Surge in child migrants crossing the dangerous Darién Gap: UNICEF

In the first four months of 2024, more than 30,000 children traversed the dense jungle region separating Colombia and Panama, marking a significant increase compared to the same period last year. Among them, about 2,000 were unaccompanied or separated from their families. Additionally, the number of children in transit grew five-times faster than the number… Continue reading Surge in child migrants crossing the dangerous Darién Gap: UNICEF

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Haiti: UNICEF ensures thousands have safe drinking water

Port-au-Prince has been in the grip of armed groups for several years now, and roughly two months ago they launched coordinated attacks which paralyzed the metropolitan area.  Since then, UNICEF, alongside the National Directorate for Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) and partners, has provided more than 2.6 million litres of safe drinking water to children and… Continue reading Haiti: UNICEF ensures thousands have safe drinking water

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Gaza protests: UN rights chief flags ‘disproportionate’ police action on US campuses

In recent days, demonstrations unfolding through tented encampments on school grounds – sparked by students at New York’s prestigious Columbia University who are demanding authorities divest from Israel due to its occupation and military assault on Gaza – have spread nationwide. University authorities from the west to east coast have taken different approaches, ranging from… Continue reading Gaza protests: UN rights chief flags ‘disproportionate’ police action on US campuses

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Senior UN aid official urges comprehensive response to Haiti crisis

25 April 2024Humanitarian Aid The ongoing crisis in Haiti is having a “massive” and “devastating” impact, with over half the population acutely food insecure and more than one million staring at emergency levels of hunger, a senior UN World Food Programme (WFP) official said on Thursday. Haitians have been facing a multitude of challenges over… Continue reading Senior UN aid official urges comprehensive response to Haiti crisis

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First Person: ‘Our tears are dry, we are exhausted’ – Youth voices in Haiti

Duval Dormeus is part of a group supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund and was first interviewed by UN News back in July 2022. The security situation has worsened in the Caribbean country since then. In the first three months of 2024, over 2,500 people have been killed or injured due to gang violence, according… Continue reading First Person: ‘Our tears are dry, we are exhausted’ – Youth voices in Haiti

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UN envoy urges international solidarity with Haiti as gang violence spirals

“Today, it pains me to note that all speeches and callings had not avoided that some of the worst scenarios for Haiti have become realities in recent months and weeks,” said Maria Isabel Salvador, who also heads the UN mission in Haiti, BINUH. Speaking from the capital, Port-au-Prince, she said it was impossible to overstate… Continue reading UN envoy urges international solidarity with Haiti as gang violence spirals

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Guterres welcomes creation of transitional council in Haiti to choose new leaders

13 April 2024Peace and Security UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the establishment of a transitional council in Haiti tasked with choosing new political leadership and setting up elections in the crisis-torn Carribean country. In a statement issued on Saturday by his Spokesman, the UN chief welcomed the publication on Friday, 12 April of a… Continue reading Guterres welcomes creation of transitional council in Haiti to choose new leaders

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Colombia serves as ‘a model’ for countries using dialogue to forge peace

“However difficult and demanding of patience, Colombia’s decision to prioritise dialogue as a principal means to resolve conflict sets the country apart as a model that is more relevant than ever in today’s world,” said Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. Emerging from decades… Continue reading Colombia serves as ‘a model’ for countries using dialogue to forge peace

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Ecuador-Mexico: ‘Cardinal principle’ of diplomatic inviolability must be upheld says UN chief

7 April 2024Law and Crime Prevention The decision by Ecuador to forcibly enter the Mexican Embassy on Saturday and arrest a former vice president of the Andean country on corruption charges represents a breach of international law, the UN Secretary-General has said. In a statement released on Saturday night, António Guterres said he was alarmed… Continue reading Ecuador-Mexico: ‘Cardinal principle’ of diplomatic inviolability must be upheld says UN chief

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Crisis in Haiti worsens after month-long siege on Port-au-Prince

4 April 2024Peace and Security As a siege imposed by heavily armed gangs on Port-au-Prince, Haiti, stretches into a second month, the UN migration agency sounded an alarm on Thursday about the ever-worsening humanitarian situation. The surge of violence since February this year has reached “unprecedented levels” resulting in rampant food insecurity and multiple displacements,… Continue reading Crisis in Haiti worsens after month-long siege on Port-au-Prince

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How is the UN supporting Haiti’s struggle to overcome violence and instability?

1. The context: lawlessness and fear Whilst the situation in Haiti has long been characterized by lawlessness, with powerful gangs controlling much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, the months of January and February 2024 have been the most violent in the last two years, with over 2,500 people killed, kidnapped or injured since the start of… Continue reading How is the UN supporting Haiti’s struggle to overcome violence and instability?

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Chaos across Haiti amid high risk of famine

The lack of goods and resources is worsening an already precarious economic situation, with water and basic services being “stretched to the limit”, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said. The UN Secretary-General called on all Haitian stakeholders to act responsibly and expressed appreciation to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and partners’ for facilitating a way forward to resolve… Continue reading Chaos across Haiti amid high risk of famine

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Guterres urges support for Haiti in remarks to regional leaders

The island nation is hosting the latest summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which comprises more than 30 countries. With the bloc meeting “to help foster solutions for the region and for the world”, Mr. Guterres highlighted the need for solidarity in the areas of peace and security, sustainable development,… Continue reading Guterres urges support for Haiti in remarks to regional leaders

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Nicaragua: Rights experts decry persecution of Government opponents

President Daniel Ortega and other high-level officials should be held accountable “as should Nicaragua, as a State that goes after its own people targeting university students, indigenous people, people of African descent, campesinos and members of the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations,” they said in a statement.  The accusation comes in their latest report… Continue reading Nicaragua: Rights experts decry persecution of Government opponents

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UN rights office regrets Venezuela’s decision to suspend operations

16 February 2024Human Rights The UN human rights office (OHCHR) is evaluating next steps, while continuing to engage with authorities in Venezuela following the Government’s announcement on Thursday that the office must suspend operations in the country and its staff leave, within 72 hours. Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for OHCHR, said in a statement that… Continue reading UN rights office regrets Venezuela’s decision to suspend operations

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US must uphold judges’ right to speak freely about race and gender bias: rights expert

Special Rapporteur Margaret Satterthwaite voiced serious concerns that a Supreme Court Justice in the state of North Carolina, Anita Earls, was investigated for comments made regarding the potential role that implicit biases based on race, gender, and political affiliation can play in the Court’s decision-making. “Like other citizens, judges are entitled to freedom of expression, provided they conduct themselves… Continue reading US must uphold judges’ right to speak freely about race and gender bias: rights expert

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USA: Rights experts slam ‘outrageous’ execution of inmate by nitrogen gas suffocation

Kenneth Eugene Smith, 58, was executed in the southern state of Alabama on 25 January.  He had been convicted of murder in 1988.  “Alabama’s use of Kenneth Smith as a human guinea pig to test a new method of execution amounted to unethical human experimentation and was nothing short of State-sanctioned torture,” the experts said… Continue reading USA: Rights experts slam ‘outrageous’ execution of inmate by nitrogen gas suffocation

