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Grassroots Men and Children Speak Out - Women's Empowerment is Progress for All!

“COFAPRI is truly giving power to our wives, daughters, and our sisters and girls in our villages here. This helps them primarily, but it also helps us all with our families." - Bukanda Isaac, DR Congo.

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Children's Education in Sierra Leone - Overcoming Challenges

Wurrie Kenda has grown up in Kroo Bay without any education. She is now at the Community School and is learning quickly. It is children like Wurrie that make WYCF's school such a special place....

Appeal

DRC-empowerment

Empowering Survivors in DR Congo

Help Safe World Field Partner, COFAPRI, to support rape survivors and their children in the mountain villages of Eastern DR Congo.

World News

Frederic Kazigwemo served time in jail for killing several people in 1994 | Photo: Benjamin Duerr/Al Jazeera

Rwanda genocide survivors back reconciliation

Mbyo is a Reconciliation Village, located one hour's drive from the capital of Kigali. Murderers and survivors of the Rwandan genocide, are neighbors. Attempting to rebuild the country.
Caroline Murphy

UK Heiress walks away from fortune after rift over her plans to turn firm into a co-operative

UK
I have been vocal in my belief that leadership of this business must include those working on the ground if it is to continue to deliver for the clients who have placed their trust in us over the years.
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International Women's Media Foundation: 'Protect Confidentiality of Sources'

IWMF (International Women's Media Foundation) urges the Supreme Court to recognize journalists' protection against compelled disclosure of confidential sources...
Pari Gul

The Afghan policewomen taking on the Taliban

The tiny but growing number of policewomen in Afghanistan not only risk death in the line of duty, they also face personal attack from extremists, and bigotry within the ranks

Field Partner News

Shalom-education

Starting Young - Teaching Children's Rights in Tanzania

We promote Child Rights Clubs in schools, covering issues such as child marriage, FGM, domestic violence, disabilities, street children.... Last year, 7000 children participated...

Alliance News

fly-sister-fly

Partnering for advocacy in rural Kenya

Pastoralist Child Foundation and the Fly Sister Fly Foundation partnered for an advocacy campaign in Samburu County. They held interactive sessions on early marriages, FGM/C, and challenges girls face in the pastoral nomadic community.

Philippine Libel Law Used Against Journalist

Marites Danguilan Vitug, a respected Filipina journalistMarites Danguilan Vitug, a respected Filipina journalist

Philippine Libel Law Used Against Journalist

Marites Danguilan Vitug, a respected Filipina journalist, was forced to post P10,000 bail Friday on criminal libel charges that she had defamed Supreme Court Justice Presbitero Velasco in a recent book.

The laws have been used by a long series of Filipino politicians and business figures including Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, the former president’s husband, to attempt to quell critical reporting. Arroyo filed 43 complaints seeking P70 million against editors, publishers and reporters in 2006 and 2007, earning a denunciation from the international press protection organization Reporters Without Borders for hounding reporters and "eroding press freedom in the Philippines." Most of the stories contained allegations of corruption on the part of the president and her husband. Eventually, all of the suits were dismissed.

“If we are found guilty, we’ve got to go to prison,” Vitug said in a telephone interview. “But it is not common for journalists to be convicted in the Philippines. The courts work very slowly, there have only been two cases so far of journalists who have actually spent time in jail, and the sentences have been short.” It is not clear at this point when the case will come to trial, said Vitug, who chairs the advisory board for the investigative journalism operation Newsbreak.

The use of such libel laws is especially effective against smaller publications, radio and television stations in provinces far from the capital, according to Melinda de Jesus of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility in Manila in an earlier interview. At one point, de Jesus told Asia Sentinel, 150 criminal libel suits were filed against one paper in a single year.

"There used to be a period when basically you felt if you had a libel case filed against you, you were hard-hitting and it was worn like a purple heart," de Jesus said. "We do have a highly complex, multilayered system, in terms of the time and process it takes for an issue to go through. But that has not affected how quickly public officials file cases. Of most of the cases filed, few end in convictions."

In the book, Shadow of Doubt, Vitug quoted residents of the Marinduque constituency as saying the Supreme Court justice was active in organizing his son’s ticket, inviting two local officials to run with his son as councillor and promising to underwrite campaign expenses, and that he was also present in Allan’s meetings with local leaders in his beachfront residence in Torrijos, Marinduque.

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MARITES DAÑGUILAN VITUG is a distinguished journalist and has won the National Book Award in journalism for Power from the Forest: The Politics of Logging, her first book and a pioneering work on governance and the environment,and Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao (with Glenda Gloria). 

Marites is also the author of Jalan-Jalan: A Journey through EAGA (with Criselda Yabes) which was chosenby Asiaweek as one of the best books on Asia (1999).She is editor in chief of Newsbreak and has written for national and international publications on Philippine security, governance and social issues, politics, and the judiciary.

Marites has received awards for her work from international and local bodies.