Afghanistan: Humanitarians await guidelines on women’s role in aid operations

Representing the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), they stressed that the world’s largest humanitarian operation – supporting some 28 million people in Afghanistan – simply cannot function without women staff.  The officials reported on their mission to the country last week, in the wake of the edict prohibiting Afghan women from working with local and international… Continue reading Afghanistan: Humanitarians await guidelines on women’s role in aid operations

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UN steps up response, as thousands impacted by Timor-Leste floods

5 April 2021Humanitarian Aid United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili.   According to preliminary official figures, 21 people are reported to have died and about 2,065 households – approximately 10,325 people – affected across Timor-Leste. About 76… Continue reading UN steps up response, as thousands impacted by Timor-Leste floods

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First Person: The Afghan woman putting her life at risk to rid her home of mines

More than three decades of armed conflict has left Afghanistan with a sorry legacy of mines and other explosive remnants of war contaminating much of the the country. Since 1989, the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) has been working to clear this dangerous material but, with conflict still ongoing, some 120 civilian mine-related casualties… Continue reading First Person: The Afghan woman putting her life at risk to rid her home of mines

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Stop ‘widespread violence’ against children in Myanmar, UN officials urge

2 April 2021Peace and Security Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in the country.  Hundreds of civilians, including at least 44 children (as of 31 March) have been… Continue reading Stop ‘widespread violence’ against children in Myanmar, UN officials urge

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Protect all those fleeing Myanmar, UN offices urge countries in the region

In addition to the political strife across the country, renewed fighting between Myanmar’s military and ethnic armed organizations in some border areas, including airstrikes in Kayin province, are driving people to flee within the country and across borders.  Gillian Triggs, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at UNHCR, said in a press note that “it is… Continue reading Protect all those fleeing Myanmar, UN offices urge countries in the region

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UN agencies ramp up response for Rohingya refugees in wake of ‘unprecedented’ fire

The blaze destroyed about 9,500 shelters and also reduced to ashes over 1,600 vital facilities, including hospitals, schools, and food and aid distribution centres. As of Tuesday, at least 11 people are confirmed to have perished in the fire and over 300 are still missing.   Richard Ragan, UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director… Continue reading UN agencies ramp up response for Rohingya refugees in wake of ‘unprecedented’ fire

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Indonesia: UN experts denounce mega tourism project that ‘tramples on human rights’

31 March 2021Human Rights UN rights experts, on Wednesday, raised alarm over forced evictions of locals and indigenous peoples, and threats against human rights defenders, to make way for a $3 billion tourism project on the Indonesian island of Lombok. In a joint statement led by Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty… Continue reading Indonesia: UN experts denounce mega tourism project that ‘tramples on human rights’

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Myanmar: ‘Significant action’ needed by Security Council to prevent ‘bloodbath’ 

As the world watches in horror as Myanmar’s military continues to defy calls, including by UN Security Council, to end fundamental human rights violations and “return to the path of democracy”, she told a closed session of the Council that more than 520 people have been killed since the coup began, adding that “the urgency… Continue reading Myanmar: ‘Significant action’ needed by Security Council to prevent ‘bloodbath’ 

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Myanmar: Top UN officials condemn military’s ‘shameful, cowardly’ attacks on peaceful protesters 

Following another day of widespread bloodshed by the Myanmar military, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights, strongly condemned the Myanmar military’s widespread, lethal, increasingly systematic attacks against peaceful protesters, as well as other serious violations of human rights since it seized power on… Continue reading Myanmar: Top UN officials condemn military’s ‘shameful, cowardly’ attacks on peaceful protesters 

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FROM THE FIELD: Preparing for disaster in Nepal

27 March 2021Climate and Environment The UN  is scaling up its efforts to help Nepal, which faces numerous natural threats, to become more resilient, minimize human casualties and preserve livelihoods. Nepal is susceptible to flooding during the monsoon season., by UNDP Nepal Floods, landslides and wildfires are regularly occurring threats in Nepal, and the climate crisis is… Continue reading FROM THE FIELD: Preparing for disaster in Nepal

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Myanmar: UN chief condemns killing of civilians during brutal crackdown on protestors

27 March 2021Peace and Security The UN chief condemned in the strongest terms, the killing of dozens of civilians, including children and young people, by security forces in Myanmar on Saturday.  In a statement issued by Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, Secretary-General António Guterres said, “the continuing military crackdown…is unacceptable and demands a firm, unified and… Continue reading Myanmar: UN chief condemns killing of civilians during brutal crackdown on protestors

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India donates 200,000 vaccines to protect UN blue helmets against COVID

27 March 2021Health India shipped out 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to inoculate UN blue helmets serving in peacekeeping missions. The donated AstraZeneca vaccines left Mumbai for the Danish capital of Copenhagen, where they will be safely stored and distributed to UN peacekeepers serving in various missions.    Lauding India as “a longstanding… Continue reading India donates 200,000 vaccines to protect UN blue helmets against COVID

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Myanmar army putting country’s future at risk, UN Special Envoy warns

26 March 2021Peace and Security The military in Myanmar has turned on citizens and is putting the nation’s future at risk, the UN Special Envoy for the country warned on Friday in a statement issued on the eve of the annual celebration of Armed Forces Day.  Christine Schraner Burgener underscored her commitment to efforts to… Continue reading Myanmar army putting country’s future at risk, UN Special Envoy warns

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Motherhood on the brink in Yemen

“It was the morning of a normal working day before fighting escalated close to the hospital. I heard a mother screaming at the gate”, midwife Shrook Khalid Saeed told UNFPA, at the Al Shaab Hospital in the district of Crater, in Yemen. By the time she arrived at the entrance to the hospital, hostilities in… Continue reading Motherhood on the brink in Yemen

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Myanmar: UN expert calls for emergency summit, warns conditions ‘likely to get much worse’

In a statement on Thursday, Tom Andrews warned that the “pace and scope” of the international response to the military coup in the southeast Asian nation “is falling short of what is required to head off a deepening crisis”.  “Conditions in Myanmar are deteriorating … but they will likely get much worse without an immediate… Continue reading Myanmar: UN expert calls for emergency summit, warns conditions ‘likely to get much worse’

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UN emergency fund allocates $14 million for Rohingya refugees left homeless by massive fire

25 March 2021Migrants and Refugees The United Nations’ top relief official on Wednesday released $14 million in emergency funding to provide life-saving assistance to thousands of Rohingya refugee families, after a massive fire ripped through the Kutupalong camp in southern Bangladesh, earlier this week.  The blaze displaced more than 45,000 mostly Rohingya refugees originally from neighbouring… Continue reading UN emergency fund allocates $14 million for Rohingya refugees left homeless by massive fire

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UN teams assisting tens of thousands of refugees, after massive fire rips through camp in Bangladesh

Though exact numbers are yet to be confirmed, initial estimates indicate that more than 87,000 mostly Rohingya refugees, originally from neighbouring Myanmar, could have been caught up in the blaze, which started around 3pm on Monday (local time) in Camp 8W of the Kutupalong mega camp.  The fire rapidly spread to Camps 8E, 9 and 10. In all, about… Continue reading UN teams assisting tens of thousands of refugees, after massive fire rips through camp in Bangladesh

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‘Seize the moment’ to recover and rebuild better, UN deputy chief urges Asia-Pacific nations

Addressing the eighth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, convened by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Amina Mohammed, highlighted the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  “[They] show the way to inclusive, resilient and sustainable economies and societies that respect people… Continue reading ‘Seize the moment’ to recover and rebuild better, UN deputy chief urges Asia-Pacific nations

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Amidst ‘heightened intensity’ actions toward peace must be ‘in the best interests’ of Afghans

More than six months after formal Afghan peace negotiations between the Government and Taliban representatives were launched in September, Deborah Lyons, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said via video conference that now was “a timely moment to take stock” and assess what must be done to support the path towards… Continue reading Amidst ‘heightened intensity’ actions toward peace must be ‘in the best interests’ of Afghans

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Human Rights Council strengthens rights office probe into Sri Lanka’s long civil war

23 March 2021Human Rights The United Nations Human Rights Council has been given a mandate to collect and preserve information and evidence of crimes related to Sri Lanka’s 37-year long civil war that ended in 2009. The 47-member council on Tuesday adopted a resolution on Tuesday, brought by Britain on behalf of a group of… Continue reading Human Rights Council strengthens rights office probe into Sri Lanka’s long civil war

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Exploited and marginalized, Bangladeshi tea workers speak up for their rights

21 March 2021Economic Development Tea garden workers in Bangladesh, who are mainly women, are one of the most marginalized groups in the country, with limited access to education for their children and prone to dire health risks. A programme supported by the UN’s Joint SDG Fund, which funds initiatives focused on sustainable development, aims to… Continue reading Exploited and marginalized, Bangladeshi tea workers speak up for their rights

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Scores of schools ‘reportedly occupied’ by security forces in Myanmar, as Guterres condemns continuing brutality

“The killing of peaceful demonstrators and arbitrary arrests, including of journalists, is utterly unacceptable”, reiterated UN chief António Guterres, in a statement issued by his Spokesperson.   ‘Firm unified response, is urgently needed’ “The military continues to defy calls, including by the Security Council, to end violations of fundamental human rights and return to the path of… Continue reading Scores of schools ‘reportedly occupied’ by security forces in Myanmar, as Guterres condemns continuing brutality

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Secretary-General appoints Jean Arnault as his personal envoy on Afghanistan