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UN rights chief regrets US’s first ever execution by nitrogen suffocation

26 January 2024Law and Crime Prevention The UN human rights chief has expressed deep regret over the execution of a prisoner in the United States on Thursday night through the country’s first ever use of nitrogen asphyxiation as a method of implementing the death penalty. “I deeply regret the execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith in… Continue reading UN rights chief regrets US’s first ever execution by nitrogen suffocation

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Epstein files: Nobody should evade justice, say UN rights experts

The court documents reveal a horrifying list of alleged crimes perpetrated by Epstein, including sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, rape, sex trafficking, slavery, torture and forced disappearance of women and children.   Mr. Epstein died in August 2019, after prison guards in New York found him unresponsive in his jail cell where he was awaiting trial.… Continue reading Epstein files: Nobody should evade justice, say UN rights experts

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US urged to halt first execution by nitrogen asphyxiation

16 January 2024Human Rights The imminent execution of an American prisoner by a new and untested method – suffocation by nitrogen gas – could amount to torture, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, warned on Tuesday.  Kenneth Eugene Smith was convicted of murder in 1988 and is scheduled to be executed on 25 January in… Continue reading US urged to halt first execution by nitrogen asphyxiation

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‘Visible signs of hope’ for Haiti, Assembly President Francis insists

Dennis Francis, a veteran diplomat from Trinidad and Tobago, said he had returned from a visit to Haiti at the end of last month “with hope and the full knowledge that while Haiti is facing extraordinary challenges, its future holds indomitable promise.” The country has seen almost 4,000 killed and 3,000 kidnapped in gang-related violence… Continue reading ‘Visible signs of hope’ for Haiti, Assembly President Francis insists

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World Toilet Day, flush with innovations for safer sanitation

18 November 2023Health Innovation abounds in the race to broaden access to clean water and sanitation around the world on World Toilet Day, marked on 19 November. In line with this year’s theme of accelerating change, innovators have been part of ongoing efforts to address the needs of some of the world’s 3.5 billion people living without… Continue reading World Toilet Day, flush with innovations for safer sanitation

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US ‘at a critical juncture’ in fight against racism: Independent expert

She travelled across the US between 31 October and 14 November, from Detroit in Michigan to the Louisiana coast, also visiting Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington DC. Ashwini K.P., UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance, said following her 14-day fact finding mission that mainstream America was now more aware… Continue reading US ‘at a critical juncture’ in fight against racism: Independent expert

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Haiti: $21 million appeal to help thousands displaced by gang violence

“Displacement severely risks the health, food and economic security of people, exposes them to gender-based violence, and puts pressure on local infrastructure and social cohesion within host communities,” Philippe Branchat, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti said on Tuesday. Surging gang violence Surging gang violence in Carrefour-Feuilles and Savanes Pistaches neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince, have led… Continue reading Haiti: $21 million appeal to help thousands displaced by gang violence

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First Person: How youth and forests tackle Honduras’ water crisis

Montserrat Xilotl, a Regional Technical Advisor in Climate Change Adaptation for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), explains why. Montserrat Xilotl, Regional Technical Advisor in Climate Change Adaptation for the UN Development Programme (UNDP). “Forests are nature’s water filters and storage systems. When rain falls, the trees, and vegetation capture and absorb it, allowing it to… Continue reading First Person: How youth and forests tackle Honduras’ water crisis

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Haiti: Children facing triple threat of insecurity, malnutrition, disease

Over five million Haitians, including a record three million children, need humanitarian support in 2023. Nearly five million are acutely hungry, UNICEF said, adding the dire situation is “terrorizing children and families and destroying livelihoods amid unprecedented hunger, malnutrition and a resurgent cholera epidemic.”   Haiti was among the top five countries globally in terms… Continue reading Haiti: Children facing triple threat of insecurity, malnutrition, disease

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Arbitrary detention still widespread in Mexico, rights expert warns

In a statement concluding a 12-day visit there, the UN expert group said that reforms including the transition to an accusatory criminal procedure, adherence to international human rights laws and introduction of a National Registry of Detentions, and an increasingly human-rights centred legal system are significant achievements. ‘Catalyst for ill-treatment’ However, they noted that “these… Continue reading Arbitrary detention still widespread in Mexico, rights expert warns

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How Costa Rica drafted Latin America’s first ever anti-hate strategy

“Costa Rican society does not teach us that there are indigenous people in this country,” she said. “It is a form of discrimination, making the existence of indigenous peoples invisible.” Faustina Torres belongs to the Bribri indigenous community in Costa Rica. Amid an alarming trend of spiraling hate speech and discrimination online platforms, Costa Rica, with… Continue reading How Costa Rica drafted Latin America’s first ever anti-hate strategy

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Haiti: International community asked to act fast ‘in name of victims’ of gang violence

The Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry reiterated his call for an international force in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Friday 22 September.  “In the name of the women and girls raped every day, the thousands of families driven from their homes, the children and young people of Haiti, who have been denied the… Continue reading Haiti: International community asked to act fast ‘in name of victims’ of gang violence

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US urged to end detention of Venezuelan Special Envoy

27 September 2023Human Rights The United States must end “the prolonged pre-trial detention” of Alex Nain Saab Morán, a Venezuelan Special Envoy who was arrested in 2020 and extradited to the US on money laundering charges, UN independent human rights experts said on Wednesday. They called for his immediate release and for the US “to… Continue reading US urged to end detention of Venezuelan Special Envoy

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No time for finger pointing; we must work together to tackle pressing challenges, says Canada

26 September 2023UN Affairs The health of our planet, its people, institutions, and the global economy are at serious risk, and such deep challenges cannot be tackled in isolation, Robert Rae, Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations, told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate on Tuesday.  Noting that we are at the halfway point… Continue reading No time for finger pointing; we must work together to tackle pressing challenges, says Canada

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Venezuela continues crackdown on dissenters, UN rights experts warn

Marta Valiñas, Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela, presented its latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which covers the period from January 2020 to August this year. The report, which was published last week, focused on two areas: the various “repression mechanisms” used by the State, and the… Continue reading Venezuela continues crackdown on dissenters, UN rights experts warn

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We can’t keep putting the interest of the few before the lives of many, Mia Mottley says at UN

22 September 2023UN Affairs “Are we going to be too late for the SDGs?” Mia Mottley asked world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Friday, challenging them to “summon the determination to make the fundamental governance changes” that will turn the vision of sustainable development for all into a 21st century reality. Describing the… Continue reading We can’t keep putting the interest of the few before the lives of many, Mia Mottley says at UN

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Haitian Prime Minister calls for urgent deployment of multinational force to quash gang violence

