After Rio Grande drownings, UNICEF chief highlights ‘dire’ detention centres on US-Mexico border
The disturbing image of a drowned Central American migrant father and his toddler daughter photographed face down in the Rio Grande river on the Mexico-U.S. border continues to evoke strong reactions, the latest from UN Children’s Fund chief Henrietta Fore.
In a statement, Ms. Fore described the scene as heartbreaking, before appealing to all countries in the region to do more to p rotect vulnerable migrants.
In particular, she spotlighted the “dire” Government border shelter facilities on the US-Mexico border saying they cause lasting harm to youngsters in need of help.
The UNICEF Executive Director’s comments follow the resignation of the acting head of the US border protection agency earlier this week, amid reports that migrant children lacked basic necessities, including soap, at a centre in Texas.
“It’s hard to fathom this happening in a country with such a rich history as a champion for children in need around the world,” Ms. Fore said, “particularly for those uprooted from their homes and communities by crisis”.
UN panel appeals to Mexico to release two men held in arbitrary detention for years
To Geneva now, where UN-appointed independent rights experts have called on Mexican authorities to free two men who have been held in pre-trial detention for well over a decade and allegedly tortured.
The appeal from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is for the unconditional release of Daniel García, a former public official, and Reyes Alpízar, a trade union adviser.
They were denied a fair trial after being detained without an arrest warrant, according to the UN panel, which said that there was “no evidence” that reports of torture involving electric shocks, burns and injections had been investigated.
Thursday’s statement by the Working Group follows official communications to the Government of Mexico in 2017 and 2018.
Hundreds of millions of people no longer at risk of blindness infection trachoma: WHO
A disease that’s responsible for causing blindness in millions of people – trachoma - has moved a step closer to elimination, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
The bacterial infection is present in 44 countries and can be painful and debilitating in its later stages, often affecting the most disadvantaged people worldwide.
Latest data from WHO shows that the number of people at risk from trachoma has fallen from 1.5 billion in 2002 to just over 142 million in 2019, a 91 per cent reduction.
This has been made possible by sustained and generous donations of antibiotics from health partners, according to WHO, which has praised the efforts of hundreds of thousands of frontline workers and volunteers who brave the weather, bad roads, insecurity and yet deliver treatment to mostly rural communities.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.