Jean Arnault, then Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia, speaks to the press in Bogota. (file photo) 18 March 2021UN Affairs The United Nations Secretary-General on Wednesday announced the appointment of seasoned mediator Jean Arnault as his new Personal Envoy on Afghanistan and Regional Issues, reflecting the Organization’s continued commitment to the peaceful resolution… Continue reading Secretary-General appoints Jean Arnault as his personal envoy on Afghanistan

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Rights experts demand Iran release academic ‘nearing death’ in solitary confinement

18 March 2021Human Rights United Nations independent human rights experts on Thursday called on Iran to immediately release Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali, reported to be in a “near death” condition after months of prolonged solitary confinement.  The situation of the arbitrarily detained academic “is truly horrific” and that they are “shocked and distressed by the cruel… Continue reading Rights experts demand Iran release academic ‘nearing death’ in solitary confinement

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UN envoy continues efforts to access Myanmar, amidst increasingly brutal crackdown

18 March 2021Peace and Security The UN Special Envoy for Myanmar continues her work towards engaging with officials in the country nearly two months after the military coup, the global Organization said on Thursday.  Christine Schraner Burgener is seeking to visit Myanmar as part of her efforts to calm the situation and set the stage… Continue reading UN envoy continues efforts to access Myanmar, amidst increasingly brutal crackdown

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Myanmar: UN rights office ‘deeply disturbed’ over intensifying violence against protesters

At least 11 people were killed on Monday and 57 over the weekend, marking the bloodiest days since protests started last month.  Among the dead, are a group killed during a violent crackdown in the Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon by security forces, after unknown actors set fire to factories which were either operated or part-owned… Continue reading Myanmar: UN rights office ‘deeply disturbed’ over intensifying violence against protesters

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South Asia: Sharp rise in child and maternal deaths due to COVID-19

17 March 2021Health Severe disruptions in health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have resulted in an additional 239,000 child and maternal deaths in South Asia last year, United Nations agencies said on Wednesday.  In a new report, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said that the… Continue reading South Asia: Sharp rise in child and maternal deaths due to COVID-19

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Myanmar crisis: UN chief ‘appalled’ by escalating violence with dozens reported killed over weekend

Violence continues to rage across the south-east Asian nation at the hands of forces loyal to leaders of the 1  Feb military coup, and, according to media reports, dozens of people lost their lives, including around 50 on Sunday alone.   “The killing of demonstrators, arbitrary arrests and the reported torture of prisoners violate fundamental human rights and stand in… Continue reading Myanmar crisis: UN chief ‘appalled’ by escalating violence with dozens reported killed over weekend

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UN agency raises alarm over ‘targeted’ violence against women in Myanmar protests

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN-Women. (file photo) 12 March 2021Peace and Security The United Nations entity dedicated to protection of women’s rights has voiced deep concerns over “targeted and disproportionate” violence against women being recorded during the crackdown against peaceful protesters in Myanmar.  In addition, women in detention are also reportedly experiencing sexual harassment… Continue reading UN agency raises alarm over ‘targeted’ violence against women in Myanmar protests

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Myanmar mired ever deeper in crisis as human rights spiral backwards, warns Türk

“By nearly every feasible measurement, and in every area of human rights – economic, social and cultural, as much as civil and political – Myanmar has profoundly regressed,” he said. “Despite clear legal obligations for the military to protect civilians in the conduct of hostilities, there has been consistent disregard for the related rules of… Continue reading Myanmar mired ever deeper in crisis as human rights spiral backwards, warns Türk

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Afghanistan: Top UN delegation tells Taliban to end confinement, deprivation, abuse of women’s rights

Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, the Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, and the Assistant Secretary-General for UN political, peacebuilding and peace operations, Khaled Khiari, spend four days on a fact-finding mission in Afghanistan, to engage with Taliban leaders, and “underscore UN solidarity with the Afghan people”, according to a press release issued to correspondents on Friday. … Continue reading Afghanistan: Top UN delegation tells Taliban to end confinement, deprivation, abuse of women’s rights

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Sri Lanka must ensure compensation for victims of 2019 terrorist attacks

18 January 2023Human Rights Sri Lanka must fully compensate victims of the Easter Sunday 2019 terrorist attacks, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Wednesday, following a recent decision by the country’s top court.  Last week, the Supreme Court ordered the former President and three other senior officials to compensate the families of the… Continue reading Sri Lanka must ensure compensation for victims of 2019 terrorist attacks

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Pakistan still an ‘ongoing nightmare’ for millions of children, following major flooding

17 January 2023Humanitarian Aid Four million children are fighting for survival near contaminated and stagnant flood waters in Pakistan, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday. While “the rains have ended…to a great degree, so has media attention,” UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, Abdullah Fadil, told reporters in Geneva adding that, with homes destroyed,… Continue reading Pakistan still an ‘ongoing nightmare’ for millions of children, following major flooding

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Pakistan: rights experts urge action on coerced religious conversions, child marriage

16 January 2023Women Top independent human rights experts expressed alarm on Monday at a rise in abductions of girls as young as 13 in Pakistan, who are forced to marry and convert to Islam. In their appeal to the authorities to stop the alleged abuse, the experts warned that teenagers had been “kidnapped from their… Continue reading Pakistan: rights experts urge action on coerced religious conversions, child marriage

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Indonesia: President’s apology for past rights violations a ‘step on the long road to justice’

13 January 2023Human Rights The UN human rights office, OHCHR, welcomed on Friday the Indonesian President’s statement of regret earlier this week, for serious rights violations dating back to the 1960s.  President Joko Widodo reportedly acknowledged “gross human rights violations” during his country’s past, and expressed regret for a dozen past incidents, stretching back more… Continue reading Indonesia: President’s apology for past rights violations a ‘step on the long road to justice’

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Iran: UN rights chief Türk warns against further ‘State-sanctioned killing’

Volker Türk’s allegation that criminal proceedings and the death penalty had been weaponized to stamp out dissent, follows the execution in the last months of four people involved in nationwide protests, that were sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, in September. “The weaponization of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic… Continue reading Iran: UN rights chief Türk warns against further ‘State-sanctioned killing’

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Myanmar: Hundreds of political prisoners released, but thousands remain in jail

“The release of political prisoners in Myanmar is not only a relief to those unfairly detained, but also their families”, OHCHR Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence told journalists in Geneva. “Importantly, however, we take this opportunity to call for the release of the thousands of others who remain in detention for opposing military rule”. Tortured in prison… Continue reading Myanmar: Hundreds of political prisoners released, but thousands remain in jail

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COVID-19: China infection surge on agenda at WHO coronavirus meeting

3 January 2023Health Amid a reported surge in COVID-19 infections in China, coronavirus experts have been meeting at the UN health agency on Tuesday, to discuss next steps. In Geneva, a spokesperson for the WHO confirmed to journalists in Geneva that Chinese scientists had been invited to participate in a meeting of the Technical Advisory… Continue reading COVID-19: China infection surge on agenda at WHO coronavirus meeting

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UN and top aid officials slam Afghan rulers’ NGO ban for women

“Banning women from humanitarian work has immediate life-threatening consequences for all Afghans,” they insisted. Some aid programmes have already had to stop temporarily, owing to a lack of female staff, at a time when more than 28 million people in Afghanistan need “assistance to survive” the brutal winter, economic collapse and the risk of famine,… Continue reading UN and top aid officials slam Afghan rulers’ NGO ban for women

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‘Unfathomable restrictions’ on women’s rights risk destabilizing Afghanistan

27 December 2022Human Rights The UN rights chief, Volker Türk, called on Tuesday for the Taliban de facto authorities to revoke immediately a raft of policies that target the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, saying that they cause “terrible, cascading effects” on their lives and risk destabilizing the nation.   “No country can develop – indeed… Continue reading ‘Unfathomable restrictions’ on women’s rights risk destabilizing Afghanistan

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UN Secretary-General ‘deeply disturbed’ by Taliban’s reported ban on women working for NGOs in Afghanistan

25 December 2022Women Amid reports on Saturday that the Taliban had barred women from working for local and international NGOs, the United Nations said the decision would undermine the efforts of numerous organizations working throughout Afghanistan to help the most vulnerable, especially women and girls. A statement issued by Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that Secretary-General António Guterres was “deeply… Continue reading UN Secretary-General ‘deeply disturbed’ by Taliban’s reported ban on women working for NGOs in Afghanistan

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Millions of Afghan children inoculated against measles, polio in 1st Statewide drive since 2021 transition

22 December 2022Health Millions of Afghan children have been vaccinated during the first nationwide integrated measles and polio campaign in Afghanistan since the Taliban took power in August 2021, the UN health agency said on Thursday. Afghanistan has vaccinated 5.36 million nine- to 59-month old children against measles while 6.1 million infants to 59-month-olds received… Continue reading Millions of Afghan children inoculated against measles, polio in 1st Statewide drive since 2021 transition

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Afghanistan: Taliban urged to halt public floggings and executions

These punishments began after Taliban Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada last month ordered judges to uphold aspects of Islamic law.  “We call on the de facto authorities to immediately establish a moratorium on the death penalty, prohibit flogging and other physical punishments that constitute torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and guarantee… Continue reading Afghanistan: Taliban urged to halt public floggings and executions

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Philippines: Rights expert urges greater action to combat child sexual exploitation

