This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
‘Foreign children’ in overwhelmed Syrian camp need countries to help them: top UN official
Help is needed urgently from the international community to help 2,500 apparently stateless “foreign children” at a camp in north-east Syria, a top UN official said on Thursday.
Panos Moumtzis, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, made the “special plea” in Geneva.
He said that the children are among 75,000 people are now sheltering in Al Hol camp, after fleeing ISIL extremists.
“Today I am making a special plea for the children. There was a figure that UNICEF had used of about two and a half thousand of these foreign children, so it is really a sizeable number. These children do have a father and a mother, and their father and mother have a nationality, and therefore a solution has to be found particularly with this, for the children.”
In a plea to Governments whose citizens had gone to Syria “to find a way forward”, the UN official highlighted the massive challenges in dealing with the arrival of 65,000 desperate people in just 100 days – 90 per cent of whom are women and children.
Asked about the nationalities of those in the camp, which is being supervised by Kurdish authorities, Mr Moumtzis replied that 43 per cent were Syrians, 42 per cent were Iraqi and 15 per cent were foreign nationals.
Stress, overtime and disease contribute to 2.8 million workers dying every year: ILO
Stress, excessively long working hours and disease contribute to the deaths of nearly 2.8 million workers every year, while an additional 374 million people get injured or fall ill because of their jobs, the UN labour agency, ILO, said on Thursday.
In a new report underlining ILO’s message that no paid work should impact your wellbeing, safety or your life-expectancy, the agency has identified several new or existing occupational risks that affect women more than men.
These include so-called flexible working hours, world population growth, increased connectivity and climate change.
These factors and other contribute to losses of almost four per cent of the global economy, ILO’s Manal Azzi told UN News:
“The world of work has changed, we’re working differently, we’re working longer hours, we’re using more technology. The report says 36 per cent of workers are working excessive long hours, meaning more than 48 hours per week.”
Women are more at risk from occupation hazards than men, Ms. Azzi explained, because they tend to be the primary carer for children or parents and lack the time to exercise, leading to higher risks from cardiovascular disease.
UN human rights chief alarmed at mass terrorism trial in Bahrain, revoking citizenship
The UN human rights chief expressed alarm on Thursday at a decision by a court in Bahrain to revoke the nationalities of 138 people, following a mass terrorism trial.
High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, said her office (OHCHR) also had “serious concerns” that the court proceedings failed to comply with “international fair trial standards” as many of the defendants were tried in absentia.
The 138 Bahrainis were all sentenced on Tuesday to between three years and life in prison, in addition to fines of up to $265,000.
All but one of the convicted men had their nationality revoked, bringing the total who have had lost their citizenship status since 2012, to about 980, said OHCHR.
“The UN Human Rights Office has long urged Bahrain to bring its overly broad counter-terrorism and counter-extremism legislation in line with its international human rights obligations”, said Ms. Bachelet.
This week’s convictions, she added, “give rise to serious concerns about the application of the law, particularly through a mass trial that reportedly lacked the procedural safeguards necessary to ensure a fair trial.”
Arbitrary deprivation of nationality, put the individuals concerned and their family members at increased risk of human rights violations, said Ms. Bachelet.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.