This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Indonesia quake: eight confirmed dead, hundreds injured in Sulawesi emergency
UN humanitarians have said that they’re in close contact with the Indonesian authorities after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck West Sulawesi Province in the early hours of Friday.
Eight people lost their lives and more than 630 were injured, according to local officials.
Heavy damage was reported in the city of Majene, including a five-story hospital where eight people were reportedly trapped.
More than 18,000 have been moved to 10 evacuation sites. These numbers are likely to increase as assessments continue, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA.
In Geneva, spokesperson Jens Laerke said that the earthquake followed a smaller 5.7 magnitude shock which struck the same area on Thursday afternoon. The epicentre of the latest quake was shallow at 10 kilometres and did not trigger a tsunami warning, he added:
“The earthquake interrupted the access road between Majene and the provincial capital Mamuju in three different locations. Electricity, communications network and fuel supply have also been disrupted… The UN is in close contact with the Indonesian Government and stands ready to support the response.”
Child labour scourge still affects one in 10 children, warns UN labour agency
Child labour has decreased significantly in the last decade, but 152 million children – one in 10 globally - are still caught up in harmful work.
The warning from the International Labour Organization (ILO) comes as it kicks off a year-long bid to eradicate the practice.
ILO said that the COVID-19 pandemic has considerably worsened the situation for children, but that legislative and practical measures can help reverse the trend.
The UN organisation’s appeal is in line with target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals – 17 objectives that all countries have agreed to achieve by 2030.
Target 8.7 asks Member States to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking.
Countries are also urged to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 to end child labour in all its forms.
CAR displacement reaches 120,000 after election violence: UNHCR
To the Central African Republic, where 120,000 people have now fled election violence, with victims reporting sexual attacks, harassment and pillaging.
In an appeal for calm, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said that mass displacement is continuing, reversing a trend of people returning to the country in recent years.
Most of those fleeing outside the country have gone to neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo; on Wednesday alone, 10,000 people crossed the Ubangui river separating the two countries.
In addition to the 50,000 refugees in DRC, another 9,000 have reached Cameroon, Chad and the Republic of Congo in the past month.
Here’s UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov:
“What is clear is the situation has evolved, it has worsened, we have seen that the number of refugees has doubled in just one week. We were reporting 30,000 refugees last Friday, today it’s already 60,000, and much of that is the increase we’ve seen in the DRC. This is coming with reports of intensified violence, people are being forced to move from their home and the situation has not calmed down for the moment.”
In an appeal for funds, the spokesperson said the inaccessible terrain along the Ubangui river where people have sheltered, has complicated aid access.
Inside the Central African Republic, another 58,000 people remain displaced.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.