Mama Fatima Singhateh, Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, concluded an 11-day visit to the country on Friday, where she met with government officials, UN agencies, civil society representatives, faith-based leaders, diplomats, and local boys and girls.  She commended a recent law that requires social media platforms and internet service providers… Continue reading Philippines: Rights expert urges greater action to combat child sexual exploitation

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Myanmar: Secretive military courts sentence scores of people to death 

“The military continues to hold proceedings in secretive courts in violation of basic principles of fair trial and contrary to core judicial guarantees of independence and impartiality”, Volker Türk added, calling for the suspension of all executions and a return to a moratorium on death penalty.  Dealing out death   On Wednesday, a military court sentenced… Continue reading Myanmar: Secretive military courts sentence scores of people to death 

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Cambodia: In visit to genocide museum, UN chief warns of the dangers of hate and persecution

Mr. Guterres was speaking at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, memorial site of the infamous S-21 interrogation and detention centre under the bloody regime, which lasted from 1975 to 1979. ‘An essential reminder’ It is estimated that up to 18,000 people from across Cambodia were brought to the facility, located in a former secondary school… Continue reading Cambodia: In visit to genocide museum, UN chief warns of the dangers of hate and persecution

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Crime and terrorism thriving again in Afghanistan amid economic ruin, warns Kőrösi

Csaba Kőrösi painted a near apocalyptic picture of ordinary life in the Taliban-ruled nation that has endured almost five decades of “relentless conflict”, urging the international community to make up the $2.3 billion shortfall in the UN humanitarian appeal for $4.4 billion. ‘Moral imperative’ In a powerful speech to ambassadors in New York, during a full session… Continue reading Crime and terrorism thriving again in Afghanistan amid economic ruin, warns Kőrösi

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UN ramps up humanitarian appeal for life-saving assistance to 3.4 million Sri Lankans

8 November 2022Humanitarian Aid Amidst Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis since independence, the UN on Tuesday revised its joint Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) Plan, appealing for more life-saving assistance to aid 3.4 million people. Since June, the UN team in Sri Lanka and NGOs have used the HNP to respond to the Government’s request… Continue reading UN ramps up humanitarian appeal for life-saving assistance to 3.4 million Sri Lankans

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Public health risks increasing in flood-affected Pakistan, warns WHO

1 November 2022Health Although flood waters have continued to recede in many flood-affected areas across Pakistan in recent weeks, around eight million people need essential health assistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. Public health risks are increasing, driven by damaged infrastructure, stagnant water and inadequate sanitation facilities, the UN health agency said.… Continue reading Public health risks increasing in flood-affected Pakistan, warns WHO

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Afghanistan: Opium cultivation up nearly a third, warns UNODC

Opium cultivation in Afghanistan – latest findings and emerging threats, is the first report on the illicit opium trade since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021. The authorities banned all cultivation of opium poppy and all narcotics under strict new laws, in April 2022. Opium is the essential ingredient for manufacturing the street… Continue reading Afghanistan: Opium cultivation up nearly a third, warns UNODC

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Horrific Thailand nursery attack prompts swift international condemnation

6 October 2022Culture and Education A horrific attack on a childcare centre in northern Thailand that has left dozens dead, prompted strong international condemnation on Thursday. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said he was shocked and saddened by the mass shooting.  More than 35 people have been killed, according to news reports, many of them children, said… Continue reading Horrific Thailand nursery attack prompts swift international condemnation

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Latest DPR Korea missile launch risks escalating tensions, Security Council hears

5 October 2022Peace and Security The international community must step up efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons in the wake of the latest firing of a ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), a senior UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday. Assistant-Secretary-General Khaled Khiari briefed ambassadors on the UN’s response to… Continue reading Latest DPR Korea missile launch risks escalating tensions, Security Council hears

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Afghanistan: UN condemns ‘callous’ suicide attack on education centre

30 September 2022Peace and Security The UN has condemned a suicide bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul which has left more than 20 dead, according to latest news reports, many of them young women who were sitting mock exams at an education centre. Dozens more were wounded at the Kaaj tuition centre, in the Dasht-e-Barchi… Continue reading Afghanistan: UN condemns ‘callous’ suicide attack on education centre

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Iran: UN experts demand stay of execution for two women LGBT rights activists

“We strongly condemn the sentencing of Ms. Sedighi-Hamadani and Ms. Choubdar to death and call on authorities to stay their executions and annul their sentences as soon as possible,” they said in a statement. ‘Corruption on earth’ Iran’s legal system explicitly prohibits homosexuality, which under the country’s penal code is punishable by death. The women… Continue reading Iran: UN experts demand stay of execution for two women LGBT rights activists

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Iran: UN human rights office condemns violent crackdown against hijab protests

Authorities in Iran must fully respect the rights of protestors calling for justice for Mahsa Amini, the young woman who died in custody after being arrested for allegedly violating strict dress codes, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday.  OHCHR said it was very concerned about the continued violent response to the protests,… Continue reading Iran: UN human rights office condemns violent crackdown against hijab protests

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At UN, Foreign Minister Wang Yi sees ‘hope’ in turbulent times, reaffirms ‘One China’ policy

Despite the world’s current phase of “turbulence and transformation”, there are “reasons for hope” amid broadening cooperation and deepening economic globalization, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the UN on Saturday, as he also upheld the ‘One China’ policy as “international consensus.” “We are at a time fraught with challenges. COVID-19 keeps resurfacing, global security… Continue reading At UN, Foreign Minister Wang Yi sees ‘hope’ in turbulent times, reaffirms ‘One China’ policy

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‘We must continue to believe in the power of diplomacy,’ India says in UN speech

India was represented at the opening of the 77th General Assembly by Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who reminded his audience that India is celebrating 75 years of independence, which he described as a story of the “toil, determination, innovation, and enterprise of millions of ordinary Indians”.  The Minister outlined India’s commitment to multilateralism,… Continue reading ‘We must continue to believe in the power of diplomacy,’ India says in UN speech

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Flood-ravaged Pakistan’s leader appeals for urgent global support in UN address

“No words can describe the shock we are living through or how the face of the country lies transformed,” Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate. “For 40 days and 40 nights a biblical flood poured down on us, smashing centuries of weather records, challenging everything we knew about disaster, and how… Continue reading Flood-ravaged Pakistan’s leader appeals for urgent global support in UN address

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Cambodia: UN-backed tribunal ends with conviction upheld for last living Khmer Rouge leader

The final Khmer Rouge leader to be prosecuted under a UN-backed special tribunal in Cambodia, has had his 2018 conviction upheld for genocide and crimes against humanity, committed during the brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge during the late 1970s, during which nearly a quarter of the country’s population was killed. The decision of the Extraordinary… Continue reading Cambodia: UN-backed tribunal ends with conviction upheld for last living Khmer Rouge leader

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UN experts strongly condemn death of Mahsa Amini, ‘victim of Iran’s sustained repression’

UN independent human rights experts on Thursday strongly condemned the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody following her arrest for allegedly failing to comply with Iran’s strict rules on women’s dress, by wearing what authorities said was “an improper hijab”. “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Ms… Continue reading UN experts strongly condemn death of Mahsa Amini, ‘victim of Iran’s sustained repression’

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ‘tramples on the UN Charter’ says Japanese Prime Minister

More than 75 years have passed since the establishment of the United Nations as a guardian of global peace “we are still witnessing the devastation in Ukraine and around the world”, said Japanese Prime Minister, Kishida Fumio, during his speech to the UN General Assembly. He noted that the UN has been playing a central… Continue reading Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ‘tramples on the UN Charter’ says Japanese Prime Minister

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Alarm over Iranian woman’s death after ‘improper’ hijab arrest

Mahsa Amini was arrested a week ago by Iran’s “morality police” in Teheran. The 22-year-old, whose Kurdish name is Jhina – fell into a coma shortly after collapsing at a detention centre, and died three days later, officially of a heart attack. In Geneva, Spokesperson for the UN rights office OHCHR, Ravina Shamdasani, said that… Continue reading Alarm over Iranian woman’s death after ‘improper’ hijab arrest

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Myanmar: Increasing evidence of crimes against humanity since coup

The Geneva-based body was briefed by Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), who presented its latest report.  The Mechanism was established by the Council to collect and preserve evidence of the most serious international crimes in the country.  Lack of accountability  Mr. Koumjian began by pointing out that it has… Continue reading Myanmar: Increasing evidence of crimes against humanity since coup

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Pakistan: UN scales up financial and other support after ‘latest climate tragedy’

A $7 million disbursement from the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), announced on Friday, will bolster response to the devastating monsoon floods in Pakistan, the worst in more than a decade.  The funding will help prevent waterborne diseases and epidemics, and provide nutrition supplements, clean water and reproductive health care for the most vulnerable… Continue reading Pakistan: UN scales up financial and other support after ‘latest climate tragedy’

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In flood-hit Pakistan, Guterres appeals for ‘massive’ global support, tougher action on climate change

Pakistan has been inundated with near continuous monsoon rainfall, flash flooding, and rain-induced landslides since mid-June, causing widespread devastation and casualties affecting millions of people across the South Asian country. Upon his arrival, Mr. Guterres was briefed on the latest developments and the Pakistan-led response by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto… Continue reading In flood-hit Pakistan, Guterres appeals for ‘massive’ global support, tougher action on climate change

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Rights experts urge China to address grave violations in Xinjiang province

