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Sudan sliding into ‘human rights abyss’, warn UN independent experts
Sudan is sliding into a "human rights abyss", UN-appointed experts said on Wednesday, in a call for an independent investigation into the reported killing of demonstrators and activists.
In their appeal to the Human Rights Council to establish an inquiry, the five experts expressed alarm at deaths and injuries caused by a military raid on protesters in front of army headquarters in Khartoum on 3 June.
Women have been among the first victims of the violence, including sexual abuse, the experts said, adding that dozens of female human rights defenders have been detained arbitrarily.
Some have been released, but several are believed to still be in police custody and in need of medical attention.
The development echoes similar concerns over the situation in Sudan by top UN officials including the head of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore.
On Tuesday she announced that at least 19 children had reportedly been killed in Sudan since a military backlash against protesters began earlier this month.
The UN Children’s Fund has also received reports that “children are being detained, recruited to join the fighting, and sexually abused”, while schools, hospitals and health centres have also been targeted, looted or destroyed.
In recent developments, protest leaders in Sudan have reportedly agreed to end the general strike that brought Khartoum to a standstill this week and are willing to resume power-sharing talks with the ruling military council.
Military leaders have yet to formally confirm their participation.
Key overseas investment data show slide for third year in a row
A successful global economy that leaves no-one behind depends to a large extent on countries and companies investing in markets abroad – it’s a practice that’s known as foreign direct investment, or FDI.
Last year, however, global flows of FDI fell by 13 per cent, to $1.3 trillion, UN trade and development experts UNCTAD said on Wednesday; representing a slide for the third consecutive year.
This is also the lowest level of FDI since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, and it underlines the long-term downward pressure on international investment.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, explained how tax reforms encouraging repatriation of capital in the United States in 2017, had played their part in the slide:
“A large segment of the decline of FDI to developed economies was accounted for by the changing tax policy of the U.S., multinational enterprises with major investments in the developed economies who are taking back the resources that have been kept out because of taxation considerations.”
While investment flows to developed economies - such as those in Europe - fell to their lowest point since 2004, cash flows to developing countries in Africa rose by 11 per cent, to $46 billion, and to Asia by four per cent, while falling six per cent to Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Final push” at ILO summit to make child labour a thing of the past
And finally, 100 years after the International Labour Organization (ILO) was created, children should be allowed to dream, not work, the head of the UN agency said on Wednesday, on the World Day Against Child Labour.
In an appeal to Governments, workers and employers to make a “final push” to end the practice in 2019, ILO chief Guy Ryder acknowledged that substantial progress has already been made, with a near 40 per cent decrease in child labour globally since 2000.
But this still leaves 152 million youngsters forced to earn a living, with almost 73 million of them involved in hazardous work, which “is simply unacceptable”, Mr. Ryder said.
Today, the international agreement banning the “Worst Forms of Child Labour” has been ratified by all but two of ILO’s 187 Member States.
Apart from achieving universal ratification of the ILO Convention, Mr. Ryder also urged countries to implement all necessary legal measures, to make ending child labour possible.
In addition, he said, faster progress is also needed to meet Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for the end of child labour by 2025.
To do this, Governments need to ensure the availability of quality education, social protection for all, and decent work for parents, Mr. Ryder said.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.