8 Global Issue Topics for Essays and Research Papers
Today, people are starting to become active participants in the fight against global issues and as a result, progress is being made. However, there are still individuals unaware of pressing issues around them. One way of bringing these people up-to-date would be through the use of essays or research. Here are 10 global issue topics for essays and research papers.

10 Global Issue Topics for Essays and Research

  1. Water Contamination and Shortage: 2.1 billion people in countries undergoing urbanization have inaccessibility to clean drinking water as a result of pollution, poverty and poor management of resources. Water resources are depleted by agriculture and industry energy production. To put into perspective, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of the reduction of water around the world, with 75 percent of a given countries’ water used for this purpose and depleted by contamination. Fortunately, there has been a recent increase in efforts to develop technology to combat contamination and reduce the rate of water depletion.
  2. The Relationship between Education and Child Labor: Despite a surge in funding for some countries and increasing attention through social media, education continues to be a luxury around the globe. Reasons include gender preferences and poverty, and child labor — the use of children in industry. According to UNICEF, 150 million children participate in laborious activities dangerous to their health. As one can imagine, this work hinders a child’s ability to fully invest in education. Therefore it’s most challenging to bring education to sub-Saharan Africa, where the rates of children enrolled in primary education continue to stagger. In addition, fewer students successfully complete secondary education here.
  3. Violence: Violence is a global issue that exists in all shapes and sizes. Violence can be done towards a particular group like women or LGBTQ+ members, or it is an act that can be a result of a mentally disturbed mind. There is also violence in response to economic stress. All these varying forms of violence lead to attention on the safety and prevention of such acts. However, there isn’t much consideration on how an everyday person can help. In discussions about violence, the biggest questions to answer are: How is this violence used? How is it achieved/accessed? Does the media have a role? How much is the foundation for a particular act of violence is personal? What is the overall goal?
  4. Poverty: In 2015, the International Poverty Line was set to $1.90. This number means that a person is living in extreme poverty if they live below this line. According to this set line, more than 1.3 billion people are living in this extreme worldwide. This fact suggests that 1.3 billion people have difficulty obtaining food and shelter, regardless of the availability of homeless shelters and organizations. Current questions or topics to explore in an essay or research would be the cause of variation in wages on the international level, and the nature and initiatives that can be taken to solve this global issue at large.
  5. Inequality: On a global scale, the focus on inequality tends to be in terms of the distribution of wealth. According to a Global Wealth Report, 44 percent of global net worth is held by only 0.7 percent of adults. This suggests that there is a significant division between economic classes around the world. Recently, research has shown the effects that this economic divide has on communities particularly in health, social relationships, development and stability. For example, in a society where there’s a large gap between the rich and the poor, life expectancy tends to be shorter and mental illness and obesity rates are 2 to 4 times higher. In terms of social relationships, inequality on a larger level introduces more violence and crime.
  6. Terrorism: Terrorism like the bombing incidents of the last few years continue to claim the lives of innocents. It is a threat to the peace, security and stability of the world, so terrorism prevention methods have been implemented to illustrate what is wrong and should be/could be done to uphold justice. However, the basis of the threats, mindsets and the successes/failures of response efforts still need to be evaluated.
  7. Child Marriages: Child marriages are defined as the union between one or two individuals under the age of 18. One in five girls are married before the age of 18, and child marriages prevent children from becoming educated, can lead to severe health consequences and increased risk of violence. Legislation and programs were established in order to educate and employ children in these situations as child marriages do not have enough awareness on individual involvement or emphasis on the common causes for these marriages.
  8. Food: Poverty, economic inequality and water contamination mean inability to produce sufficient amounts of food to sustain a population. This can, in turn, lead to poorer health and decreased energy to carry out physical and mental functions, leading to more poverty. By 2050, the world would need to find food for approximately nine billion people as cost of production for food will rise in response to the increased amount of individuals. Thus, the United Nations established programs to ensure food security and technology companies make efforts to reduce food production costs.

