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News in Brief 16 June 2022

News in Brief 16 June 2022

Forced displacement numbers exceed 100 million, says UNHCR

A staggering 100 million people have now been forced to flee their homes globally, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Thursday.

Worldwide food insecurity, the climate crisis, war in Ukraine and other emergencies from Africa to Afghanistan, are leading causes of this “dramatic milestone”, the agency said in a new report.

In Geneva, head of the UN agency Filippo Grandi, explained that every year of the last decade, the numbers have climbed.

He said that he “could not imagine” how the trend can change as the global food insecurity and energy crisis continues.

“If you have a food crisis on top of…war, human rights (violations), climate, you name it; on top of that if you have a food crisis, it will just accelerate the trends that are described in this report and that we have seen accelerate in already in the first few months of the year.”

Data from UNHCR also underscored the crucial role played by the world’s developing nations in sheltering displaced people, with low and middle-income nations, hosting more than four in five of the world’s refugees.

Ireland leads push for explosive weapons curb in urban warfare settings

A UN-partnered bid to curb the use of explosive weapons in towns and cities took a significant step forward on Thursday, as Member States prepared to gather in Geneva to examine new guidelines.

The development has been driven by the recognition that civilians are at increased risk from armed conflicts that have become more protracted, complex and urbanised.

The weapons that continue to be used in urban settings are totally unsuited to heavily built-up areas, said Dominique Gassauer, from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA.

“Today, some 50 million people are estimated to be living in situations of urban conflict or (under) threat of urban conflict and are exposed to the acute risks and dangers posed by these weapons. So, the political declaration tomorrow that will be presented by Ireland that has been stewarding this process for the last three years, is going to be a key step to step up the protection of civilians.”

Last year, more than 1,200 incidents involving the use of explosive weapons in populated areas were recorded in 21 States, causing the death or injury of over 10,000 people.

Nearly 90 per cent of the victims were civilians, highlighting the need for updated international norms on the use of these weapons.

The “Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences arising from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas” is to be presented to Member States at the UN in Geneva on Friday.

A formal signing ceremony is expected later in the year.

Just 6 per cent of domestic workers have full social protection, says ILO

Domestic workers make an important contribution to society, but about half of them receive no welfare benefits at all, the UN labour agency ILO said on Thursday.

Even worse, latest data from the International Labour Organization shows that just six per cent of the world’s 75.6 million domestic workers qualify for comprehensive welfare benefits.

This is despite the fact that these key workers provide vital care for families and households, ILO explained, citing data that shows that well over nine in 10 domestic workers lack access to benefits that many of us take for granted, from medical care to sickness and unemployment assistance, old age pensions and invalidity support.

In a call for more countries to make social security a reality for domestic workers, ILO said that extending welfare coverage to them has not kept up with legal requirements because the vast majority are employed informally.

Women are particularly vulnerable, as they make up more than three in four of the domestic workforce.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

  • Forced displacement numbers exceed 100 million, says UNHCR

  • Ireland leads push for explosive weapons curb in urban warfare settings

  • Just 6 per cent of domestic workers have full social protection, says ILO

Audio Credit
Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
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© UNHCR/Antonia Vadala