TNI’s work is in the news almost every working day of the year. Together with our partners, we enjoy wide coverage in national and international news outlets from around the world. Here are some of the highlights from 2020 of which we are particularly proud.
The 2020 general election was one of disappointment for ethnic nationality parties in Myanmar. Prior to the polls, expectations were high that they would win a larger number of seats than in previous elections. In the event, the National League for Democracy won another landslide victory. NLD gains were largely at the expense of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. The position of ethnic parties, in contrast, will remain relatively the same.
Amidst growing concerns that the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) undermines urgent climate action, and a growing backlash against the treaty, its profiteers are spewing propaganda, promoting falsehoods about how the ECT attracts clean investment and how its 'modernisation' will fix any flaws. Cut through their rhetoric with our new myth-busting guide.
Yesterday, on International Human Rights Day, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands announced that Saw Eh Say, the coordinator from the Kayah Earthrights Action Network (KEAN), received the 2020 Human Rights Tulip Myanmar Award for his great efforts to promote the right to land in Myanmar. The Human Rights Tulip is an annual award of the Dutch government for outstanding and courageous human rights defenders.
Upon declaring a Global War on Terror in 2001, the US administration claimed that the “fight against terrorism was also a fight for the rights and dignity of women”. In the years that followed, western political discourse regularly referred to the need to “free” apparently oppressed Muslim women from the shackles of their religion and way of life, reviving political and societal debates about head coverings, integration, gender equality, secularism, and neutrality.
Relying on Islamophobic stereotypes, and with no regard for the rights to freedom of expression or freedom of religion, laws and policies were introduced in a number of European countries, which banned the hijab and/ or niqab. In perhaps the most flagrent example of just how entrenched Islamophobia has become, European states, in effect, began legislating on Muslim women’s bodies, dictating which clothes they could or could not wear.
Tunisia has undergone radical changes in the past decade, and faces more in the years to come, if the EU has its way. As the first country to topple its dictator in early 2011, it set off a chain of revolutions across North Africa and West Asia that led to a political reconfiguration, the impacts of which are still playing out. While Tunisia is often seen as the ‘success’ story of the ‘Arab Spring’, the transition has actually been a lot more complex than that.
This commentary is part of the ten-day global campaign to end violence against women, in which the Drug Policy Advocacy Group – Myanmar (DPAG) also participates together with partners in Myanmar, including female sex workers, women living with HIV, and transgender people. DPAG’s campaign focuses on ending violence against women, including women who use drugs and other women facing intersecting inequalities. The campaign is coordinated by DPAG, and supported by the Sex Worker Network in Myanmar (SWIM), Myanmar Positive Women Network, Myanmar Youth Stars, and the Transnational Institute (TNI). For more information see DPAG’s Facebook page.
2020 will be remembered not just for the pandemic, but also as a year of radical anti-racist uprisings, under the banner of Black Lives Matter (BLM), in the US and beyond. A unique panel of leading anti-racist scholars and activists from Brazil, the US, the UK and Morocco will share from their own experiences of struggle and discuss how we can build long-lasting transformative racial justice movements.
Winners of the Transformative Cities Award were announced at an international online event yesterday, following a global online vote with 11,000 participants. The 2020 Transformative Cities People’s Choice Award went to four initiatives for their work in the areas of water, energy, housing and food systems. The winners were chosen from a selection of 12 international finalists through a process that is likely the most participatory public city award in the world.
In a historic vote, the United Nations (UN) has finally recognised the medicinal value of cannabis.
A group of prominent drug policy organisations has welcomed the move, but also expressed disappointment that this reform does not go far enough, as cannabis remains categorised internationally alongside drugs like heroin and cocaine.
The review was revisiting cannabis scheduling decisions made in the 1950s, which were driven by prevailing racist and colonial attitudes, and not based on scientific evaluations. This has remained unchallenged.
Since its onset in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the frailties of global political leadership, preparedness, and governance. To a level unequaled by other disruptive moments in recent decades—the HIV/AIDs and Ebola crises, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2008 financial crisis—COVID-19 has shaken the credibility of national and international institutions to manage supranational crises.
Our webinar Taking on the Tech Titans: Reclaiming our data commons explored who owns our data and why it matters, the relevance of data extraction for countries in the Global South, and the impact of COVID-19. What strategies, structures and institutions are needed at national and international levels to confront Big Tech and advance digital justice?
The second ‘Municipalize Europe’ conference was held on 5 November online, while two years ago we organised the first edition in the European parliament. In that interval, municipalism, a new political movement, has been growing in Europe and beyond. It is a new way of doing local politics putting social rights and citizen engagements at the center. Municipalize Europe is an attempt to look at European politics through a municipalist lens and to build pressure for change of the top-down European politics.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ‘staying at home’ has become the main strategy to minimize the spread of the pandemic. Consequently, affordable housing with adequate living conditions has become a matter of life and death, which demonstrates why it is essential to prioritize the right to housing. What have cities done to secure adequate living conditions before and after COVID-19, and what should the EU do to help cities achieve a breakthrough in terms of affordable housing? Those were the questions guiding the Housing panel during the Municipalize Europe conference on November 05, 2020.
On November 5th, the last session of the online Municipalize Europe! event brought together a variety of municipalists who power and practise progressive policies on the local and system-wide level in the fight against the climate crisis. They discussed which municipal actions the EU should support for a European Green Deal (EGD) to have justice, democracy and regeneration at its heart.
On 21 November 1997, small-scale fishers from across the world formed a global movement and set sail for a long journey to protect nature and their human rights. Ever since, the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) have celebrated this day as World Fisheries Day and even in times of the COVID-19 crisis, they continue the tradition of raising their voices at this special moment.