Armed groups control areas of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and some towns, blocking roads, driving citizens from their homes, and forcing the closure of schools, hospitals and businesses. Lives in danger The “non-exhaustive” list of violations and crimes they have committed includes massacres, kidnappings, pillaging, sexual violence, human trafficking and child recruitment, he said. Insecurity has… Continue reading Haitian Prime Minister calls for urgent deployment of multinational force to quash gang violence

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Biden says ‘when we stand together’, we can tackle any challenge

Yet, for the second year in a row, the annual debate at the UN General Assembly is “darkened by the shadow of war, an illegal conquest brought without provocation by Russia” against Ukraine, he said, expressing strong support for Kyiv. “Russia alone bears the responsibility for this war…and has the power to end it immediately,”… Continue reading Biden says ‘when we stand together’, we can tackle any challenge

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Record numbers risking lives to cross dangerous Darien Gap

So far this year, more than 330,000 people have crossed the Darien Gap on their journey towards North America – the highest annual figure recorded to date, OHCHR said. One in five was a child. Risk of sexual violence During the crossing, migrants and refugees are exposed to multiple human rights violations and abuses, including… Continue reading Record numbers risking lives to cross dangerous Darien Gap

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Mexico: Rights experts ‘outraged’ over attacks on women activists

“We are outraged that those searching for forcibly disappeared family members and loved ones continue to be targeted and face violence in Mexico,” they said in a statement, issued in the wake of two recent incidents. Brutal killing  Human rights defender Teresa Magueyal was shot dead while riding her bicycle in Celaya, Guanajuato state, on 2 May.  Her son, José Luis Apaseo Magueyal, 34,… Continue reading Mexico: Rights experts ‘outraged’ over attacks on women activists

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WFP forced to slash food aid as half of all Haitians go hungry

17 July 2023Humanitarian Aid The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been compelled to reduce the number of people receiving emergency food assistance in Haiti due to a lack of funding, affecting around 100,000 people, the agency reported on Monday.  This reduction in aid comes at a time when Haiti is grappling with a severe… Continue reading WFP forced to slash food aid as half of all Haitians go hungry

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Rights experts urge Uruguay to prioritise water use for human consumption

13 July 2023Human Rights A considerable increase in salt levels in drinking water in Uruguay is affecting over 60 percent of the population, UN experts said on Thursday, calling for the government to take action. “The continuous decline in water quality due to increased salinity levels in its composition is alarming. This situation significantly impacts… Continue reading Rights experts urge Uruguay to prioritise water use for human consumption

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Haiti: ‘Take urgent action now’ urges ECOSOC President

Lachezara Stoeva was addressing a special crisis meeting on Haiti organized by ECOSOC to address the country’s urgent food security needs and noted that the humanitarian response plan for this year is only 22.6 per cent funded. Wake-up call “This plan targets 3.2 million Haitian people whereas around 5.2 million Haitian people are in need.… Continue reading Haiti: ‘Take urgent action now’ urges ECOSOC President

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US state abortion bans ‘putting millions of women and girls at risk’

Since the start of the year, abortion has been banned in 14 states across the country, and the consequences of the Supreme Court decision has reverberated throughout the entire legal and policy system, the Human Rights Council-appointed experts said. “The regressive position taken by the US Supreme Court…by essentially dismantling 50 years of precedent protecting… Continue reading US state abortion bans ‘putting millions of women and girls at risk’

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El Salvador: Renewed state of emergency undermines right to fair trial

the UN Human Rights Council said on Monday.  The state of emergency was first approved in March 2022, and initially for a month, but has been renewed ever since, generating a wave of mass incarceration.   The experts called for the measure to be lifted immediately and for the Government to review the sweeping new powers… Continue reading El Salvador: Renewed state of emergency undermines right to fair trial

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In Jamaica, Guterres pledges solidarity and outlines ‘moral, power and practical’ barriers to development

“We are determined to do our best to correct it and this is the reason of my visit”, Secretary-General António Guterres said at a joint press conference, with the Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness. Mr. Guterres also said they had discussed the “tragic situation” in Haiti, that was one of the biggest political challenges facing the… Continue reading In Jamaica, Guterres pledges solidarity and outlines ‘moral, power and practical’ barriers to development

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Colombia: Implementing peace deal, reducing violence ‘inextricably linked’

13 April 2023Peace and Security Fully implementing the agreement that ended five decades of conflict in Colombia and promoting dialogue with armed groups to reduce violence are critical to consolidate peace in the country, UN Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu told the Security Council on Thursday.  The two aims are important aspects of the Government’s… Continue reading Colombia: Implementing peace deal, reducing violence ‘inextricably linked’

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From The Field: A rare safe space for the LGBTI+ community in El Salvador

7 April 2023Human Rights There is just one LGBTI+ community and health centre in El Salvador, and it has become a refuge for many people who have been expelled from their homes, simply because of their sexual identity. A visitor receives support at the Diké LGBTI+ community and health centre in El Salvador. The centre,… Continue reading From The Field: A rare safe space for the LGBTI+ community in El Salvador

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Guatemala: Türk alarmed by reprisals against anti-corruption officials

30 March 2023Human Rights Retaliation continues against officials who spearheaded the fight against corruption in Guatemala, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said on Thursday. Mr. Türk’s warning comes amid the reported harassment and prosecution of justice officials involved with the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity (CICIG), including, most recently, former Commissioner Francisco Dall’Anese. The UN… Continue reading Guatemala: Türk alarmed by reprisals against anti-corruption officials

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El Salvador urged to uphold human rights amid state of emergency

28 March 2023Human Rights The UN human rights office, OHCHR, on Tuesday expressed concern over mass detentions and other measures implemented during the state of emergency in El Salvador, now in effect for a year.  An initial month-long crackdown on gangs was introduced on 27 March 2022 and has been regularly renewed, with the latest… Continue reading El Salvador urged to uphold human rights amid state of emergency

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Haiti: Amid rising hunger levels, ‘world cannot wait for disaster before it acts’, WFP warns

23 March 2023Humanitarian Aid A growing crisis is pushing a higher number of people into hunger in Haiti, the UN food agency warned on Thursday. “Haiti can’t wait,” said Jean-Martin Bauer, World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director for the country. “We cannot wait for the scale of the problem to be expressed in deaths before… Continue reading Haiti: Amid rising hunger levels, ‘world cannot wait for disaster before it acts’, WFP warns

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Don’t give up on Haiti, plead senior UN aid officials

18 March 2023Humanitarian Aid Following their return from a fact-finding visit to Haiti, a group of senior United Nations officials and representatives of NGOs issued an urgent call on Saturday, for increased access and resources to reach people in desperate need. The call comes amid reports that the situation in Haiti is deteriorating by the… Continue reading Don’t give up on Haiti, plead senior UN aid officials

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‘Society raises barriers’ to people with disabilities says activist in Costa Rica

“I am the daughter of a housewife and a car painter” is how Nicaraguan activist Ms. Mesén describes herself, while sitting behind her office desk in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica, where she is now living. Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition that causes bones to break easily and damages hearing, muscles,… Continue reading ‘Society raises barriers’ to people with disabilities says activist in Costa Rica