The Role of Essays and Research

There has been increasing progress towards solving the global issues; however, for some, this progress is too slow due to lack of understanding of preventative methods, diffusion of responsibility and unanswered questions. These global issue topics for essays and research papers can be used as a starting point to give more insight to others into the issues and how to get involved.

– Stephanie Singh
Photo: Flickr

the Biggest Global Issues

What are the biggest global issues that the world is facing right now? All around the world, countries are facing new issues every single day on their own, but despite its borders, the world is constantly facing issues as a whole. What are the biggest global issues that the world is facing together? There are many that affect everybody and require attention from not just one country, but every country.

One of the top global issues today is the continent of Africa. Africa needs support both economically and socially in order to develop and protect human rights, as well as build solid governments and better the lives of the people living there. African countries also need support to promote democratic institutions in order for there to be peace among the nations.

AIDS is another top global issue in the world today. Although new HIV infections have decreased significantly, the global response to HIV/AIDS has to continue to be powerful in order to wipe out the epidemic completely.

The rights of children are another top global issue throughout many different countries. Millions of children do not have access to education, health or protection. Every country should be expanding the opportunities for children and allowing them to exercise the rights that all humans should be allowed.

Climate change is a significant issue that shifts weather patterns. This causes a threat to food production, rising sea levels and many more negative impacts on nature. Climate change is a global issue that directly affects not only humans throughout the world, but animals and the ecosystem itself.

Food insecurity is one of the biggest global issues the world is facing right now. About 795 million people in the world were malnourished between 2014 and 2016. Hunger is known to be the number one risk to human health worldwide, even greater than disease.

Another global issue is inadequate access to clean water and the lack of sanitation and hygiene that goes along with it. This is typically due to bad economics and infrastructure, and often leads to deaths, especially in children, caused by diseases that are spread by unsanitary water.

There are many more problems that the world is facing today, but these are the biggest global issues that the world needs to address now. Some of the issues listed affect not only the human race but animals and nature as well. From diseases to government, the world is facing global issues together every day.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

current global issues

Among all the good in the world, and all the progress being made in global issues, there is still much more to be done. Given the overwhelming disasters that nations, including the U.S., have been or still are going through, it is important to be aware of the most pressing global issues.

Top 10 Current Global Issues

  1. Climate Change
    The global temperatures are rising, and are estimated to increase from 2.6 degrees Celsius to 4.8 degrees Celsius by 2100. This would cause more severe weather, crises with food and resources and the spread of diseases. The reduction of greenhouse emissions and the spreading of education on the importance of going green can help make a big difference. Lobbying governments and discussing policies to reduce carbon emissions and encouraging reforestation is an effective way of making progress with climate change.
  2. Pollution
    Pollution is one of the most difficult global issues to combat, as the umbrella term refers to ocean litter, pesticides and fertilizers, air, light and noise pollution. Clean water is essential for humans and animals, but more than one billion people don’t have access to clean water due to pollution from toxic substances, sewage or industrial waste. It is of the utmost importance that people all over the world begin working to minimize the various types of pollution, in order to better the health of the planet and all those living on it.
  3. Violence
    Violence can be found in the social, cultural and economic aspects of the world. Whether it is conflict that has broken out in a city, hatred targeted at a certain group of people or sexual harassment occurring on the street, violence is a preventable problem that has been an issue for longer than necessary. With continued work on behalf of the governments of all nations, as well as the individual citizens, the issue can be addressed and reduced.
  4. Security and Well Being
    The U.N. is a perfect example of preventing the lack of security and well being that is a serious global issue. Through its efforts with regional organizations and representatives that are skilled in security, the U.N. is working toward increasing the well being of people throughout the world.
  5. Lack of Education
    More than 72 million children throughout the globe that are of the age to be in primary education are not enrolled in school. This can be attributed to inequality and marginalization as well as poverty. Fortunately, there are many organizations that work directly with the issue of education in providing the proper tools and resources to aid schools.
  6. Unemployment
    Without the necessary education and skills for employment, many people, particularly 15- to 24-year olds, struggle to find jobs and create a proper living for themselves and their families. This leads to a lack of necessary resources, such as enough food, clothing, transportation and proper living conditions. Fortunately, there are organizations throughout the world teaching people in need the skills for jobs and interviewing, helping to lift people from the vicious cycle of poverty.
  7. Government Corruption
    Corruption is a major cause of poverty considering how it affects the poor the most, eroding political and economic development, democracy and more. Corruption can be detrimental to the safety and well being of citizens living within the corrupted vicinity, and can cause an increase in violence and physical threats without as much regulation in the government.
  8. Malnourishment & Hunger
    Currently there are 795 million people who do not have enough to eat. Long-term success to ending world hunger starts with ending poverty. With fighting poverty through proper training for employment, education and the teaching of cooking and gardening skills, people who are suffering will be more likely to get jobs, earn enough money to buy food and even learn how to make their own food to save money.
  9. Substance Abuse
    The United Nations reports that, by the beginning of the 21st century, an estimated 185 million people over the age of 15 were consuming drugs globally. The drugs most commonly used are marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, amphetamine stimulants, opiates and volatile solvents. Different classes of people, both poor and rich, partake in substance abuse, and it is a persistent issue throughout the world. Petitions and projects are in progress to end the global issue of substance abuse.
  10. Terrorism
    Terrorism is an issue throughout the world that causes fear and insecurity, violence and death. Across the globe, terrorists attack innocent people, often without warning. This makes civilians feel defenseless in their everyday lives. Making national security a higher priority is key in combating terrorism, as well as promoting justice in wrongdoings to illustrate the enforcement of the law and the serious punishments for terror crimes.