Their statement follows the recent publication of a long-awaited report by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which found that “serious human rights violations” had been committed against the Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities there.  Support for UN report  In supporting the assessment, the experts highlighted the conclusion, which stated that “the extent of… Continue reading Rights experts urge China to address grave violations in Xinjiang province

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Sri Lanka: New Government urged to make progress on accountability, institutional reforms

The country is in the grip of a serious economic crisis which has had a severe impact on the human rights of all communities.  This has sparked demands for deeper reforms and accountability, giving the authorities a fresh opportunity to steer a new way forward, said the report, which calls for holding a national dialogue… Continue reading Sri Lanka: New Government urged to make progress on accountability, institutional reforms

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Papua New Guinea: Conflict and election-related violence trigger wave of displacement

Following conflict and election-related violence in Papua New Guinea, more than 15,000 people have been internally displaced in Hela, Southern Highlands and Enga provinces, the International Organization for Migration´s (IOM) said on Tuesday. From 13 to 30 August, IOM partnered with local authorities in deploying its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team to track and monitor… Continue reading Papua New Guinea: Conflict and election-related violence trigger wave of displacement

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Pakistan: More than 6.4 million in ‘dire need’ after unprecedented floods

The scale of the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan is unprecedented, with a third of the country under water, UN humanitarians warned on Friday. With more than 33 million people impacted, that represents 15 per cent of the total Pakistani population, said Dr. Palitha MAHIPALA, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in the country. Some “6.4 plus million… Continue reading Pakistan: More than 6.4 million in ‘dire need’ after unprecedented floods

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China responsible for ‘serious human rights violations’ in Xinjiang province: UN human rights report

The report published on Wednesday in the wake of the visit by UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet in May, said that “allegations of patterns of torture, or ill-treatment, including forced medical treatment and adverse conditions of detention, are credible, as are allegations of individual incidents of sexual and gender-based violence.” In a… Continue reading China responsible for ‘serious human rights violations’ in Xinjiang province: UN human rights report

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Sri Lanka: WFP helps alleviate stress of pregnancy amidst skyrocketing food prices 

An ongoing economic crisis and political turmoil have pushed food price inflation to above 90 percent, with a shortage of fuel disrupting access, livelihoods, and food safety programmes, leaving millions vulnerable to food insecurity. Pregnant and anxious As the food voucher distribution gets underway, the women make their way up through an open staircase to… Continue reading Sri Lanka: WFP helps alleviate stress of pregnancy amidst skyrocketing food prices 

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Pakistan: WHO warns of significant health risks as floods continue

Major health risks are unfolding in Pakistan as unprecedented flooding continues, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, warning of the threat of further spread of malaria, dengue fever and other water- and vector-borne diseases. More than 33 million people, and three-quarters of all districts, have been affected by the disaster, which was brought… Continue reading Pakistan: WHO warns of significant health risks as floods continue

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Pakistan: $160 million UN emergency plan launched, as ‘monsoon on steroids’ continues

A $160 million emergency plan to help Pakistan deal with devastating flooding has been launched by the United Nations, aiming to reach “5.2 million of the most vulnerable people in the country”. An estimated 33 million people have been affected by the “worst flooding in decades “and more than 1,000 people, mostly children”, have died… Continue reading Pakistan: $160 million UN emergency plan launched, as ‘monsoon on steroids’ continues

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UN expert proposes action plan to boost human rights in Cambodia

UN Special Rapporteur Vitit Muntarbhorn announced the plan on Friday at the conclusion of an 11-day mission to the country.  Although Cambodia has achieved much internationally-recognised progress, and ratified most core human rights treaties, he noted that a “pervasive paradox” persists.  “Since 2017, when the main opposition party was disbanded unjustly by judicial order, the… Continue reading UN expert proposes action plan to boost human rights in Cambodia

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Sri Lanka: Devastating crisis for children, a ‘cautionary tale’ for South Asia 

Staple foods have become unaffordable, warned UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, George Laryea-Adjei on Friday, who pointed out that severe malnutrition in crisis-wracked Sri Lanka was already among the highest in the region.  The alert from the UN Children’s Fund, comes as Sri Lanka continues to suffer its worst financial slump since independence in… Continue reading Sri Lanka: Devastating crisis for children, a ‘cautionary tale’ for South Asia 

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Afghanistan: UNHCR alarm over forced refugee returns from Tajikistan

On Thursday, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, warned of the danger faced by Afghan refugees who continue to be detained and deported from Tajikistan, reiterating that it’s illegal to force those fleeing persecution back to their homeland. In the latest incident, some five Afghans, including a family comprising three children and their mother, were returned… Continue reading Afghanistan: UNHCR alarm over forced refugee returns from Tajikistan

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Singapore: UN rights chief welcomes repeal of colonial-era law banning sex between men

The UN human rights chief on Monday welcomed the announcement from the Prime Minister of Singapore, that the city State would move to repeal a law known as 377A, which for decades has criminalized sex between men. “This colonial era law has more broadly impacted and stigmatised the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people as a whole”,… Continue reading Singapore: UN rights chief welcomes repeal of colonial-era law banning sex between men

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Sri Lanka’s economic crisis pushes health system to brink of collapse

Sri Lanka is in the midst of the worst socio-economic crisis in its history, and the once robust health-care system is nearing collapse, with patients at risk from power shortages, a lack of medicines, and equipment shortages. When Ruchika found out she was pregnant with her second child, in October 2021, she could not have… Continue reading Sri Lanka’s economic crisis pushes health system to brink of collapse

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Amidst military rule, UN envoy travels to Myanmar for first time

The visit follows the Security Council’s latest call for an end to the violence and unimpeded humanitarian access to the Southeast Asian nation. Ms. Heyzer, a women’s rights activist from Singapore, will focus on addressing the deteriorating situation there, according to the UN.  News agencies cited security officials who wished to remain anonymous in reporting that… Continue reading Amidst military rule, UN envoy travels to Myanmar for first time

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UN agencies underline commitment to women and girls in Afghanistan one year after Taliban takeover

“It has been a year of increasing disrespect for their right to live free and equal lives, denying them opportunity to livelihoods, access to health care and education, and escape from situations of violence,” said Sima Bahous, Executive Director at UN Women.  🚨What is happening in #Afghanistan is an alarm bell for us all. 🚨… Continue reading UN agencies underline commitment to women and girls in Afghanistan one year after Taliban takeover

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‘Immensely bleak’ future for Afghanistan unless massive human rights reversal, experts warn

“The future is immensely bleak for Afghans if more is not done by the international community to ensure the Taliban changes its modus operandi and complies with its human rights obligations,” they said in a statement.  The experts recalled that following the Taliban takeover last August, they had appealed for the international community to take… Continue reading ‘Immensely bleak’ future for Afghanistan unless massive human rights reversal, experts warn

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From the Field: Young Fijians work with older generation for a sustainable future

On the island nation of Fiji, young people are working in solidarity with their elders, benefiting from their knowledge and experience to protect the fragile ecosystem. “Projects Abroad” youth volunteers conserving Fiji’s beaches., by UNDP One such project involves young people conserving and protecting Fiji’s coral reef and the marine environment around the island. The… Continue reading From the Field: Young Fijians work with older generation for a sustainable future

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From the Field: Keeping China’s minority traditions alive

In China, ethnic minority women from the 55 ethnic minority groups formally recognized by the country, are playing a vital role in protecting traditional knowledge and preserving cultural heritage. Women of the Lisu ethnic minority, from Yunnan province, China, in traditional dress., by UNDP China  On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, celebrated… Continue reading From the Field: Keeping China’s minority traditions alive

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Sri Lanka: UNFPA appeals for $10.7 million for ‘critical’ women’s healthcare

The UN sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, is leading efforts to protect women and girls’ rights to give birth safely and live without gender-based violence, according to a statement issued on Monday. “UNFPA is committed to meeting the critical health and protection needs of women and girls,” said Kunle Adeniyi, UNFPA representative in Sri… Continue reading Sri Lanka: UNFPA appeals for $10.7 million for ‘critical’ women’s healthcare

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Press freedom increasingly under threat in Cambodia – UN human rights report

All of the 65 journalists interviewed in the State of Press Freedom in Cambodia said they had faced some form of interference in the course of their work – and more than 80 per cent described being put under surveillance, facing disproportionate or unnecessary restrictions, including access to information. “The findings in this report are… Continue reading Press freedom increasingly under threat in Cambodia – UN human rights report

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UN Human Rights Office ‘deplores’ executions in Singapore

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) denounced on Tuesday the hanging of two inmates in Changi Prison, located in the eastern part of Singapore. “We deplore the hanging today of two men in Singapore and are deeply troubled by the planned execution of two others on 5 August,” OHCHR Spokesman Liz Throssell said in a… Continue reading UN Human Rights Office ‘deplores’ executions in Singapore

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Singapore: Rights experts call for moratorium on executions for drugs offences

Nazeri Bin Lajim, a Malay Singaporean national, was arrested in April 2012 for trafficking more than 33 grammes of diamorphine. He was executed last Friday.   “Under international law, States that have not yet abolished the death penalty may only impose it for the ‘most serious crimes’, involving intentional killing,” the experts said. “Drug offences… Continue reading Singapore: Rights experts call for moratorium on executions for drugs offences

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Top rights experts urge repeal of Hong Kong’s national security law

Independent UN-appointed human rights experts who have urged China to repeal Hong Kong’s 2020 national security law (NSL) after claiming that its use had led to the arrest of children, said on Wednesday that they welcomed pledges to replace it with a more transparent and consultative process. Chinese and Hong Kong officials have said the… Continue reading Top rights experts urge repeal of Hong Kong’s national security law