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USA: Sanctions against individuals abroad violates due process rights

9 March 2023Human Rights A UN independent human rights expert criticized the United States for using extraterritorial jurisdiction to impose sanctions on foreign individuals, in a statement issued on Thursday.  UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan said the practice raises concerns about rights violations, including the right to due process, as enshrined under a decades-old international… Continue reading USA: Sanctions against individuals abroad violates due process rights

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Peru: UN experts call for end to violence during demonstrations

6 March 2023Human Rights Continuing violence against political protesters in Peru must stop, UN-appointed independent experts insisted on Monday, amid allegations of repression and arbitrary killings by State security forces. In an appeal for “genuine dialogue” to resolve the crisis, the experts expressed deep concern about the reported repression, arbitrary killings, arrests, detention and enforced disappearances of… Continue reading Peru: UN experts call for end to violence during demonstrations

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Crimes against humanity likely committed in Nicaragua, says independent rights probe

2 March 2023Human Rights Crimes against humanity in Nicaragua that have held the population there “hostage”, have likely been committed by pro-Government groups and sanctioned at the highest level since 2018, UN-appointed independent rights investigators said on Thursday. Unveiling their first report to be delivered to the Human Rights Council on Friday, the Group of Human Rights… Continue reading Crimes against humanity likely committed in Nicaragua, says independent rights probe

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Caribbean carnival performers take stage to fight COVID disinformation

Dressed in black with a flowing cape and extravagantly oversized hat, performer Kurt Layne’s distinctive macabre ensemble blends influences from film depictions of the American wild west with West African culture. He cuts an imposing figure as he struts along a road bringing to life a traditional Carnival character, the Midnight Robber. He recently performed… Continue reading Caribbean carnival performers take stage to fight COVID disinformation

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‘All sides need to think about the future they want for Venezuela’, says UN human rights chief

“Following my meeting with President [Nicolás] Maduro, he publicly expressed his readiness to work towards improving the justice system. This is a key area for reform, and I offer the support and expertise of my Office to pursue this,” Volker Türk told reporters in Caracas at the end of his three-day visit.  In addition to Mr. Maduro,… Continue reading ‘All sides need to think about the future they want for Venezuela’, says UN human rights chief

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Fulfilling the UN dreams of Kale, a teenager battling cancer

A year ago, Kale, who lives in California, started to have blurred vision in his right eye. After taking medical tests, his family received the devastating news that he had a tumour located in his right optic nerve. “This year has been a struggle for Kale,” says his father, William, explaining that, on top of… Continue reading Fulfilling the UN dreams of Kale, a teenager battling cancer

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‘We are not afraid’: Indigenous Brazilian women stand up to gender violence

In Parque das Tribos, an indigenous neighbourhood in Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state, violence against women is not uncommon. “As a leader, I have experienced many things,” says Lutana Ribeiro, a member of the Kokama ethnic group, and the only female chief in Parque das Tribos, which is home to around 4,500 people.… Continue reading ‘We are not afraid’: Indigenous Brazilian women stand up to gender violence

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Guatemala: Protect judicial staffers fighting impunity and corruption

18 January 2023Human Rights The UN human rights chief on Wednesday appealed for greater protection for justice officials in Guatemala who are being persecuted for fighting impunity or working on anti-corruption cases.  High Commissioner Volker Türk expressed deep concern over the repeated intimidation, harassment and reprisals they are facing.  “It is dramatic, given Guatemala’s history,… Continue reading Guatemala: Protect judicial staffers fighting impunity and corruption

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Small island States to accelerate action on preventable diseases, mental health

18 January 2023Health Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among countries that have the highest prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDS) and mental health risks in the world. Now, UN health agency WHO, is pledging to work more closely with them, to help save and improve lives.  This follows a two-day meeting in Barbados hosted by… Continue reading Small island States to accelerate action on preventable diseases, mental health

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Peru: UN rights office calls for probe into protestor deaths

10 January 2023Human Rights Investigations must be held into deaths and injuries that have occurred amid ongoing anti-government protests in Peru, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday, responding to the latest bloodshed.  “We are very concerned at the rising violence in Peru, which on Monday 9 January saw one of the deadliest… Continue reading Peru: UN rights office calls for probe into protestor deaths

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Colombia: ‘Renewed hope’ for consolidating peace says Guterres

2 January 2023Peace and Security The agreement between the Colombian Government and the five largest remaining armed groups there provides “renewed hope for comprehensive peace” into the new year, said the UN chief in a statement released by his Spokesperson late on Sunday. The breakthrough was announced on 1 January by the first-ever leftist president of the… Continue reading Colombia: ‘Renewed hope’ for consolidating peace says Guterres

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Honduras: new internal displacement law ‘much-needed step’ towards restoring hope and dignity

22 December 2022Law and Crime Prevention The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, applauded on Thursday, Honduras’ landmark legislation establishing a legal framework to respond to the complex situation faced by thousands forcibly displaced within the Central American country. The action taken by the National Congress will help with the more than 247,000 Hondurans who have been… Continue reading Honduras: new internal displacement law ‘much-needed step’ towards restoring hope and dignity

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UN rights chief reports on intensified ‘climate of oppression’ in Nicaragua

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr. Türk reported that the number of people arbitrarily detained – either for expressing their political views, or for being perceived as critics of the Government – rose from 195 in September to 225 today.  “This includes relatives of detained political opponents, allegedly to coerce the latter… Continue reading UN rights chief reports on intensified ‘climate of oppression’ in Nicaragua

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No time to waste, as Haiti famine risk rises, warns UN emergency food aid agency

Mr. Bauer believes that Haiti is facing an unprecedented crisis, which could get even worse. For this reason, he says, there is no time to waste. “It’s difficult to believe that a mere two hours’ flight from Miami, a staggering 4.7 million people – half of Haiti’s population – are in the throes of a… Continue reading No time to waste, as Haiti famine risk rises, warns UN emergency food aid agency

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Cholera’s continued spread in Haiti a ‘worrying trend’

Ulrika Richardson, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Caribbean country, updated journalists in New York on the deadly outbreak, which was declared on 2 October.  So far, 283 people have died, nearly 12,000 have been hospitalized, and more than 14,000 suspected cases have been recorded.  Increase in cases  “What we are seeing in fact,… Continue reading Cholera’s continued spread in Haiti a ‘worrying trend’

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Healing Haiti in the face of an increase in sexual violence

Claudine* looks across a sweeping valley high above the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. The lushness of the tropical vegetation, the cool fresh air and the low-hanging clouds are in stark contrast to the dusty, hot and suffocating backstreets of Petionville, lower down the valley, where four years ago she was the victim of sexual abuse which… Continue reading Healing Haiti in the face of an increase in sexual violence

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UNICEF seeks $27.5 million to step up cholera response in Haiti