With so many current global issues that require immediate attention, it is easy to get discouraged. However, the amount of progress that organizations have made in combating these problems is admirable, and the world will continue to improve in the years to come. By staying active in current events, and standing up for the health and safety of all humans, everyone is able to make a difference in changing the fate of our world.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr



Global Need Through Graphic NovelsThe World Food Program has teamed up with comic writer Joshua Dysert, artist Alberto Ponticelli, colorist Pat Masioni and letterist Thomas Mauer to illustrate global need through graphic novels.

Their first collaboration was “Living Level-3: Iraq” in February 2016, which followed Khaled Bushar, an Iraqi refugee, as he tries to survive in the country during the rise of the Islamic State. In 2017, their second graphic novel, “Living Level-3: South Sudan”, follows members of a Sudanese family who have to leave their home for a more dangerous place because of famine. Both graphic novels also revolve around Leila Helal, an aid worker for the WFP.

Before working on either graphic novel, Dysert spent time in both countries, classified by the United Nations as level 3 emergencies due to extreme humanitarian crises, interviewing the citizens and studying the area. He then worked with the rest of the creative team to devise graphic novels that present an honest and compelling picture of the situation in each country.

One of the benefits of illustrating global need through graphic novels is the ability to create an engaging story while informing the public about the country’s humanitarian situation. In an interview with Humanosphere, Dysert discussed how he wanted to present facts about what was going on in Iraq, but not in a dry medium like many documentaries. Graphic novels provide him with that opportunity, using illustrations and storytelling.

Another opportunity that results from highlighting global need through graphic novels is the scope that graphic novels can cover compared to other mediums. WFP’s head of television communications Jonathan Dumont and head of graphic design and publishing Cristina Ascone have talked about how graphic novels provide an overall picture of everything involved with the crisis, from the citizens to the governments to the aid organizations and beyond. Details like these are harder to notice when looking at a photograph or watching a short video.

Illustrating global need through graphic novels also provides more opportunities for empathy. As discussed by Mashable, the readers get to know the characters, their personalities and their relationships. Therefore, the readers are more invested in what happens to those characters when the hardships of living in their communities occur. They wish for a better life for those characters and praise the efforts of the aid organizations. A final benefit that comes from describing global aid through graphic novels is that it promotes global advocacy to a new audience.

WFP is already working on a third “Living Level-3” graphic novel. Their dedication to explaining global need through graphic novels will hopefully spark an interest in global issues in others.

