Chris Fitzgerald is a correspondent and freelance journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. 

He is currently Senior Correspondent and Analyst for the Pacific for the Organisation for World Peace, writing on important geopolitical and human rights issues in the region. He is also a Researcher for the Platform for Peace and Humanity for the Central Asia programme.

He also writes freelance articles on global crises, human rights and international law for a range of publications, with a focus on Central and Southern Asia, and the Middle East.

His work has appeared in, Modern Diplomacy, Asia Times, the Geopolitics, Fair Observer, the Geopolitical Monitor and Australian National University’s Policy Forum. 

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One year on, Taliban making no progress

The Taliban have shown that they are both uninterested in and incapable of rebuilding their poverty-stricken country. If Afghanistan is to recover it will be despite the Taliban, not because of them. This comes as Afghanistan witnesses the first anniversary of the Taliban’s rule since the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021. The takeover by the Taliban came as the US-led international community rapidly withdrew its forces and support, leading to the collapse of the Western-backed government. Hund

The Election Of Marcos Jr. Brings Fresh Human Rights Concerns To The Philippines

A new government has ascended to power in the Philippines, led by Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.. There is hope this transition from former President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership will also mark a transition from his record of human rights abuses. However, concerns remain about the possible treatment of Filipinos under Marcos Jr.. Under Duterte’s notorious “war on drugs” policy, the Philippines saw extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses against drug users and dealers. This brutal

Wickremesinghe will not solve the political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka without meaningful reforms

Pakistan being endowed with myriad of natural resources and its geopolitical importance still undergoes multifarious economic and political issues. foreign reserves are declining which currently stand at $ 9 billion; rupee depreciation, which is at historic high of 233 (26 July); trade deficit, gap between imports and exports remains humongous task to eradicate that was $ 30.8 billion in 2020-21 and stands at much higher $ 48.664 billion in 2021-22 despite ban on import; the current account defi

Russian War Crimes in Ukraine Are Backfiring

Vladimir Putin’s tactic of targeting civilian populations has finally backfired. Instead of demoralizing war-weary Ukrainians it has galvanized its European neighbors and re-invigorated NATO. This comes as two Russian missiles hit a crowded shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk, killing over 20 people and injuring 59. The number of casualties is expected to rise in the coming days. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has labelled the attack “one of the most daring terrorist attacks in E

The World Needs To Confront India’s Human Rights Record

India has seen a steep increase in human rights abuses against its citizens, which the international community has so far refused to call out. Regardless of its growing military and economic power, India must be held to account if rule of law and the existing human rights regime are to be universally respected. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.)-led government, in power since 2014, has , including freedom of speech via targeting of journalists. The government has use

Indonesian Authorities Clash With Peaceful Protesters In West Papua

Clashes have taken place between Indonesian police and protesters in West Papua, adding to ongoing concerns about allegations of police violence. Younes Douw, a West Papuan human rights activist, claimed that 3000 students and indigenous Papuans participated in the protests. Mr. Douw said that “around 650 students took to the streets today. Added to by the Papuan community of around 2000 people.” The protests took place in Jayapura, including the areas of Yahukimo, Waena, and Abepura. While t

The Australian experience of hard-line border policies is not one the UK wants to repeat

The government’s Rwanda scheme is an attempt to mirror Australia’s immigration policies, which have had disastrous consequences. In his speech announcing the UK scheme, Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that its purpose was to stop “vile people smugglers” by breaking their business model and preventing a “watery graveyard” in the channel. He also used the word “illegal” thirteen times to describe asylum seekers arriving by boat, compared to unspecified “safe and legal routes”. This language

This week’s deadly earthquake is a reminder of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

Afghanistan can’t catch a break. This week’s deadly earthquake is the latest chapter in a worsening humanitarian crisis. It has also shone a light on the shortcomings of the Taliban’s ability to deal with the myriad of problems in the poverty stricken country. This represents an opportunity for the international community to play a larger role in helping Afghanistan to recover and rebuild. This comes as a magnitude six earthquake hit Afghanistan’s remote Paktika province on Wednesday. The Talib

The International Community cannot allow Mariupol to be the next Aleppo

With the conflict in Ukraine dragging into its third month, the port city of Mariupol has become not only a symbol for fierce resistance, but also of barbarity and flagrant disregard for international law and the lives of innocent civilians. With Russian forces, so far, unable to take the city, they have resorted to both indiscriminate and targeted attacks on civilians, including apartment blocks, schools, hospitals and government buildings. This has caused significant civilian casualties, with

