One of my more pleasurable monthly duties is to choose a cartoon for our Open Window feature. This involves sampling work from cartoonists all over the world who contribute to the website cartoonmovement.org When our friends at Cartoon Movement told us about their project to produce a series of comic books marking the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, we leapt at the chance to feature some of the material in this issue, not least because it is both written and drawn by Haitians in Port-au-Prince – Jean Pharès Jérôme and Chevelin Pierre.
The cartoon work also, however, provided us with the opportunity to explore Haiti’s current plight in more detail and to lay out some of the historical context – with notable contributions from Phillip Wearne and Eduardo Galeano.
The cover photo shows nine-year-old twins Renalda and Renane Bernabe in their house in Petionville. Renane lost her leg in the earthquake but is sporting a new prosthetic limb.
The anniversary may well prove to be a rare point when the mainstream media will revisit Haiti (having broadly forgotten about the country since the disaster). At the moment media the world over are finding it difficult to focus on anything else but the economic crisis – particularly that in the Eurozone.
Our Argument section this month takes the opportunity to ask if the European Union as currently constituted is damaging its citizens’ democratic rights.
Elsewhere, we hear from former child soldiers in Colombia who are trying to make their way in normal society – and we see what happens when private security companies are given the responsibility of delivering aid in poor countries.
Meanwhile, among our regular features is a round-up of the best film, music and books of 2011 – and an interview with actor Juliet Stevenson about, amongst other things, her passionate concern for human rights.
Chris Brazier for the New Internationalist co-operative.
Having handed in their weapons, former child soldiers face a new battle - for acceptance into society. Seth Biderman reports.
Anti-poverty campaigner John Hilary and politics professor Carlos Closa go head-to-head - read their arguments and join the debate.