The outbreak began two months ago and is unfolding amid economic crisis and rising insecurity due to gang violence.  Ninety per cent of confirmed cases have been in areas with a high burden of severe acute malnutrition. A ‘triple threat’ Children suffering from the condition, which is also known as severe wasting, are more vulnerable… Continue reading UNICEF seeks $27.5 million to step up cholera response in Haiti

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First Person: Saving lives and preventing the spread of cholera in Haiti

20 November 2022Health A community health worker in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, has been describing how she is going door-to-door to raise awareness about cholera prevention. The deadly but treatable disease has been spreading across the country and according to the latest Government figures published on 16 November there have been some 8,100 people admitted… Continue reading First Person: Saving lives and preventing the spread of cholera in Haiti

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Humanitarians launch Haiti appeal to ease spiralling cholera-fuelled crisis

15 November 2022Humanitarian Aid The Haitian Government joined the UN and humanitarian partners to launch an appeal for $145.6 million in support of the country’s emergency cholera response and provide life-saving assistance to 1.4 million living in the most affected areas. After more than three years without a reported case in Haiti, national authorities on 2 October… Continue reading Humanitarians launch Haiti appeal to ease spiralling cholera-fuelled crisis

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Young Haitians bond over sports, earrings and pineapple jam

Some 1500 young people got together at the Semans Lapè (Seeds of Peace) project event supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Craft products, including earrings, are exhibited at a youth event in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Rosemonde* (23 years old) “I live in Cite Soleil which is under the control of gangs. There is only one road out of… Continue reading Young Haitians bond over sports, earrings and pineapple jam

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Haiti: ‘Triple threat’ of cholera, malnutrition and violence puts young lives at risk

1 November 2022Human Rights Immediate action is needed to save young lives in Haiti amid the “triple threat” of cholera, malnutrition and violence, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said on Tuesday.  CRC members urged the international community to support authorities in the Caribbean country in guaranteeing the rights of millions… Continue reading Haiti: ‘Triple threat’ of cholera, malnutrition and violence puts young lives at risk

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‘Haitians are coming together to tackle the cholera crisis’: A UN Resident Coordinator Blog

“I visited several cholera treatment centres in the most affected neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince and saw heart-breaking scenes; children who were so malnourished, it was difficult to insert a drip into their arms or legs; adults who were clearly very ill. What immediately struck me was the intense smell of chlorine disinfectant, which is used to… Continue reading ‘Haitians are coming together to tackle the cholera crisis’: A UN Resident Coordinator Blog

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Haiti: Fuel crisis prompts appeal for humanitarian corridor amid cholera outbreak

The Varreux Terminal, located in the capital, Port-au-Prince, is the main entry point for fuel in the country but gangs have been blocking the entrance since mid-September.  The situation has led to a fuel shortage that has forced many hospitals and health centres to close, and affected water distribution, said Ulrika Richardson, UN Deputy Special… Continue reading Haiti: Fuel crisis prompts appeal for humanitarian corridor amid cholera outbreak

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Rights experts decry shut down of civic space in Nicaragua

Nicaragua must comply with its international obligations to respect and guarantee fundamental freedoms, two experts appointed by the UN and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) said in a joint declaration issued on Monday. 

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Rights experts decry shut down of civic space in Nicaragua

Clément Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly and Association, and Pedro Vaca Villareal, IACHR Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, have written several letters to the Government outlining why the cancellation of the legal standing of hundreds of associations “represents a clear pattern of repressing civic space”.  They said that since April 2018,… Continue reading Rights experts decry shut down of civic space in Nicaragua

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Haiti: UN supports Government efforts to quell cholera outbreak

3 October 2022Health The UN is supporting efforts by the Haitian Government to contain an outbreak of cholera following the confirmation of a positive case and the identification of other suspected cases around the capital, Port-au-Prince. The case was identified using the cholera surveillance mechanism, established by the Haitian authorities and supported by the United… Continue reading Haiti: UN supports Government efforts to quell cholera outbreak

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Today’s crises highlight need for more multilateralism, stronger UN, says Canada’s Foreign Minister

“These crises and the way we choose to respond to them are testing our shared commitment to the United Nations. That’s why our decisions matter now more than ever,” Canada’s Foreign Minister, Mélanie Joly, told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate on Monday.   ‘More multilateralism, not less’   “We have a choice – either… Continue reading Today’s crises highlight need for more multilateralism, stronger UN, says Canada’s Foreign Minister

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Haiti needs ‘robust support’ to quell gang violence and ease political tensions, Foreign Minister tells UN

Escalating gang violence has set off a crisis that is threatening “the very foundations of the rule of law” in Haiti, according to Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus, who told UN delegates in New York on Saturday that the authorities’ efforts to maintain order and ease ongoing political tensions could only succeed with robust international… Continue reading Haiti needs ‘robust support’ to quell gang violence and ease political tensions, Foreign Minister tells UN

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At UN, Mexico proposes a high-level diplomatic delegation to mediate between Russia and Ukraine

In his address to the high-level debate at the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Marcelo Ebrard, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, proposed the creation of a diplomatic caucus of global leaders that would support the Secretary General’s mediation and promote trust-building measures between Russia and Ukraine The proposed caucus would include Pope Francis,… Continue reading At UN, Mexico proposes a high-level diplomatic delegation to mediate between Russia and Ukraine

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Pandemic worsened inequalities, exposed true essence of unjust global order, Cuba tells UN

Addressing world leaders gathered for the first fully in-person high-level debate of the UN General Assembly in three years, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the true essence of the unjust and unsustainable prevailing international order. “Never has humankind had this wealth of scientific and… Continue reading Pandemic worsened inequalities, exposed true essence of unjust global order, Cuba tells UN

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Biden denounces Russia’s ‘shameless violation’ of UN charter, urges world to stand with Ukraine

Strongly denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, United States President Joe Biden warned United Nations Member States on Wednesday that “if a nation can pursue imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this great institution stands for.” At the opening of a wide-ranging address to the UN General Assembly, President Biden said that… Continue reading Biden denounces Russia’s ‘shameless violation’ of UN charter, urges world to stand with Ukraine

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LGBT rights being ‘deliberately undermined’, in some US states: UN expert

An independent UN human rights expert on Tuesday warned that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse (LGBT) people are being “deliberately undermined by some state governments in the United States”, urging more action on the part of the Biden administration to protect them. “Despite five decades of progress, equality is not… Continue reading LGBT rights being ‘deliberately undermined’, in some US states: UN expert

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First Person: Sharing indigenous knowledge with tourists

Indigenous entrepreneur Celestina Ábalos runs a tourism business in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy province, northern Argentina, sharing her community’s culture and knowledge of medicinal herbs. “I am a child of Pachamama, Mother Earth. Earth is everything to us. It is life. We cannot conceive of ourselves without her.… Continue reading First Person: Sharing indigenous knowledge with tourists

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UN releases $5 for humanitarian needs triggered by gang violence in Haiti

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths allocated on Friday, $5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to respond to humanitarian needs triggered by gang violence in Haiti. The assistance comes amidst the killing of hundreds of people since July in clashes between gangs in Haiti’s Cité Soleil, said the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA)… Continue reading UN releases $5 for humanitarian needs triggered by gang violence in Haiti

