Brazil: UN rights expert urges stepped up efforts to fight slavery

An independent United Nations human rights expert has called urged Brazil to strengthen efforts to close loopholes perpetuating the practice of slavery, including forced labour in the vast South American nation's rural areas.

UN archive captures the horrors and heroism of the Haitian quake

Amelia Shaw lost colleagues and friends in an instant on 12 January when an earthquake toppled the headquarters of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti. Now she and other UN staffers are completing an ambitious project that they hope will go some way to memorializing the event – both the calamity itself, and the heroic efforts in the days and nights that followed.

UNICEF voices concern ahead of trial of last child soldier in Guantánamo Bay

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has voiced its concern about the prosecution of Guantánamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr – who was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002 for crimes he is alleged to have committed at the age of 15 – saying it sets a dangerous precedent for child victims of recruitment in armed conflicts.

Colombia takes steps on killings but security forces still culpable – UN expert

Colombia, long buffeted by armed conflict and serious human rights violations, has made efforts to reduce extrajudicial killings, but the country’s security forces have continued to be been implicated in many murders, a United Nations independent human rights expert said today.

Ban focuses on the fight against poverty at start of visit to Brazil

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Rio de Janeiro for an official visit to Brazil during which he will see first-hand the country’s efforts to combat poverty and address a key global conference on overcoming prejudice among nations, cultures and religions.

UN the only forum for solving global problems – General Assembly President

Solutions to current challenges facing the international community can only be found through cooperative effort under the auspices of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly has said.

Land rights of ex-slave communities in Brazil at risk, UN expert warns

A possible court decision in favour of Brazil’s industrial and livestock sector against the land rights of centuries-old communities set up by former slaves could infringe the country’s international human rights obligations, a United Nations expert warned today.

From student to UN chief: Ban reunites with American host family

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had an emotional reunion yesterday with the woman who hosted him in the United States nearly five decades ago when he was a young student on his first-ever trip outside his home country of the Republic of Korea.

UN and Haiti to investigate prison riot deaths in the wake of earthquake

The United Nations and Haiti will look into a deadly prison riot in the southern city of Les Cayes shortly after January’s deadly earthquake, it was announced today, amid allegations that unarmed inmates were shot by local police officers.

Haiti: UN agency funds job creation and food production project

The United Nations fund tasked with alleviating rural poverty today announced a $2.5 million grant in support of job creation and food production projects in areas of Haiti where survivors of the earthquake in January sought shelter after losing homes and livelihoods in the capital, Port-au-Prince.