Mind the Darién Gap, braving the treacherous pathway to a better life

The Darién Gap, a dangerous route that links South and North America, has long been used by migrants trekking north to the United States, in search of a better life, or simply fleeing violence at home.  As well as extreme physical challenges, they also risk attacks from smugglers, and other criminal groups.

Success of Colombia peace process hinges on ending violence: Mission chief

Colombia’s dynamic peace process – which saw fresh strides with the holding of a largely peaceful parliamentary election last month – will succeed or fail based on efforts to halt the deadly violence faced by former combatants, social leaders and human rights defenders, the senior UN official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

Rights expert concerned about erosion of democracy in Brazil

Decrying the erosion of democracy in Brazil, a UN expert has called for authorities to create and maintain a safe environment conducive to the exercise of the rights to peaceful assembly and association. 

El Salvador: Response to the rise in gang killings ‘cruel and inhuman’

The introduction of a series of measures in El Salvador in response to a rise in gang killings, has prompted the grave concern of the UN human rights office, which noted on Tuesday a pattern of “unnecessary and excessive use of force” by police and military forces.

First Person: Visions of hell, in Haiti

Samuel (not his real name) grew up near the Haitian Capital of Port-au-Prince, and has seen his childhood home descend into lawlessness and gang violence. Now a staff member with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the country, he faces the daily risk of kidnapping, or worse.

The key to climate action and sustainable peace? Women’s full and equal participation

Women and children increasingly bear the brunt of climate change, which deepens the inequalities and vulnerabilities they already face, such as poverty, violence, lack of opportunities and basic human rights. Yet women are not victims; they are survivors, innovators and solution-multipliers who deserve a real seat at the table. Two Colombian activists tell us why this is true.

Farmers in northern Haiti dig for resilience

Farmers in the north of Haiti are working to build their resilience to extreme weather patterns in an attempt to better protect themselves from the loss of property and crops that often result from natural disasters.

‘Sharp rise’ in Nicaraguans fleeing to Costa Rica, strains asylum system

Around three per cent of Costa Rica’s population is now made up of Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday.

Canada urged to amend transgenerational discriminatory Indian Act

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) called on Thursday, for Canada to fully address long-standing gender-based discrimination in its Indian Act, which continues to affect tens of thousands of descendants of indigenous women today.

First Person : I don’t want to die in the body of a man

A transgender woman in Haiti has said she does not want to die in a man's body, and hopes to leave her native country to fulfill her dream of transitioning from being a man to a woman. Semi Alisha Fermond works with transgender people at Kay Trans Ayiti (the Creole name for Trans House Haiti) and is an activist with the UNDP and UNAIDS-supported organization Community Action for the Integration of Vulnerable Haitians (ACIFVH).