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Myanmar junta’s execution of four democracy activists condemned by UN

Thomas Andrews said he was “outraged and devastated” following what’s believed to be the first use of capital punishment in the Southeast Asian nation in decades. I’m devastated by news that former parliamentarian Zeyar Thaw and longtime activist Ko Jimmy were executed with two others today. UN Member States must honor their lives by making… Continue reading Myanmar junta’s execution of four democracy activists condemned by UN

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UN condemns election-related violence across Papua New Guinea Highlands

The UN on Thursday “unequivocally” condemned the recent escalation of violence across the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea (PNG) which has erupted during the ongoing two week period of staggered voting for national elections. The UN Country Team called for an “immediate cessation” to the election-related violence amidst a deteriorating security situation in the Highlands region… Continue reading UN condemns election-related violence across Papua New Guinea Highlands

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Sri Lanka economic crisis requires ‘immediate global attention’: Rights experts

Greater support must be given to Sri Lanka as the country faces economic crisis and political turmoil, a group of UN human rights experts said on Wednesday in an appeal to the international community.  “Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate global attention, not just from humanitarian agencies, but from international financial institutions, private lenders and… Continue reading Sri Lanka economic crisis requires ‘immediate global attention’: Rights experts

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Philippines: Top rights expert appeals to President Marcos over Maria Ressa conviction

Ms. Ressa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for her work defending freedom of expression as a co-founder of independent news outlet Rappler, was convicted of “cyber libel” in 2020. It followed publication of an article on alleged corruption involving the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the Philippines. The ruling… Continue reading Philippines: Top rights expert appeals to President Marcos over Maria Ressa conviction

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Record inflation and skyrocketing prices leave over 6 million Sri Lankans food insecure 

As prices keep healthy meals out of reach, some 61 per cent of households are regularly using coping strategies to cut down on costs, such as reducing the amount they eat and consuming increasingly less nutritious meals.  And with opportunities to make enough income in the medium to long-term decreasing for an estimated 200,000 families,… Continue reading Record inflation and skyrocketing prices leave over 6 million Sri Lankans food insecure 

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Bachelet calls for impartial, ‘transparent investigation’ into Uzbekistan protest deaths

The UN human rights chief called on Tuesday for a prompt, impartial and “transparent investigation” into the deaths of at least 18 people during clashes at protests in the Uzbek region of Karakalpakstan last Friday. “The reports we have received about serious violence, including killings, during the protests are very concerning,” said High Commissioner Michelle… Continue reading Bachelet calls for impartial, ‘transparent investigation’ into Uzbekistan protest deaths

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In Afghanistan, women take their lives out of desperation, Human Rights Council hears

The situation for women is so desperate in Afghanistan that they are committing suicide at a rate of one or two every day, the Human Rights Council has heard. It comes as the top UN rights forum in Geneva agreed to Member States’ request for a rare Urgent Debate on the issue this Friday. Addressing… Continue reading In Afghanistan, women take their lives out of desperation, Human Rights Council hears

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Myanmar: Shocking toll on children must be spur to action, says UN rights expert 

Myanmar’s military junta is responsible for shocking violence against children caught up in the bloody aftermath of last February’s coup, a top independent Human Rights Council-appointed investigator said on Wednesday.  Three months since his last update to the UN rights forum in Geneva, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews,… Continue reading Myanmar: Shocking toll on children must be spur to action, says UN rights expert 

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Countries urged to ‘dig deep’ and support Afghanistan in aftermath of deadly earthquake

The top UN official in Afghanistan appealed on Sunday for greater international support for the country, following a one-day visit to communities hit hard by the devastating earthquake on Wednesday. “Yesterday’s visit reaffirmed to me both the extreme suffering of people in Afghanistan and their tremendous resolve in the face of great adversity,” said Dr.… Continue reading Countries urged to ‘dig deep’ and support Afghanistan in aftermath of deadly earthquake

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Life-saving relief continues to reach quake-hit eastern Afghanistan

Emergency lifesaving aid relief continued to flow into quake-hit eastern Afghanistan on Friday, as UN humanitarians and partners rushed to help the most vulnerable communities. One of the UN teams on the ground, the refugee agency UNHCR, transported tons of relief items into the provinces of Khost and Paktika, where several thousand houses were destroyed or damaged… Continue reading Life-saving relief continues to reach quake-hit eastern Afghanistan

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Iran urged to halt imminent finger amputation of eight prisoners

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, is urging Iran to call off plans to amputate the fingers of eight prisoners convicted of burglary, Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said on Wednesday.  The men were sentenced to “have four fingers on their right hands completely cut off so that only the palms of their hands and their thumbs… Continue reading Iran urged to halt imminent finger amputation of eight prisoners

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UN agencies rush to aid Afghanistan following deadly quake

The UN and partners have rushed to support Afghanistan following a devastating earthquake that hit two provinces in the east of the country early on Wednesday morning.  At least 1,000 people have been killed, according to media reports, and numbers are expected to rise.    [email protected] has dispatched several mobile health and nutrition teams to… Continue reading UN agencies rush to aid Afghanistan following deadly quake

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Sri Lanka: WFP ramps up emergency support, beginning with pregnant mothers in need

The World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday began distributing food vouchers to pregnant women in underserved districts of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, marking the start of the UN agency’s emergency response in the country, which is facing its gravest political and economic crisis since independence. WFP is working to provide life-saving food, cash and… Continue reading Sri Lanka: WFP ramps up emergency support, beginning with pregnant mothers in need

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Afghanistan facing ‘the darkest moments’ in a generation

“In the wake of years of conflict, and since the takeover by the Taliban in August last year, the country has been plunged into a deep economic, social, humanitarian and human rights crisis,” said High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet. Systematic oppression She admired the courage of Afghan women in demanding their inalienable rights while facing a… Continue reading Afghanistan facing ‘the darkest moments’ in a generation

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Rights experts alarmed by violent civil society crackdown in Iran

The six Special Rapporteurs were alarmed by the recent escalation of arbitrary arrests of teachers, labour activists, union leaders, lawyers, human rights defenders, and others.  Demonstrations have spread across Iran since early May, following the Government’s decision to cut subsidies on food items. At least five protesters have been killed as a result of excessive… Continue reading Rights experts alarmed by violent civil society crackdown in Iran

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Afghanistan: World Bank provides $150 million lifeline to stem rural hunger 

A critical $150 million dollar lifeline for rural families in Afghanistan was announced by the World Bank on Monday, part of an overall package of $195 million, for critical livelihood and life-saving assistance, the UN agriculture agency FAO, said on Monday. Some 19.7 million people – almost half of Afghanistan’s population – are facing acute… Continue reading Afghanistan: World Bank provides $150 million lifeline to stem rural hunger 

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UN human rights experts urge China to allow them ‘full access’ 

“Strengthening engagement with independent human rights experts and Human Rights Council mechanisms is crucial to full and transparent enforcement of China’s human rights obligations,” the group of more than 40 experts said, ahead of the Council’s landmark 50th session, which begins on Monday.   Systemic violations  In a statement, they recalled the Government’s high-level engagement with… Continue reading UN human rights experts urge China to allow them ‘full access’ 

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Myanmar: Death sentences ‘vile attempt at instilling fear’, rights experts charge

Special Rapporteurs Thomas Andrews and Morris Tidball-Binz, fear the development could signal the start of a spate of executions in a country which has not carried out capital punishment in more than 30 years.  Disregard for human rights  “The illegitimate military junta is providing the international community with further evidence of its disregard for human… Continue reading Myanmar: Death sentences ‘vile attempt at instilling fear’, rights experts charge

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Sri Lanka: UN appeals for $47 million for life-saving aid to 1.7 million people

In response to the country’s request for UN-backed international assistance, the Organization and other partners launched a joint Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) Plan to aid 1.7 million people worst-hit by the economic crisis. Covering the period from June to September this year, it aims to address the most urgent needs – with a particular focus… Continue reading Sri Lanka: UN appeals for $47 million for life-saving aid to 1.7 million people

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UN report finds ‘limited progress’ on human rights protections for Iraqis

A UN report issued on Thursday, describes “limited progress” towards justice for human rights violations and abuses committed against dissenters exercising their right to free speech in Iraq. “The Government of Iraq admittedly operates in a complex environment, including within the context of stalled government formation,” said the Update on Accountability in Iraq, jointly published… Continue reading UN report finds ‘limited progress’ on human rights protections for Iraqis

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Over a billion methamphetamine tabs seized in East and Southeast Asia

More than one billion methamphetamine tablets were seized in East and Southeast Asia last year, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has warned. The staggering drugs haul across the vast region is further proof that illicit manufacturing there continues to expand unchecked, with “extreme volumes of methamphetamine” in production, along with a decreasing number of new… Continue reading Over a billion methamphetamine tabs seized in East and Southeast Asia

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UN rights chief concludes China trip with promise of improved relations

At the end of her official visit to China, the first such trip in 17 years, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet announced new areas of engagement between her office and the Chinese Government on rights issues, and summarized the many rights issues raised during her six-day May mission. During Saturday’s virtual press conference, Ms. Bachelet,… Continue reading UN rights chief concludes China trip with promise of improved relations

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Afghan authorities urged to address serious human rights challenges

