mexican blackness—as defined historically, culturally, psychologically, and geographically—has joined the global stage of Afro-consciousness in the call for recognition and reparation of injustices against the community of African and Afro-descendent peoples. The official reemergence has attracted the attention of media outlets covering the renewed consciousness and political agency of Mexico’s “invisible minority.”

Read:
Afro-Mexicans: No longer ‘erased’” (The Daily Kos, April 2016)
The black people ‘erased from history’” (BBC, April 2016)
Now Counted By Their Country, Afro-Mexicans Grab Unprecedented Spotlight” (NPR, February 2016)
Mexico Finally Recognized Its Black Citizens, But That’s Just The Beginning” (The Huffington Post, January 2016)

Also:
The secret lives of Afro-Mexicans in America” (Fusion, February 2016)
México Negro A.C.

Sudan Feature | Women Activists

The Embattled Women Activists of Sudan

A new Human Rights Watch report details the threatening conditions faced by women activists in Sudan. Women have reported being subjected to abuse, sexual violence, and arbitrary detention by Sudan’s security forces, while local media have slurred them as “lesbians and prostitutes.” As international agencies have called for more women in conflict resolution and men have continued violating women activists without impunity, women seeking to invest in their country’s future have struggled to find ways to include their voices while protecting their well-being.

Read more:
Good Girls Don’t Protest (Human Rights Watch)
Sudan: Silencing Women Rights Defenders (Human Rights Watch, YouTube)
‘Good girls don’t protest’: report exposes attacks on Sudan’s female activists” (The Guardian)

Palestinian Territories Feature | Women

Hair and Hope for Palestine’s Cancer Victims

teleSUR English profiles an effort by the Aid and Hope Program to provide Palestinian women who have experienced hair loss during cancer treatment with wigs. With cancer the second-leading cause of death in Gaza, the campaign, entitled Be Beautiful, addresses the physiological and psychological effects of chemotherapy among the many afflicted women.

View the video on teleSUR English’s YouTube channel.

South Africa Feature | Autism

Parenting Autistic Children in South Africa

In South Africa, parents of children on the autism spectrum struggle to find support as they attempt to manage the difficulties of parenting children with special needs. Part one of an SABC News special report highlights challenges facing both children and parents, including abandonment, institutionalization, symptom management, controversial treatments, and a lack of resources in the country.

View the video on the SABC Digital News YouTube channel.

Thailand Feature | Migrant Burmese Women

Working Under Threat

As Burmese women have crossed Myanmar’s southeastern border to pursue undocumented domestic work in Thailand, the attractiveness of relatively high wages has been offset by the threat of exploitation at the hands of their employers. The lack of legislation protecting foreign domestic workers has left them vulnerable to mobility restrictions, overworking, and isolation. Migrant advocacy groups struggle to connect with the women, who are housed in private homes and prevented from participating in the public sphere. Voice of America provides a brief look at some of the challenges the women face while seeking opportunity across the border.

View the video on VOA News’s YouTube channel.

Taiwan Feature | LGBT

Proud in Taiwan

Taiwan celebrated Pride with its 13th-annual Pride parade, Asia’s largest. Tens of thousands descended upon the streets of Taipei from around the world to celebrate LGBT individuals and culture on an island notable for its LGBT acceptance.

View the Wall Street Journal video on YouTube.

Brazil Feature | Black Brazilians

Brazilian TV’s Race Problem

With the slow emergence of a black middle class in the country, demands have grown for more and better media representation among Brazil’s majority black and mixed-race population. Television has become a prime battleground for visibility and equal representation as Brazil continues the difficult process of shedding its history of racial repression. The Guardian takes a look at Mister Brau, Brazil’s new musical comedy at the forefront of that battle, its popular stars, and the cultural landscape it’s making a statement in.

Read more:
Brazilian television slowly confronts country’s deeply entrenched race issues” (The Guardian)

Other coverage:
Groundbreaking New Series – ‘Mister Brau’ – Gives Afro-Brazilians Representations to Cheer Despite Flaws” (Indiewire)

(Image Credit: Corbis & Getty Images, via The Guardian)

Lebanon Feature | Yemenis

From Head to Foot of the Class

Yemeni students who traveled to Lebanon on scholarship for advanced study confronted conditions far less hospitable to their intellectual growth than they had imagined. A Middle East Eye short film features interviews with the students, who describe persecution at the hands of Lebanese authorities as well as mental distress and financial difficulty stemming from the war back home, which has cut many off from their families.

View the Middle East Eye feature on YouTube.

Pakistan Feature | Women

Keeping on Trucking

Shamim Akhtar, 53, has become the first woman granted a heavy vehicle license in Pakistan. Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe profiles the single mother who took up truck-driving in order to support her family and the challenges she faced on the road to her licensing.

Watch the full Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty feature on YouTube.

Tajikistan Feature | Girls

Biking Tradition

Young Tajik girls are taking transportation into their own hands by biking to school, a significant endeavor that can involve up to a 10-kilometer round trip. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty learns why one girl decided to take up the trip.

Watch the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty video on YouTube.

Canada Feature | Refugees

Finding Refuge across an Ocean

For Toronto native Samia Tecle, the more than 5,000 miles separating her from the heart of the global migration crisis may as well be 5. Matthew House, the refugee reception services organization Tecle works for, provides accommodations and administrative services for newly arrived refugees, who, having no place to live, are counted among Toronto’s homeless population. Tecle tells the Globe and Mail of the Matthew House’s work and of the importance of Canadian solidarity with new arrivals.

“This is a global crisis. This is as much Canada’s issue as it is Italy’s or Greece’s or Turkey’s.”

View the Globe and Mail video on YouTube.

France Feature | Migrant Youth

Jump-starting the Future for Unaccompanied Migrant Minors in France

A specialized department of the refugee advocacy and services organization France Terre Asile, the Centre d’accueil et d’orientation pour les mineurs isolés étrangers (Reception and Orientation Center for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors) provides meals, lodging, and education for unaccompanied youth of foreign origin aged 14 to 18 to facilitate adjustment and integration into French society. Agence France-Presse profiles a few of the youth and the work being done at the center.

View the AFP video on YouTube (in French).