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First Person: Taking to the sea to deliver aid in Haiti

With Haiti’s highways increasingly in the grip of gangs, aid delivery by ship is becoming increasingly critical. Captain Madeleine Habib, a shipping officer working for the World Food Programme in Haiti, spoke about her experiences ahead of World Humanitarian Day, which is marked annually on 19 August. “I manage the organization’s coastal shipping service to… Continue reading First Person: Taking to the sea to deliver aid in Haiti

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First Person: One year on from Haiti earthquake, time to return home

On 14 August 2021 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, destroying, or rendering uninhabitable tens of thousands of houses across three departments in the south of Haiti, including Plaisimond Milaure’s home. For the last year, she’s been living in a tent outside the city of Les Cayes, supported by UN agencies. One year on, she… Continue reading First Person: One year on from Haiti earthquake, time to return home

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United States: Concrete actions needed to ‘lay the scourge of racism to rest’ – UN expert

After the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) reviewed the US’ racial justice record, the UN human rights office issued a statement in which CERD Expert and Country Rapporteur Faith Dikeledi Pansy Tlakula recounted her observation that the country’s firearm homicide rate had increased, especially amongst black men and in impoverished communities.  While… Continue reading United States: Concrete actions needed to ‘lay the scourge of racism to rest’ – UN expert

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Nicaragua: Rights experts denounce shutdown of over 700 civil society groups

In a letter to the Nicaraguan Government last Monday, the group of 16 UN experts upheld that the action “represents a clear pattern of repressing civic space”. The UN experts echoed a statement earlier this year by the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the crackdown. They expressed shock over the extent of the shutdowns by the… Continue reading Nicaragua: Rights experts denounce shutdown of over 700 civil society groups

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UN delivers aid directly to Haitians caught up in gang violence

United Nations humanitarian agencies have started delivering aid directly to people in Haiti following a recent spike in violence between rival gangs which has fueled a worsening crisis across the capital, Port-au-Prince. Vulnerable inhabitants of the commune of Cité Soleil as well as those in other neighbourhoods of the capital, Port-au-Prince, have received items such… Continue reading UN delivers aid directly to Haitians caught up in gang violence

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UN rights chief calls for ‘political responsibility’ to address Peru’s challenges

“Polarization has been deepening over recent months and there are troubling indications that an anti-rights movement is gaining ground. With local and regional elections due in October, I am concerned that hate speech, discrimination and violence could further increase,” she said.  Ms. Bachelet recalled that although Peru already has “important tools” in place to counter… Continue reading UN rights chief calls for ‘political responsibility’ to address Peru’s challenges

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Haiti: UN sounds alarm over worsening gang violence across Port-au-Prince

The UN human rights office said on Saturday it was deeply concerned by worsening violence in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and rising abuse at the hands of heavily armed gangs, against vulnerable local communities. The alert comes just hours after UN humanitarians said they were ready to provide all the assistance they could to communities… Continue reading Haiti: UN sounds alarm over worsening gang violence across Port-au-Prince

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Gang violence in Port-au-Prince threatens more than a million food-insecure Haitians

Surging and deadly gang violence in the Haitian capital has contributed to runaway food insecurity for well over one million people there, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday. In addition to being hit hard by the global food and fuel crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in recent decades, Haitians have… Continue reading Gang violence in Port-au-Prince threatens more than a million food-insecure Haitians

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Haitian children at mercy of armed gangs as schools close

Rising gang crime in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince is limiting access to education and is preventing thousands of children from going to school. Since 2020, gang-related violence has led to school closures, and children have become easy prey for gang recruitment. Steve (not his real name) dreamed of becoming a schoolteacher when his life was turned… Continue reading Haitian children at mercy of armed gangs as schools close

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US abortion debate: Rights experts urge lawmakers to adhere to women’s convention 

A week since the US Supreme Court overturned a landmark, 50-year-old judgement guaranteeing access to abortion, top UN-appointed independent experts urged United States lawmakers on Friday to adhere to international law that protects women’s right to sexual and reproductive health.  The UN women’s rights committee said that the US is one of only seven countries… Continue reading US abortion debate: Rights experts urge lawmakers to adhere to women’s convention 

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Overturning of Roe v. Wade abortion law a ‘huge blow to women’s human rights’ warns Bachelet

Friday’s decision by the US Supreme Court which overturns the 50-year-old Roe v Wade judgement guaranteeing abortion across the United States, was described by the UN human rights chief as “a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.” The widely anticipated Supreme Court decision, by six votes to three, was made in the… Continue reading Overturning of Roe v. Wade abortion law a ‘huge blow to women’s human rights’ warns Bachelet

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Amid ‘inhumane’ conditions, Bachelet urges Nicaragua to release all detainees

Delivering her latest update on the country to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Ms. Bachelet said scores of people remain locked up in the wake of political, human rights and electoral crises over the past four years.  Widespread protests broke out in Nicaragua in April 2018 after President Daniel Ortega announced planned social… Continue reading Amid ‘inhumane’ conditions, Bachelet urges Nicaragua to release all detainees

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Brazil urged to step up search for missing journalist and indigenous activist

Authorities in Brazil must step up efforts to find a British journalist and an indigenous rights activist who disappeared nearly a week ago in a dangerous remote area of the Amazon, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday.  Dom Phillips, a regular contributor to The Guardian, and Bruno Araújo Pereira, an employee with… Continue reading Brazil urged to step up search for missing journalist and indigenous activist

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Chile: Apology for sterilizing HIV-positive women in moment of ‘reproductive justice’

“This settlement is a significant moment for women around the world who have been fighting for reproductive justice for decades,” said UNAIDS chief Winnie Byanyima. President Gabriel Boric Font issued the apology as part of a settlement resulting from a case brought before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) by a Chilean woman who… Continue reading Chile: Apology for sterilizing HIV-positive women in moment of ‘reproductive justice’

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Americas: Rising COVID-19 caseload should be a ‘wake-up call’

More than 918,000 cases were recorded last week, a 27.2 per cent increase over the previous week, and over 3,500 deaths, latest information from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has revealed.  Eighteen nations saw spikes in hospitalizations, while admissions to intensive care rose in 13 countries and territories.  “The rise in cases should serve… Continue reading Americas: Rising COVID-19 caseload should be a ‘wake-up call’

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Mexico’s 100,000 ‘disappeared’ is a tragedy, says UN rights chief Bachelet

The news that more than 100,000 people in Mexico are now officially registered as “disappeared” is a tragedy, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday, in a call for action to tackle the country’s longstanding problem. A national database has listed all those who’ve been reported missing in the country since 1964, and the… Continue reading Mexico’s 100,000 ‘disappeared’ is a tragedy, says UN rights chief Bachelet

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Nicaragua: New law heralds damaging crackdown on civil society, UN warns