Cortney Rowe
Photo: Flickr

Five years ago, a group of students from the Philippines created the computer game “Wildfire” to win the Microsoft Imagine Cup Game Design Competition, one of five major categories in the annual contest. The theme of the contest was, “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

The technology competition brings together students from all around the world with the goal of helping solve the globe’s biggest issues. Overall, the 2010 contest saw over 300,000 students from more than 100 countries go head-to-head.

The five creators of “Wildfire,” a mix of college students and graduates, call themselves By Implication. The group of friends decided to enter the contest after Typhoon Ketsana brought devastation to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, in 2009.

On its website, By Implication stresses that worldwide problems must be tackled head on, as they cannot be overcome by using magic or potions.

“Wildfire,” which is free and can be played an unlimited number of times, demonstrates just this. The computer game educates players about global health issues and how they can help solve them.

Designed and created with a virtually nonexistent budget, the game permits users to navigate their own city in an attempt to defeat the health issues, known as the “bad guys.”

Players are on their own until they collect “inspiration points,” which they can then use to obtain the assistance of volunteers around them. This teaches that a player is powerless if he or she is alone. Transition to the real world, and this idea illustrates that by working together, people have the ability to do something great.

In addition, the computer game educates players with informative buttons. A player can encounter the buttons, which contain short facts about crises including poverty and water quality, while navigating his or her own city. In the end, if players and volunteers can defeat not only the problems they encounter, but also the time limit, their city will thrive.

For the creators of “Wildfire,” they hope that by learning about certain issues, those who play the game will become motivated to help solve them.

– Matt Wotus

Sources: ABC News, Imagine Cup, Imagine Cup Wildfire by Implication

current global issues
In the 21 century, the world has made great strides in reducing poverty, eliminating diseases and improving the quality of life for all. However, this progress rests on shaky foundations. Current global issues threaten to undermine humanity’s attempts to better the world and damage all of society.

According to the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability, global issues are those that potentially affect everyone on earth, not just large groups of people. Similarly, solutions to global issues require all people to cooperate in order to meaningfully change the status quo. Since they pose a fundamental risk to society as a whole, global issues require much attention.

Here are just five examples of current global issues. Many of them are interconnected, but any one of them could have serious consequences for everyone if left unchecked.

1. Terrorism

International terrorist organizations can cause conflict anywhere, thus terrorism is a global issue. The expansion of attacks by terrorists hurts many people in developing countries; according to the U.S. State Department, terrorist attacks killed over 11,000 and wounded 21,000 in 2012.

Terrorism also had wide-ranging economic impacts. Former U.S. Ambassador Francis Taylor found that global airline industries lost             $15 billion and global insurance industries lost $50 billion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. World governments will need to strengthen their relations and promote democratic principles to reduce terrorist threats.

2. Lack of International Labor Laws

Weak international labor laws are a global issue because they hurt workers in the developing world and the economies of developed nations. Laws must exist to protect workers’ rights while allowing multinational firms to do business. The World Bank urges countries to cooperate and strengthen labor laws to prevent abuses and ensure fair wages; at the same time, the laws must facilitate wealth creation. Without optimal rules, the world economy weakens and workers face terrible conditions.

3. Climate Change

Climate change affects all of earth’s environments and is thus a global issue. A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that droughts and extreme weather would intensify globally, leading to poor crop yield, water shortages and even desertification. The worst-affected areas, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, will have trouble adapting because per capita GDP is low; millions will be unable to grow or afford food and will starve.

As entire regions face food crises, global economic production becomes much lower, and nations have to care for hungry refugees that flee inhospitable conditions. To prevent the situation from becoming worse, the world must adopt more sustainable energy policies and waste management practices.

4. Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is another global issue that threatens the health of millions and the progress of modern medicine. In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the discovery of drug-resistant E. coli, staph and pneumonia-causing viruses all over the world; it also found that 20 percent of previously treated tuberculosis cases were drug-resistant.

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant disease is extremely dangerous. Antibiotics that people use to treat serious infections will stop working and disease fatalities will increase. The global community will need to implement stronger restrictions on antibiotic use to curb drug resistance in deadly diseases.