Afghanistan is at a crossroads and the de facto authorities, the Taliban, must pursue a path towards stability and freedom for all citizens, especially women, the UN independent expert on human rights there said in the capital, Kabul, on Thursday.  Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett was speaking to journalists at the end of an 11-day visit… Continue reading Afghan authorities urged to address serious human rights challenges

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UN rights chief Bachelet holds ‘valuable’ meeting with China’s President Xi

On day three of her official mission to China, top UN rights official Michelle Bachelet described having a “valuable opportunity” to highlight rights issues and concerns with President Xi Jinping and other senior officials, the first such visit by a UN rights chief since 2005. In a tweet on Wednesday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Bachelet, indicated that she… Continue reading UN rights chief Bachelet holds ‘valuable’ meeting with China’s President Xi

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Nepal responsible for torture, rape and killing of teenage girl: UN rights committee

The finding follows a complaint submitted to the UN body by the girl’s parents, who said they had exhausted all possible avenues for securing justice and accountability at home.  Case underscores impunity   “The gravity of this case has not faded with time even though 18 years have passed,” said Committee member Hélène Tigroudja.   “This… Continue reading Nepal responsible for torture, rape and killing of teenage girl: UN rights committee

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WHO ‘concerned’ over COVID-19 outbreak in DPR Korea, reiterates full support

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday expressed concern over the current COVID-19 outbreak in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), where no public vaccination programme has been put in place, reiterating its commitment to support the country response to the pandemic. In a statement, WHO took note of the “deaths and large number… Continue reading WHO ‘concerned’ over COVID-19 outbreak in DPR Korea, reiterates full support

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Afghanistan: Nearly 20 million going hungry

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis for the country also revealed a pocket of “catastrophic” levels of food insecurity in the northeast, affecting thousands.  Record levels of hunger persist in #Afghanistan as lingering drought and the deep economic crisis continue to threaten lives and livelihoods. Humanitarian assistance averted a catastrophe in the… Continue reading Afghanistan: Nearly 20 million going hungry

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Afghanistan: Taliban orders women to stay home; cover up in public

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) issued a statement of deep concern on Saturday in response to an announcement made by the Taliban de facto authorities saying that women should only leave their homes in cases of necessity and then, with their faces covered in public. According to information received by UNAMA, this is a formal… Continue reading Afghanistan: Taliban orders women to stay home; cover up in public

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UN rights office calls for Singapore stay of execution for Malaysia nationals 

In Singapore, the UN rights office, OHCHR, called on Monday for a stay of execution for two Malaysian nationals accused of drug offences.  The execution of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam and Datchinamurthy Kataiah is imminent, the UN rights office said in a statement, before pointing to an apparently “alarming acceleration in execution notices” in Singapore, since the… Continue reading UN rights office calls for Singapore stay of execution for Malaysia nationals 

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Volunteers demonstrate compassion of Ramadan in Indonesia: A UN Resident Coordinator blog

Millions of volunteers in Indonesia have given their time and expertise to help build a fairer and more inclusive society according to Valerie Julliand, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the country.  As Indonesia celebrates Ramadan, Ms Julliand and Toily Kurbanov, Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers explain* why volunteerism encapsulates the generosity and compassion of… Continue reading Volunteers demonstrate compassion of Ramadan in Indonesia: A UN Resident Coordinator blog

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The dangers of defending women accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, defending women accused of sorcery, has become a life-threatening occupation. The UN and European Union run Spotlight Initiative, is promoting legislation that will protect threatened human rights defenders in the country, who risk violence, torture, and death. “When we are trying to help others, or when we go to court to… Continue reading The dangers of defending women accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea

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Respect and protect basic human rights in Sri Lanka, UN experts urge

Following this week’s crackdown on non-violent demonstrations in Sri Lanka, independent UN human rights experts urged the government on Friday to “ensure that all human rights be respected and protected” and guarantee the fundamental rights of peaceful assembly and expression. A foreign exchange scarcity has stoked an economic crisis, coupled with rising inflation, shortages of… Continue reading Respect and protect basic human rights in Sri Lanka, UN experts urge

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Sri Lanka: Mishandling of economic crisis triggers alarm over rights violations 

OHCHR said that the situation has worsened and that there have been shortages of food and fuel, along with power cuts, prompting new protests by desperate Sri Lankans.   Following the state of emergency and other restrictions, Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for OHCHR said her office was “concerned that such measures are aimed at preventing or discouraging… Continue reading Sri Lanka: Mishandling of economic crisis triggers alarm over rights violations 

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World can end ‘downward humanitarian spiral’ of Afghanistan

Despite persistent humanitarian needs sparked by years of conflict and recurring drought, the current situation in Afghanistan is unparalleled, with more than 24.4 million people requiring humanitarian assistance to survive, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Food security levels have plunged at an alarming rate, leaving half the population… Continue reading World can end ‘downward humanitarian spiral’ of Afghanistan

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Taliban’s backtracking on girls’ education, ‘deeply damaging’

“The de facto authorities’ failure to adhere to commitments to reopen schools for girls above the sixth grade – in spite of repeated commitments towards girls’ education, including during my visit to Kabul two weeks ago – is deeply damaging for Afghanistan”, High Commissioner  Michelle Bachelet said in a statement. The denial of education violates… Continue reading Taliban’s backtracking on girls’ education, ‘deeply damaging’

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Afghanistan: Food insecurity and malnutrition threaten ‘an entire generation’

People in Afghanistan are today facing a food insecurity and malnutrition crisis of “unparalleled proportions”, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator said on Tuesday. Ramiz Alakbarov, who also serves as Deputy Special Representative, issued a statement saying that acute hunger in the country rose from 14 million in July, to 23 million in March, forcing… Continue reading Afghanistan: Food insecurity and malnutrition threaten ‘an entire generation’

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Myanmar: ‘Appalling’ violations demand ‘unified and resolute international response’

Security forces in Myanmar have killed at least 1,600 people and detained more than 12,500, since the military coup last year, the UN rights office said on Tuesday. In a new report warning that serious rights abuses uncovered in Myanmar may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,… Continue reading Myanmar: ‘Appalling’ violations demand ‘unified and resolute international response’

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Women must be given space to lead if Afghanistan is to find peace: Bachelet

Whether as peacebuilders, humanitarians or pivotal actors courageously pushing their communities forward, Afghan women must be given the space to lead if the country is to find peace and progress, the UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet stressed in a statement on Thursday. Speaking from Kabul, where she is listening to women share their experiences – and talking to the… Continue reading Women must be given space to lead if Afghanistan is to find peace: Bachelet

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Indonesia: Shocking abuses against indigenous Papuans, rights experts report 

Shocking abuses against indigenous Papuans have been taking place in Indonesia, UN-appointed rights experts said on Tuesday, citing child killings, disappearances, torture and enforced mass displacement.  “Between April and November 2021, we have received allegations indicating several instances of extrajudicial killings, including of young children, enforced disappearance, torture and inhuman treatment and the forced displacement… Continue reading Indonesia: Shocking abuses against indigenous Papuans, rights experts report 

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Sri Lanka: UN rights chief welcomes reform but concerns remain

Sri Lanka has taken steps towards legal, institutional and security sector reforms, but more action is still needed, according to a report issued on Friday by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which examines developments over the past year.  Although UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet has recognized the authorities’ efforts to initiate reforms,… Continue reading Sri Lanka: UN rights chief welcomes reform but concerns remain

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UN condemns brutal killing of eight polio workers in Afghanistan

The United Nations has condemned the killing of eight polio vaccination workers in four locations in northern Afghanistan on Thursday, the first such attacks since nationwide campaigns resumed last November.  One member of the vaccination transit team was killed in Taloqan district in Takhar province, while four members of house-to-house teams were murdered in two… Continue reading UN condemns brutal killing of eight polio workers in Afghanistan

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Halt all retaliation attacks against Indian journalist Rana Ayyub – UN experts

UN-appointed independent rights experts issued a statement on Monday calling on India to end relentless misogynistic and sectarian attacks against an investigative journalist. The appeal from Special Rapporteurs on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan and situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor follows what they have called “relentless misogynistic and sectarian attacks” against Rana… Continue reading Halt all retaliation attacks against Indian journalist Rana Ayyub – UN experts

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The ongoing fight against child marriage and ‘bride kidnapping’ in Kyrgyzstan

Although child marriage and “bride kidnapping” are illegal in Kyrgyzstan, both practices still exist in parts of the country. An initiative from a UN-backed programme is finally leading to a change in attitudes, and a decline in these harmful practices. Every year, according to official government figures, between seven and nine thousand very young girls… Continue reading The ongoing fight against child marriage and ‘bride kidnapping’ in Kyrgyzstan

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Bangladesh: Rights experts decry ‘appalling’ culture of impunity around killing of journalists

“A decade after the killing of the two journalists, there is still no justice as a result of an appalling and pervasive culture of impunity in Bangladesh,” the five UN Special Rapporteurs said in a statement.   Mr.Sarowar and Ms. Runi, who were married, were stabbed to death in their home in the capital, Dhaka,… Continue reading Bangladesh: Rights experts decry ‘appalling’ culture of impunity around killing of journalists

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Tonga volcano aftermath: UN aids islanders facing long-term challenges

The many families on the island nation of Tonga who rely solely on the ocean for their food and income, are struggling to recover from last month’s volcanic eruption and tsunami. The natural disasters were a major blow to 74-year-old Fangupō Lātū, from the village of Pātangata. His fishing boat was sunk and destroyed during… Continue reading Tonga volcano aftermath: UN aids islanders facing long-term challenges