Under the guise of preventing money-laundering and cutting off terrorist financing, a new law in Nicaragua further restricts the functioning of civil society, “contrary to the country’s human rights obligations”, the spokesperson for the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Monday. “We are deeply concerned that a new law, which came into force in… Continue reading Nicaragua: New law heralds damaging crackdown on civil society, UN warns

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Peru: Lethal force by police officers must be barred from peaceful demonstrations

Moreover, it added that the country also failed to investigate and prosecute those responsible. “Any use of force must be in line with the fundamental principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality,” said Committee member Carlos Gómez Martínez. Lethal force The Committee issued its findings after reviewing a petition case filed by relatives of Emiliano García… Continue reading Peru: Lethal force by police officers must be barred from peaceful demonstrations

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Lula trial in Brazil violated due process, says UN rights panel

The prosecution of Brazil’s former President, Luiz da Silva, violated his right to a fair trial, his right to privacy and his political rights, the UN Human Rights Committee has found. The Committee, whose members are independent rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council, issued its findings after the former President – who’s commonly called by… Continue reading Lula trial in Brazil violated due process, says UN rights panel

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Mind the Darién Gap, braving the treacherous pathway to a better life

The Darién Gap, a dangerous route that links South and North America, has long been used by migrants trekking north to the United States, in search of a better life, or simply fleeing violence at home.  As well as extreme physical challenges, they also risk attacks from smugglers, and other criminal groups. With a bag… Continue reading Mind the Darién Gap, braving the treacherous pathway to a better life

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Rights expert concerned about erosion of democracy in Brazil

“I am concerned that in recent years there have been emerging trends limiting the enjoyment of these rights in all areas,” Clément Nyaletsossi Voule said on Monday in São Paulo, speaking at the end of a 12-day visit to South America’s largest country.  He also pointed to the appalling levels of violence against human rights… Continue reading Rights expert concerned about erosion of democracy in Brazil

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UN highlights human cost of transatlantic slave trade

The United Nations on Tuesday remembered the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade and its continued impact on the modern world, by honouring the tradition of resistance to slavery and unity against racism, through personal stories of courage. In a commemorative event in the General Assembly Hall that included remarks from Member States from around the… Continue reading UN highlights human cost of transatlantic slave trade

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Canada urged to amend transgenerational discriminatory Indian Act

In the findings, the Committee found that, by being prevented from passing their indigenous status onto new generations, J.E.M. – a matrilineal indigenous descendant from a long line of leaders of the Capilano Community – and his children, were victims of violations rooted in the discriminatory nature of Canada’s Indian Act, the primary law used… Continue reading Canada urged to amend transgenerational discriminatory Indian Act

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IAEA charts Amazon waters, boosting access to life-saving cancer screening

Women living in Amazon River communities now have increased access to breast cancer screening along even its most remote banks, thanks to two new mammography units installed on Brazilian navy ships.  Procured by the UN-backed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the mammography units will triple the current capacity for such tests in the remote region. One of… Continue reading IAEA charts Amazon waters, boosting access to life-saving cancer screening

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Haitan teenager spends three years in a Haitian jail for a crime he didn’t commit

A young Haitian man is rebuilding his life, with the support of the UN, after being held in detention for three years, from the age of 15, when he was wrongfully accused of stealing from a local shopkeeper. Many others, like him, spend a prolonged period of time behind bars, before their case comes to… Continue reading Haitan teenager spends three years in a Haitian jail for a crime he didn’t commit

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Americas: Pace of Omicron slows amid rising COVID infections 

And in the crucial area of vaccination, although the Americas now have some of the highest COVID-19 vaccination coverage rates on the planet, it’s also “the most unequal region in the world” when it comes to shots, said Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Last week, there were seven million new COVID… Continue reading Americas: Pace of Omicron slows amid rising COVID infections 

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COVID-19 cases in the Americas reach highest level yet

More than eight million new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Americas last week, the highest weekly caseload since the start of the pandemic, the head of the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists on Wednesday.  Cases increased by 32 per cent over the previous week, while 18,000 new deaths occurred… Continue reading COVID-19 cases in the Americas reach highest level yet

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Americas: ‘Smart’ use of rapid tests critical amid COVID surge

COVID-19 cases continue to accelerate in the Americas amid increased demand for testing, the head of the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.  Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), highlighted the critical need for countries to scale-up testing and, in particular, to leverage “smart” use… Continue reading Americas: ‘Smart’ use of rapid tests critical amid COVID surge

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UN provides life-saving aid for refugees and migrants in Mexico, as numbers soar

For several years, the number of people transiting through Mexico, many hoping for a better life in the USA, has continued to grow. The UN team in the country, in close collaboration with the Mexican authorities, is working to ensure that they receive essential, and often life-saving, assistance. When life in her country became too… Continue reading UN provides life-saving aid for refugees and migrants in Mexico, as numbers soar

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US contributes $10 million to support UN food agency efforts on COVID-19 response, future pandemics

The funding, announced on Thursday, will support the UN agency’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, part of its broader One Health programme . The initiative helps safeguard human, animal, plant and environmental health throughout the food chain, from production to consumption and waste management.  FAO joins with partners the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World… Continue reading US contributes $10 million to support UN food agency efforts on COVID-19 response, future pandemics

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Stepping up assistance to Venezuelans crossing Chile’s inhospitable northern border 

In response to the critical needs of a growing number of Venezuelans arriving by foot to Chile’s northern border, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said on Thursday that it is stepping up its presence and assistance in the South American country.  “Children, adolescents, pregnant women and the elderly often need urgent medical support after several days traveling on… Continue reading Stepping up assistance to Venezuelans crossing Chile’s inhospitable northern border 

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Venezuela violated jurist’s rights, UN Human Rights Committee says

Venezuela violated a jurist’s right to be tried by an independent tribunal and his right to the presumption of innocence, the UN Human Rights Committee said on Wednesday.  In the decision, the Committee requested that Venezuela declare the criminal proceedings against Allan Brewer Carías null and void, and that he be awarded adequate compensation. It also called for the State to take… Continue reading Venezuela violated jurist’s rights, UN Human Rights Committee says

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COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Americas triple in 2021

Compared to the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 was “undoubtedly worse” for the Americas, where infections and deaths tripled, the top UN health official there reported on Wednesday.  Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), delivered her final briefing of the year, providing a regional update and reflections on… Continue reading COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Americas triple in 2021

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UN rights office urges Colombia to reform policing of protests

Colombia must urgently reform how it polices protests in the wake of demonstrations earlier this year in which several people were killed or injured, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said in a report published on Wednesday.   The report documents various instances of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force by police officers during widespread… Continue reading UN rights office urges Colombia to reform policing of protests

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With 280 prisoners dead in Ecuador, UN experts call for urgent action 

Following a series of riots which have left more than 280 inmates dead and hundreds injured in Ecuadorian prisons this year, UN independent human rights experts on Monday called for urgent government action to address the issue.  In a joint statement, the experts said they were “appalled and gravely concerned” by repeated riots that have resulted in the death of so many prisoners, and the “clear risk” of further incidents. … Continue reading With 280 prisoners dead in Ecuador, UN experts call for urgent action 

