This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Libya: Rights chief Bachelet appoints independent investigators
UN-led efforts to address serious rights violations in Libya, received a boost on Wednesday with the appointment of three investigators, who are to document abuses in the war-torn country.
The three members of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya are Mohamed Auajjar from Morocco, Tracy Robinson from Jamaica and Chaloka Beyani from Zambia and the UK.
They will report initially to the Human Rights Council in Geneva next month.
In a statement, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said that their work was more important than ever, given the deteriorating security situation in Libya and the absence of a functioning judicial system.
Summary executions and other unlawful killings are still going on, Ms. Bachelet said, as well as torture, conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, abductions, enforced disappearances and incitement to violence on social media.
All of these abuses continue to be committed in a climate of complete impunity, the High Commissioner insisted.
Her comments come amid clashes between military units of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), and the oppositional self-styled Libyan National Army, commanded by Khalifa Haftar.
Bosnia and Herzegovina should recognise sex crime survivors’ rights
To Bosnia and Herzegovina now, where thousands of victims of sexual violence committed during conflict in the 1990s, still await justice, UN-appointed rights experts said on Wednesday.
Between 12,000 and 50,000 girls and women were raped by armed forces in the country from 1992 to 1995, according to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
One of those women, identified only as S.H. to protect her privacy, was robbed and raped in the town of Prijedor, which was occupied by Bosnian Serb forces.
She reported the incident to police but did not obtain a copy of the official report and no investigation was opened.
In 2017, she contacted the independent UN panel, which reviewed her case and said that her experience reflected the situation of many victims of conflict-related sexual violence, whose cases were not investigated in a timely and effective manner.
In an appeal to the authorities to pursue investigations against such perpetrators, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) said that they acted ineffectively and too slowly.
UN research conducted in 2017 into the socio-economic obstacles faced by survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, showed that 62 per cent of survivors were unemployed, 64 per cent had no social support, and more than a half of them lived under the poverty line.
Among its recommendations, the Committee urged the Bosnia and Herzegovina government to ensure that survivors of wartime sexual violence have full access to national remedies, effective relief and reparations on a basis of equality before the law.
Ordinary people are the real-life humanitarian heroes: Guterres
Ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help those in need are the real-life heroes of our time.
That’s the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres for World Humanitarian Day, marked every year on 19 August.
Mr. Guterres urged everyone to applaud and support the humanitarians, health workers and first responders working selflessly amid unprecedented need.
They are the ones overcoming huge challenges to save and improve the lives of millions of people hit hard by crises and COVID-19, the UN chief insisted.
Mr. Guterres also praised the solidarity of people in need themselves who support others: they include refugees helping host communities, or local health workers caring for the sick.
“They are the unsung heroes of the pandemic response – and they all too often risk their own lives to save …others”, the Secretary-General insisted.
Attacks against relief workers in 2019 surpassed all previous years on record.
More than 480 relief workers were targeted, 125 were killed, 234 were wounded and 124 were kidnapped, according to the Aid Worker Security Database.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.