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More support needed for women and girls in super typhoon-ravaged Philippines

Jolina, 23, is eight months pregnant and lives in Burgos on the island of Siargao, which suffered some of the worst fallout of the typhoon. Her nearest health centre was completely destroyed and she will likely have to travel some 50 kilometres to give birth, she told the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA,… Continue reading More support needed for women and girls in super typhoon-ravaged Philippines

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Philippines: More support needed for thousands still reeling from Typhoon Rai

Humanitarians are scaling up assistance in the Philippines to assist hundreds of thousands still impacted by Typhoon Rai which struck the islands seven weeks ago, the UN said on Wednesday, launching a $169 million revised appeal to meet the urgent and growing needs.   The revised Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan (HNP) targets 840,000 people… Continue reading Philippines: More support needed for thousands still reeling from Typhoon Rai

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Six women’s rights activists still missing in Afghanistan 

The UN human rights office OHCHR, has said it is very alarmed over the continued disappearance of six people who were abducted in the Afghan capital Kabul, in connection with recent women’s rights protests. “We are gravely concerned for their well-being and safety”, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, told journalists at… Continue reading Six women’s rights activists still missing in Afghanistan 

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Tonga tsunami: ‘Kids were screaming as if a war was upon us’

A Tongan family’s trip to visit relatives on Mango island earlier this month turned into a nightmare, when the country was devastated by the eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano, and subsequent tsunami. Pauline Vaiangina, her husband, and their four young children, who live in Tongatapu, Tonga’s main island, were visiting their… Continue reading Tonga tsunami: ‘Kids were screaming as if a war was upon us’

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UN coordinator in Tonga: ‘Resources on the ground are not enough’

As news coverage of the eruption and tsunami that hit Tonga starts to fade away, the United Nations Coordination Specialist in the country has a message to the outside world: Tonga’s people are going to need sustained support responding to a disaster of this scale.  “The resources that we have in the ground are not… Continue reading UN coordinator in Tonga: ‘Resources on the ground are not enough’

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First Person: ‘We saw people running from the tsunami, screaming’

When a tsunami swept over much of Tonga last weekend, Joseph Sikulu, a Tongan national, was in Sydney, Australia, exiled from home by strict COVID-19 travel restrictions. For three days, with most communications lines severed, his family and friends were cut off from the outside world, and Mr. Sikulu feared the worst. “I grew up… Continue reading First Person: ‘We saw people running from the tsunami, screaming’

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80% of Tonga population impacted by eruption and tsunami

In total, about 84,000 people, more than 80 per cent of the population of the South Pacific Kingdom, have been affected by the disaster.  Besides the three fatalities reported earlier in the week, no further deaths have been confirmed. In an update released on Thursday, OCHA confirms that the whole economically vital agricultural sector, including… Continue reading 80% of Tonga population impacted by eruption and tsunami

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Tonga volcano eruption: At least 3 dead, amid severe destruction

At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage. Islands covered in ash, dozens of homes destroyed According to a Tongan Government press release on Tuesday, the three fatalities are a… Continue reading Tonga volcano eruption: At least 3 dead, amid severe destruction

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Experts urge Iran to halt imminent execution of juvenile offender

Iran must halt the looming execution of juvenile offender Hossein Shahbazi, four experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Thursday.  Mr. Shahbazi, now 20, was 17 when he was arrested for fatally stabbing a classmate during a fight involving four people.    He was scheduled to be executed on 5 January, which… Continue reading Experts urge Iran to halt imminent execution of juvenile offender

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UN chief: ‘We are in a race against time to help the Afghan people’

Just two days ago, the United Nations launched its largest-ever humanitarian appeal for a single country, requiring more than $5 billion this year. Speaking to journalists in New York, the UN chief said the scale of the appeal “reflects the scale of the despair.” “Babies being sold to feed their siblings. Freezing health facilities overflowing with malnourished children. People burning their possessions to… Continue reading UN chief: ‘We are in a race against time to help the Afghan people’

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Afghanistan: UN launches largest single country aid appeal ever

The UN and partners launched a more than $5 billion funding appeal for Afghanistan on Tuesday, in the hope of shoring up collapsing basic services there, which have left 22 million in need of assistance inside the country, and 5.7 million people requiring help beyond its borders. Speaking in Geneva, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said… Continue reading Afghanistan: UN launches largest single country aid appeal ever

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Myanmar: WFP plans to aid 4 million through 2022 

Ten months since the military takeover in February 2021, food insecurity in Myanmar has risen sharply, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.   According to the agency, the rise is driven by the ongoing political crisis, poverty, displacement, and the economic fallout from COVID-19.  Needs are now widespread, from areas affected by conflict in border… Continue reading Myanmar: WFP plans to aid 4 million through 2022 

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Forensic lab aids crack down on illegal wildlife trade in Viet Nam

Despite travel bans and other COVID-19 restrictions, the small team at Viet Nam’s wildlife forensic lab has been bolstering police efforts to crack down on illegal trafficking, with support from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  The limited research lab worked on almost 250 criminal cases last year, representing hundreds of individual samples… Continue reading Forensic lab aids crack down on illegal wildlife trade in Viet Nam

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Relief teams fear worsening aftermath of Super Typhoon Rai

Communities are still reeling from the effects of the typhoon, which made landfall in no less than nine places across an area the size of Austria, killing some 500 people. Relief teams have compared Rai to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 6,000 people and left four million homeless. “It just ripped across… Continue reading Relief teams fear worsening aftermath of Super Typhoon Rai

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UN urges restraint in Kazakhstan, with dozens reportedly killed 

Speaking to journalists on Thursday in New York, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said the Organization continues to follow the situation “very closely.”  Mr. Dujarric confirmed several contacts between the UN and the authorities in the country, including a call on Thursday morning between Special Representative Natalia Gherman and the Deputy Foreign Minister, Mukhtar… Continue reading UN urges restraint in Kazakhstan, with dozens reportedly killed 

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Cambodia: Arrests of strikers may be breach of human rights law 

Most of the strikers were women and many of the arrests were conducted in “a violent way”, the experts added. The arrests appeared to contravene the right to freedom of association, assembly and expression.  “We also strongly condemn the manner in which the first arrests took place, after dark, on a day where multiple other events diverted public attention”, the experts said.   For them, this could be seen as “an… Continue reading Cambodia: Arrests of strikers may be breach of human rights law 

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People of Myanmar face ‘unprecedented’ crisis in 2022 

The people of Myanmar are facing an unprecedented political, socioeconomic, human rights and humanitarian crisis with needs escalating dramatically since the military takeover and a severe COVID-19 third wave.   According to a UN Humanitarian Needs Overview published on Friday by OCHA, the turmoil is projected to have driven almost half the population into poverty heading into 2022, wiping out… Continue reading People of Myanmar face ‘unprecedented’ crisis in 2022 

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Myanmar: Attack leaves 35 dead, including 4 children 

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) condemned on Tuesday the reported killing of at least 35 people, including four children and two humanitarian workers, in the Kayah state, in Myanmar.  The UN agency was “shocked and saddened” by the reported killing and burning of victims on 24 December, during a time when many prepared to celebrate Christmas.  … Continue reading Myanmar: Attack leaves 35 dead, including 4 children 

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Iran: UN independent experts condemn secret execution of Kurdish prisoner

Two UN-appointed independent rights experts condemned the arbitrary execution in the strongest terms on Wednesday, of an Iranian Kurdish prisoner as a sign of “clear disregard for their obligations under international human rights law”. The prisoner, Heidar Ghorbani, was secretly executed in Sanandaj Central Prison at dawn on Sunday – without prior notice to his… Continue reading Iran: UN independent experts condemn secret execution of Kurdish prisoner

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Experts call for immediate release of Kashmiri human rights defender

Mr. Parvez has documented serious human rights violations in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, including enforced disappearances and unlawful killings, they said, and has faced reprisals reportedly for sharing information with the UN.  Apparent new retaliation  He was arrested in November by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on charges related to conspiracy and terrorism.    “We… Continue reading Experts call for immediate release of Kashmiri human rights defender

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UN expert underscores importance of human rights for Rohingya

A UN independent expert on Sunday commended Bangladesh for providing a safe haven to Rohingya refugees fleeing atrocity crimes in Myanmar, offering to do all he can to “push for a stronger, more coordinated international response” to the crisis. “Bangladesh saved untold numbers of lives when it opened its arms and hearts to Rohingya people who… Continue reading UN expert underscores importance of human rights for Rohingya

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UN rights office urges Viet Nam to release jailed activists

Authorities in Viet Nam must immediately release four activists jailed this week for spreading anti-State propaganda, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday.  Over a three-day period, prominent human rights defenders Trinh Ba Phoung, Nguyen Thi Tam, Do Nam Trung and independent author Pham Doan Trang, were sentenced to up to a decade in jail, and five years on probation.  Silence and intimidate  Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said OHCHR was… Continue reading UN rights office urges Viet Nam to release jailed activists

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Morocco’s extradition of Uyghur asylum seeker to China could lead to serious rights violations, argue UN experts

Four UN independent human rights experts called on Thursday for Morocco to reverse its decision to extradite a Uyghur Muslim to China as his return would place him under threat of serious human rights violations. If he is made to return, human rights defender Yidiresi Aishan risks detention, enforced disappearance, or torture and other cruel,… Continue reading Morocco’s extradition of Uyghur asylum seeker to China could lead to serious rights violations, argue UN experts

