Central Asian States Disregard LGBT Rights

Image courtesy Guillaume Paumier

  Throughout Central Asia, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people must hide their sexual orientation for fear of violence, extortion by the authorities, and even arrest. The lack of protections for this population creates a human rights issue. In the Soviet era, homosexuality was criminalized and could lead to several years in prison. Since […]

The Plight of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Syrian refugees, who fled the violence in Syria, are seen at a building hosting them temporarily, in the hillside town of Arsal in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, March 5, 2012 Credit: Freedom House

Almost one million Syrian citizens have fled their country since peaceful protests, beginning in March 2011, transformed into a violent civil war. Fighting between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and opposition militias has ravaged cities and towns throughout Syria. Lebanon, which has an official policy of dissociation with the Syrian conflict to prevent hostilities from spilling over […]

Ageism as State Policy in Tajikistan


For any young Tajiks looking for a government job, things are looking up. But for the aging population of Tajikistan, a recent executive order requiring officials to fire all government employees who are over the age of 63 for men and 58 for women brings only bad tidings. The government says the policy is designed […]

Violations Against Human Rights Defenders in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates

Credit: Al Jazeera English

Throughout the Middle East, human rights defenders (HRDs) are forced to choose between their values and their personal security. Recent media attention has focused on Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the governing regimes are consistently targeting HRDs. These are not the only countries in the region where this problem exists, but consistent […]

Water Scarcity in Central Asia May Lead to Conflict

The Amu Darya or Oxus River seen from Uzbekistan looking towards Turkmenistan.

Water scarcity is a looming problem throughout the world, particularly affecting developing nations such as the Central Asian states. Approximately 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and the number of people affected by severe water stress could increase to over 3.9 billion by 2030. In Central Asia, obtaining an equitable […]