Why climate change spells danger for South Asia

The heatwave effecting the subcontinent has brought climate change to the forefront of the minds of South Asian countries. In a part of the world that is already politically unstable, a changing climate presents an existential threat that the entire region will need to deal with to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. The heatwave across India and Pakistan is unprecedented. India is experiencing its hottest months since records began more than a hundred years ago, with New Delhi reaching a recor

Economic And Political Reform Is Needed In Sri Lanka, Not State Violence

2022 hasn’t started on a very positive note, looking at the belligerence of Moscow while annexing Ukraine. New Delhi’s stand seemed to be a question when it stood neutral regarding the sanctions put on Russia for the forced annexation of Ukraine and even China moving with the same stance, at a period it is involved in increased geopolitical bargains, looking at her expansionist as well as revisionist activities in the Indo Pacific. These events underscored the need for like-minded countries to c

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Resigns, With The President So Far Refusing To Budge

In a sign that the pressure on the government is beginning to show, it has been reported this week that the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has resigned. While these reports are preliminary and difficult to confirm, it appears that the resignation of Prime Minister Rajapaksa has been pushed by the President in an attempt to appease protestors unhappy with the rapidly deteriorating economic situation in Sri Lanka. However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister’s brother,

Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis and Taliban’s obsession with women’s rights

The Taliban’s latest move to restrict the rights of women points to an obsession with women’s rights. This is in stark contrast to the neglect the regime is showing in addressing an ever worsening economic and humanitarian crisis. With Afghan’s facing poverty and starvation, the Taliban needs to focus on rebuilding the country, and this can only be achieved by respecting the rights of women. This comes after the Taliban ordered all women to cover their faces in public, making it the latest rest

Failure to protect

The dire situation of women and children in Syrian refugee camps raises questions about Australia’s obligations to repatriate citizens trapped in camps and Australia’s human rights record, Chris Fitzgerald writes. In February this year, 12 United Nations special rapporteurs wrote to the Australian Government about the conditions facing the Australians currently held in Syrian refugee camps. In addition to international pressure to repatriate 46 Australian citizens, including 30 children, the s

Women and Children Face Chronic Violence and Neglect in Syria’s Widow Camps

Women and children living in refugee camps in northwest Syria are facing chronic levels of violence, neglect, and abuse, leading to calls for adequate humanitarian assistance and protection. This comes after a recently released report by World Vision has revealed that tens of thousands of women in 28 ‘widow camps’, those home to widows, single women, and children, face high levels of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Children in these camps have also been found to suffer neglect and abuse. Gi

The UN Brokered Ceasefire In Yemen Shows That United Nations And Diplomacy Can End Conflicts

The ceasefire between Houthi rebels and the former government is a tentative but positive step towards a stable peace between warring parties in Yemen, leading to hopes that the longstanding conflict is nearing its end. The United Nations’ active involvement in brokering the ceasefire, and the pressuring of both sides to conduct peace talks, has shown that international institutions and diplomacy have a vital role to play in ending conflicts peacefully around the world. This is the first coordi

Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis Plunges the Country Into Unrest and Uncertainty

Sri Lanka’s worsening economic and political crisis has plunged the country into widespread unrest and uncertainty, leading to fears that conditions will worsen and lead to violence and complete economic collapse. This comes after the government’s entire cabinet resigned last week in response to the biggest economic crisis Sri Lanka has faced since independence. Growing unrest has also resulted in the government declaring a state of emergency to counter widespread protests by Sri Lankans unhapp

Taliban Assault On Women’s Rights Continues After Reneging Plans Allowing Female Students To Attend School

In a surprise move, the Taliban have announced that high schools for girls would remain closed until revised plans for attendance are created, in accordance with Islamic law. This represents a further erosion of the human rights of women and girls and raises concerns about and wider prospects for women and girls in Afghanistan. This comes after the Taliban’s Ministry for Education announced in March that schools would welcome all students, including girls, leading to hope that they could finall

Humanitarian Corridors and the Rule of Law Can Help Keep Civilians Safe in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has quickly descended into a bloody encirclement of cities and towns, with Russian forces conducting targeted and indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations. For this reason, humanitarian corridors are vital to ensure the safety of innocent civilians in the face of indiscriminate bombing, war crimes and a deteriorating humanitarian situation. These attacks have already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians, with the death toll likely to increase over the coming

A Catch-22? Women’s Rights and the Recognizing the Taliban

The Taliban is systematically removing women and girls from social life in Afghanistan by denying their fundamental human rights. This is making their ability to work, learn, and live meaningful lives ever more difficult. This comes after the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country last year, culminating in the capture of Kabul in August. Common consensus internationally was that women and girls would be oppressed, like their previous reign between 1996 and 2001, which was then seen as the most
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