5. Poverty

While many of the above problems exacerbate poverty in many world regions, poverty itself is a global issue because it leads to social problems that affect even the richest people. According to the research site, poverty leads to higher crime rates, more instances of substance abuse and greater susceptibility to infectious disease. This hurts economic productivity and can lead to instability. Poverty also is linked to terrorism. Consequently, the world must fight poverty to address other global issues.

The world’s current global issues are complex, interconnected problems that require concentrated action for systemic change. Any single global issue could become a crisis with huge economic and human costs. Only with strong international cooperation can the world solve global issues.

-Ted Rappleye

Sources: U.S. State Department 1, U.S. State Department 2, World Bank, OECD, WHO, Poverties, Nautilus Institute
Photo: Flickr

the-purge-human-rightsTen years in the future, America has undergone a fundamental change in both government and society. After teetering on the brink of failure in the mid-2010s, the United States elects a new regime to power: the so-called “New Founding Fathers,” who have managed to restore our nation. Unemployment has been nearly eradicated and crime rates have dropped to 1%. America enjoys prosperity — all thanks to one night of the year known as “The Purge.”

For a 12-hour period, Americans are permitted to “feed their beasts” by purging themselves of their evil thoughts. All crime is legal — up to and including murder. The only citizens protected from The Purge are “category 10” officials, who viewers are led to believe are the politicians promoting the program. The Purge is glorified in society, and citizens participate without a second thought.

The film follows James and Mary Sandin, a young, wealthy couple who have made their living by selling home security systems to those rich enough to afford them. Though James and Mary choose not to partake in The Purge, they have no option but to protect themselves when their son saves a ‘target’ from being murdered. They must make the decision to protect the refugee or hand him over to those wanting to kill him.

The concept of the film forces viewers to ask themselves what they would do in the Sandins’ situation. For decades, real people have had to make these hard decisions, yet they are portrayed in the film as an abstract concept.

Rwanda. South Africa. Yugoslavia. The Holocaust. Genocide, the systemic killing of specific groups of people, has been going on almost since the beginning of time. At the end of World War II, many nations came together and promised that “never again” would they sit idly by while human beings were massacred.

‘The Purge” is an overt example of genocide. Throughout the film, characters discuss the fact that the poor are the true victims of the program. Because they cannot afford to protect themselves, they make easy targets. The rich in dystopian America have gained a sense of entitlement and view the poor as a drain on the system. They use “The Purge” as an opportunity to cleanse the nation of its “scum” and “pigs.” What is disguised as an opportunity to meet “natural, animalistic urges,” is really just an opportunity to rid the United States of a group of people viewed as undesirable.

Human rights are based on the idea that every person is a moral and rational being and should be treated with dignity. They go beyond just freedom of speech and other rights we hold dear here in the US. They are basic and primal. The very first right assured to any person is the right to life. No one human being is allowed to take the life of another for any reason. And as simple as this concept sounds, history has showed us repeatedly that this right is often disregarded. Freedom of thought, religion, speech, all of these are important, but they mean nothing without the right to life.

What does “The Purge” teach us about human rights? It teaches us that they can easily be ignored. All it takes is for a few people to not stand up and speak out, and even the most basic human right can be lost.

– Allana Welch
Source: European Convention for Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Human Rights, IMDB
Photo: The Nerdpocalypse

Celebs Participate in 2013 Clinton Global Initiative UniversityThe Clinton Global Initiative University, now in its sixth year, is being hosted this week in St. Louis at Washington University. Along with former President Bill Clinton, TV host Steven Colbert and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey will attend the event that aims to include today’s youth in the world’s most pressing global challenges through college campuses. Various other celebrities, including Jada Pinkett-Smith and Chelsea Clinton are also attending the event.

The event focuses on five main areas of interest relating to global issues, including poverty alleviation, public health, peace and human rights, education, and environment and climate change. The event is expecting around 1,200 participants to attend this year. Washington University is the host college this year because of its dedication “to training the next generation of civic leaders.”

Although the general public is not permitted into the event, some sessions can be viewed online via streaming video here.

Christina Kindlon

Source: KMOV