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Mexico: Over 95,000 registered as disappeared, impunity ‘almost absolute’

As of last Friday, more than 95,000 people have been officially registered as disappeared in Mexico. That includes a worrying increase in the number of women and children, a trend that has worsened during the pandemic, with migrants particularly at risk.   Those are some of the key findings shared by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, at the end of a visit between 15 and 26 November, noting that more… Continue reading Mexico: Over 95,000 registered as disappeared, impunity ‘almost absolute’

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Hot meals helping Haiti’s children recover from the earthquake

The children of families who were affected by the massive earthquake which devastated large parts of south-west Haiti in August this year are receiving free hot meals at school as part of an initiative by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) to support the recovery of the country’s most vulnerable communities. It’s 11 o’clock in… Continue reading Hot meals helping Haiti’s children recover from the earthquake

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First Person: Earthquake brings out ‘heartwarming resilience’ of Haitians

Haitians who were affected by the devastating earthquake which struck the southwest of the country in August have demonstrated their “heartwarming resilience” according to a staff member of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who has been supporting recovery efforts. Joseph Chlela, who is from Lebanon, is an emergency coordinator with IOM and has been… Continue reading First Person: Earthquake brings out ‘heartwarming resilience’ of Haitians

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Celebrating the UN staffers who ‘carry hope around the globe’

From bringing together fractured communities, to fighting child labour, and advancing climate action, the work of UN staff around the world is contributing to progress and development in many different ways. To mark UN Day this year, UN News is taking a snapshot of just one part of world – featuring the diverse contributions made… Continue reading Celebrating the UN staffers who ‘carry hope around the globe’

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From the Field: Costa Rica points the way to a sustainable world

Costa Rica is one of the winners of the inaugural UN-backed Earthshot Prize, in recognition of the Central American country’s efforts to reverse damage to its environment and develop in a sustainable manner. Red-eye tree frogs are native to the rain forests of Central America., by UNDP/Adriana Dinu The award also highlights just how far… Continue reading From the Field: Costa Rica points the way to a sustainable world

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UNICEF sounds alarm over abductions of women and children in Haiti  

The number of children and women abducted in Haiti until the end of August, has already surpassed last year’s total, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned this Thursday.   According to UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jean Gough, “nowhere is safe for children in Haiti anymore.”  “Whether on their way to school, at home or even at church,… Continue reading UNICEF sounds alarm over abductions of women and children in Haiti  

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Colombians cling tenaciously to peace gains, Security Council hears 

Five years after an historic Peace Agreement was reached in Colombia, the process continues to show the benefits of ending the conflict through negotiation and keeping victims at the heart of the discussion moving forward.   That was the main message from the Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, delivered to ambassadors at the Security Council on Thursday.   For him, the first former conflict… Continue reading Colombians cling tenaciously to peace gains, Security Council hears 

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Paraguay violated indigenous rights, UN committee rules in landmark decision

Paraguay’s failure to prevent the toxic contamination of indigenous people’s traditional lands by commercial farming violates their rights and their sense of “home”, the UN Human Rights Committee said in a landmark ruling on Wednesday.  The Committee, which is made up of 18 independent experts from across the world, monitors countries’ adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.   Lands represent… Continue reading Paraguay violated indigenous rights, UN committee rules in landmark decision

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Haiti facing stalled elections, kidnapping surge, rampant insecurity

Still reeling from the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, on 7 July, the country was crippled on 14 August by a deadly 7.2 magnitude earthquake that affected over 800,000 people in its southwestern peninsula.  Helen La Lime, Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) said that “long awaited” national and local elections… Continue reading Haiti facing stalled elections, kidnapping surge, rampant insecurity

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In Barbados, Guterres highlights power of ‘youth voices’ ahead of key trade and development conference

The UN Secretary-General on Sunday said he was committed to ensuring that the Organisation is a place where “youth voices are heard, and their ideas lead”, as he spent the day in Barbados which tomorrow hosts a major UN conference on trade and development, focused on the need to build a global green economy and… Continue reading In Barbados, Guterres highlights power of ‘youth voices’ ahead of key trade and development conference

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‘Overwhelmed by old challenges’, Caribbean leaders say COVID-19 has forced a new battle for the survival of their nations

Saint Lucia: A near-impossible balancing act  Philip Joseph Pierre, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Development and Youth Economy of Saint Lucia, said his nation suffers from serious challenges due to its small size and vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change. While struggling to find solutions for those existing problems, Saint Lucia was hit with COVID-19.   “We are now being inundated by the new, while still being overwhelmed by the old,” he stated in… Continue reading ‘Overwhelmed by old challenges’, Caribbean leaders say COVID-19 has forced a new battle for the survival of their nations

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Haitian Prime Minister: As long as there is inequality, migration will continue  

The Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, said on Saturday that “human beings, fathers and mothers who have children, are always going to flee poverty and conflict.”  “Migration will continue as long as the planet has both wealthy areas, whilst most of the world’s population lives in poverty, even extreme poverty, without any prospects of a better life,” he said in… Continue reading Haitian Prime Minister: As long as there is inequality, migration will continue  

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Mexico calls for respect for migrants’ rights, and ‘true international solidarity’  

In his address to the high-level debate at the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Marcelo Ebrard, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, reaffirmed his country’s commitment against discrimination and hate speech and called for more solidarity.   Mr. Ebrard said that the economic recovery from the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, has been marked by inequality. “The pandemic has highlighted the need for a strong and effective multilateral system”, he declared, calling for more solidarity between states. … Continue reading Mexico calls for respect for migrants’ rights, and ‘true international solidarity’  

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UNICEF: Haiti children vulnerable to ‘violence, poverty and displacement’

As Haiti continues to reel from the “triple tragedy” of natural disasters, gang violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed concern on Thursday that two-thirds of Haitian migrants expelled from the United States border in recent days are women and children – including newborns with “specific and immediate needs”. “When children… Continue reading UNICEF: Haiti children vulnerable to ‘violence, poverty and displacement’

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Colombia calls for global financial consensus to avert COVID debt crisis

The President of Colombia on Tuesday warned that many developing countries have increased their fiscal deficit to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, putting at risk their financial capacity to act on other priorities, such as climate change. “Many (countries) have not begun to process the necessary tax reforms to pay emergency expenses, and today they… Continue reading Colombia calls for global financial consensus to avert COVID debt crisis

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Brazilian President commits country to climate neutrality by 2050 

“We anticipated, from 2060 to 2050, the goal of achieving climate neutrality. Human and financial resources, destined to the strengthening of environmental agencies, were doubled, with a view to eliminating illegal deforestation,” he said.  Mr. Bolsonaro was speaking at UN Headquarters at the opening of the high-level week of the General Assembly. After being held virtually last year due the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s gathering… Continue reading Brazilian President commits country to climate neutrality by 2050 

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