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Syria violence ‘a ticking time-bomb that must not be ignored’: UN human rights chief

As civilian casualties mount across Syria and human rights violations continue unabated, the UN rights chief expressed serious concern on Friday that some parties to the conflict, including ISIL terrorist fighters, may be using the COVID-19 pandemic as “an opportunity to regroup and inflict violence on the population”.  

UN virus hunters continue search for animal link to human COVID-19 infections

The key work of tracing the animal transmission source of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in humans is ongoing and must be carried out to prevent future health emergencies, a top UN health agency scientist said on Friday, after the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed more than 3.5 million cases of infection and 250,000 deaths globally.

COVID-19 causes some illegal drug prices to surge, as supplies are disrupted worldwide

Measures by governments across the world to curb the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the widespread disruption of trafficking routes for illegal drugs, mainly by air and on land, upping some prices, according to a new UN report published on Thursday.

African artists take creative approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic

Top artists from across Africa and throughout the African Diaspora have joined forces with the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, to save lives and counter misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Migrants stranded ‘all over the world’ and at risk from coronavirus

Thousands of migrants have been stranded “all over the world” where they face a heightened risk of COVID-19 infection, the head of UN migration agency, IOM, said on Thursday.

COVID-19 crisis putting human trafficking victims at risk of further exploitation, experts warn

Lockdowns, travel restrictions, resource cutbacks and other measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus are putting victims of human trafficking at risk of further exploitation, while organized crime networks could further profit from the pandemic, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

COVID-19: UN teams step up efforts to protect rights in prisons, as revolts intensify worldwide

As senior UN officials spread the alarm over the rapid spread of COVID-19 through prisons – where physical distancing is nigh on impossible, and hygiene is often inadequate – UN Corrections, Justice and Human Rights teams are working to protect prison staff and detainees from the ravages of the virus.

Food insecurity in West Africa could leave 43 million at risk as coronavirus hits

Well over 40 million people across West Africa face desperate food shortages in coming months, with COVID-19 restrictions a new factor adding to people’s vulnerability, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

UN rights expert urges States to step-up anti-slavery efforts to protect most vulnerable during COVID-19 

A UN human rights expert urged governments on Tuesday to increase protection for those millions of workers, who due to the COVID-19 pandemic, risk being pushed into exploitative jobs that are tantamount to slavery.
 

Record child displacement figures due to conflict and violence in 2019: UNICEF

A new UN report finds that some 19 million children were displaced within their own countries due to conflict and violence in 2019, more than in any other year, making them among the most vulnerable to the global spread of COVID-19.