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UN agency begins COVID vaccine rollout for 7,500 stranded migrants in Yemen 

IOM’s Chief of Mission, Christa Rottensteiner, explained that “immunizing people on the move is key to combatting the spread of the disease.”  An estimated 36,000 migrants have been stranded on their journeys due to mobility restrictions, nearly 3,500 in Ma’rib alone. Many are sleeping in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions where the virus can easily spread.   “Vaccinating against COVID-19 is even more crucial in… Continue reading UN agency begins COVID vaccine rollout for 7,500 stranded migrants in Yemen 

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Rights abuses in Myanmar ‘deepening on an unprecedented scale’  

More than 10 months since Myanmar’s military seized power, the country’s human rights situation is deepening on an unprecedented scale, the UN rights office, OHCHR, has warned. In a strongly worded statement on Friday, OHCHR said that it was “appalled by the alarming escalation of grave human rights abuses” in the country.  “In the last week alone,… Continue reading Rights abuses in Myanmar ‘deepening on an unprecedented scale’  

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General Assembly defers decision on Afghanistan and Myanmar seats

The UN General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution to delay a decision on who will represent Afghanistan and Myanmar at the world body.  The Assembly agreed to defer action, which means the current ambassadors for the two countries will remain in place for the time being.   The de facto Taliban authorities in Afghanistan, as well… Continue reading General Assembly defers decision on Afghanistan and Myanmar seats

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Myanmar: UN deplores conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi

The development follows media reports that a military vehicle slammed into demonstrators in the city of Yangon over the weekend, leaving an unknown number injured and at least five dead. Political motives In a statement on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet maintained that Ms. Suu Kyi’s guilty verdict was the result… Continue reading Myanmar: UN deplores conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi

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UN expert welcomes India plan to repeal farm laws that sparked deadly protests

A UN human rights expert welcomed India’s decision to repeal three contentious farm laws that sparked a year of nationwide protests which left 600 people dead.  In a statement released this Friday, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Michael Fakhri, also urged the Government to ensure accountability for the casualties.  “To truly turn the page on this painful chapter, it is incumbent on the authorities to heed calls for accountability… Continue reading UN expert welcomes India plan to repeal farm laws that sparked deadly protests

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Feature: Mobile health teams save lives in Afghanistan’s most remote areas

Shahpirai, 30, is the sole provider for her husband and three children. “With my salary as a teacher, I could just afford to pay rent and buy food for my family, but not to seek treatment for my child”, she said. An upturn Her situation took a turn for the better last July, when while… Continue reading Feature: Mobile health teams save lives in Afghanistan’s most remote areas

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Iran: Execution of juvenile offender ‘deeply alarming and shocking’

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, on Thursday condemned Iran’s execution of a young man who was a minor at the time he was charged with committing a crime.  Arman Abdolali, 25, is the second juvenile offender to be executed in the country this year.    OHCHR expressed serious concern that his case follows the… Continue reading Iran: Execution of juvenile offender ‘deeply alarming and shocking’

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Immediately release sick Chinese journalist, rights experts urge

UN-appointed independent human rights experts urged the Chinese authorities on Monday to release on humanitarian grounds, imprisoned citizen journalist and human rights defender, Zhang Zhan.  Since beginning a hunger strike, Ms. Zhan’s health has deteriorating rapidly, she is unable to walk, and her life is in danger, the rights experts said.   “Failure by the Chinese authorities to act swiftly and effectively could have fatal consequences for Zhang Zhan”, the Special Rapporteurs warned in a joint statement before calling… Continue reading Immediately release sick Chinese journalist, rights experts urge

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From the Field: Saving the Mongolian musk deer

The number of musk deer in Mongolia has plummeted by some 83 per cent since the 1970s, landing them on the country’s red list of critically endangered species. A UN-supported biodiversity initiative is helping to stop the deer from disappearing altogether. Herder community members. Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation The Ensuring Sustainability and Resilience (ENSURE) of… Continue reading From the Field: Saving the Mongolian musk deer

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First Person: ‘Bridge the gap between indigenous youth and the world’

Nadya Zafira, an international relations student at Indonesia’s Gadjah Mada University, won a writing competition for her letter to UN chief António Guterres, in which she addressed the inequalities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how indigenous communities and youth are marginalized in global conversations on climate crisis. “In the past two years, my… Continue reading First Person: ‘Bridge the gap between indigenous youth and the world’

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Afghanistan’s farmers, herders desperate for seed, food and cash 

While humanitarian access has never been better, prices are soaring and needs continue to outpace the resources provided, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) explained.  “The situation is disastrous. Every farmer we’ve spoken to has lost almost all of their crops this year, many were forced to sell their livestock, they have accumulated enormous debts… Continue reading Afghanistan’s farmers, herders desperate for seed, food and cash 

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Interview: On brink of humanitarian crisis, there’s ‘no childhood’ in Afghanistan

UN News spoke with Samantha Mort, Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Civic Engagement at UNICEF Afghanistan, who assured that all offices remain open and warehouses full.  Some 22.8 million people across the country are facing food insecurity, she explained, adding that they cannot access affordable or nutritious food.   Of the 38 million people living in Afghanistan, some 14 million children are food insecure.  For Ms. Mort, “there’s no childhood” these days in Afghanistan. “It’s all about survival and getting… Continue reading Interview: On brink of humanitarian crisis, there’s ‘no childhood’ in Afghanistan

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Anxiety in Afghanistan as Taliban struggles for legitimacy

Deborah Lyons, UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that despite an improvement in the security situation, Afghans feel abandoned by the international community and anxious about their new leadership. Snow and ice will soon block roads in hard-to-reach areas across Afghanistan, leaving thousands without access to fresh… Continue reading Anxiety in Afghanistan as Taliban struggles for legitimacy

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Conviction of US journalist symbolic of media repression in Myanmar: UN rights chief

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday urged authorities in Myanmar to immediately release all journalists who have been jailed for practicing their profession.  Rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the conviction and harsh sentencing of American journalist Danny Fenster was emblematic of a wider plight of journalists in the country who have faced… Continue reading Conviction of US journalist symbolic of media repression in Myanmar: UN rights chief

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Security Council appeals for end to violence in Myanmar

The UN Security Council has called for an immediate cessation of violence across Myanmar, and efforts to ensure the safety of civilians, following reports of more clashes between the armed forces and militant groups.  In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the Council expressed deep concern over the violence, noting that “recent developments pose particular… Continue reading Security Council appeals for end to violence in Myanmar

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Yemen: UN Special Envoy calls for urgent end to fighting, as humanitarian needs escalate 

Ahead of Thursday’s Security Council meeting behind closed doors on Yemen, the UN Special Envoy, Hans Grundberg, said that a UN-led political process could still be part of a sustainable solution to the conflict. Participating by teleconference, Mr. Grundberg briefed the Council Members about his three-day visit to Taiz governorate, where he held meetings in Taiz city, Turbah and Mokha, and discussed the urgent necessity for an end to the violence.  “These visits have given me a… Continue reading Yemen: UN Special Envoy calls for urgent end to fighting, as humanitarian needs escalate 

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Climate change increasing threats in southwest Pacific: WMO report

From rising sea temperatures, to deadly and devastating storms and floods, climate change is increasing threats in the southwest Pacific, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a report published on Wednesday.  The State of the Climate in the South-West Pacific 2020 is part of a new series of regional climate reports by the UN… Continue reading Climate change increasing threats in southwest Pacific: WMO report

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Myanmar: 3 million in need of humanitarian aid, ‘world is watching’ UN relief chief warns generals 

Growing conflict, insecurity, COVID-19, and a failing economy, has rendered some three million Burmese in in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance across Myanmar, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator said on Monday.   “The humanitarian situation in Myanmar is deteriorating”, Martin Griffiths said in a statement, adding that “without an end to violence and a peaceful resolution of Myanmar’s crisis, this number will only rise”.  Growing displacement   Since a military… Continue reading Myanmar: 3 million in need of humanitarian aid, ‘world is watching’ UN relief chief warns generals 

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Rights experts urge Singapore to halt execution of man with mental disability

 A group of UN human rights experts appealed on Monday for Singapore to halt the execution of a Malaysian man who has intellectual disabilities.  Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, known as Naga, was originally scheduled to be hanged on Wednesday for drug offences after spending more than a decade on death row.  “We note that a temporary stay has been granted today… Continue reading Rights experts urge Singapore to halt execution of man with mental disability

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Vaccinating refugees in Indonesia, for the benefit of all

Refugees in Indonesia, many of whom have fled Afghanistan’s mounting crises, have lagged far behind the rest of the population when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations. The UN is helping to reverse this trend. One recent Thursday, Ali Madad Ibrahimi accompanied an elderly man from Afghanistan to a registration desk under a big red and… Continue reading Vaccinating refugees in Indonesia, for the benefit of all

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Myanmar: Systematic attack on civilians, rights mechanism reveals 

Preliminary evidence shows a widespread and systematic attack on civilians in Myanmar in the wake of the coup in February, amounting to crimes against humanity, the head of a fact-finding body established by the UN Human Rights Council said on Friday.  Nicholas Koumjian of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar was updating journalists on its work to collect, preserve and analyze evidence… Continue reading Myanmar: Systematic attack on civilians, rights mechanism reveals 

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