The court system in Sri Lanka is overwhelmed by a backlog of nearly 28,000 cases for the country’s 85 judges. Some criminal and civil cases, however, can be resolved through community mediation boards, a system staffed by volunteers who heard more than 220,000 cases in 2016. This is the story of two women who brought their disputes to mediation, as well as a look inside a school classroom where mediation takes place.
In villages in some sections of Nepal, tradition dictated that engagements began with the prospective groom capturing the prospective bride and convincing her to say yes to marriage. But now young people are saying no to the old rules because of better education, awareness and seeing other options from television.
The pygmies of the Ituri forest have been hunters for generations, and they say nearby villagers have encroached on their land and frightened prey away; the villagers, in turn, say hungry pygmies have stolen crops. But in 2017, the pygmies started farming, with the cooperation of village leaders, and that has helped to end often violent conflicts between the two groups.
A Nepalese migrant worker is nearly comatose after being injured in Qatar. He received good treatment there, but now that he’s home in Nepal, his body is deteriorating and his family wonders how they’ll pay for his ongoing treatment.
Mexico’s prison system is notoriously corrupt, as many around the world have learned from stories of escapes by drug kingpins from maximum-security prisons. But when a friend or family member goes to prison, ordinary Mexicans are pulled into a system that forces them to surrender to an array of unavoidable bribes to provide the most basic services.
Of the millions of Nepalese who head abroad for work, many find jobs through employment agencies that charge illegal fees and leave the migrant workers effectively in indentured servitude. But those exploited workers finally have the chance to face off against the employment agencies that sent them abroad, thanks to a mediation program launched this year by Nepal’s Department of Foreign Employment.
A year after a major earthquake, people in one community are still honoring a man who saved lives by pulling people from the rubble. In the minutes after the quake, when some others were too dazed or fearful to move, Laxmi Sundar Gainju began searching for survivors.
Throughout East Africa, presidents are using a variety of controversial methods to overstay term limits and remain in power. Uganda might be the next to follow suit as its leader bumps up against its constitution’s upper age limit for holding office.