Asia Pacific

India must follow Supreme Court orders to protect 100 million migrant workers: UN rights experts 

The Indian Government must urgently comply with a Supreme Court order to ensure the wellbeing of more than 100 million migrant workers, after coronavirus measures left them jobless, forcing them to travel long distances home, UN independent human rights experts said on Thursday.

Philippines drug campaign directive seen as ‘permission to kill’: UN rights office

A campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in the Philippines that began in 2016 has led to the killing of at least 8,600 people but the real figure could be three times that number, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Thursday. In a report citing “near-impunity” for the killings, which have continued along with other alleged abuses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN office noted that the High Commissioner for Human Rights stood ready to assist “credible efforts towards accountability”, both nationally and internationally.

Asian countries urged to honour right to freedom of expression, over pandemic fear

A dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific region have seen an alarming clampdown on freedom of expression during the COVID-19 crisis, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday.

More ‘can and must be done’ to eradicate caste-based discrimination in Nepal

Shocked over the killing last weekend of five men in Nepal, who had planned to escort home one of their girlfriends from a higher caste, the UN human rights chief on Friday stressed that ending caste-based discrimination is “fundamental” to the overall sustainable development vision of leaving no one behind.

Yemen aid lifeline near ‘breaking point’: UN food agency

Humanitarian aid projects to war-torn Yemen are reaching breaking point, and some $870 million is needed to continue giving life-saving assistance to millions of vulnerable people for the next six months, the World Food Programme (WFP), warned on Tuesday.

UN welcomes three-day ceasefire announcement by Afghan government and Taliban during Eid al-Fitr

The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the announcement by the Afghan Government and the Taliban of a ceasefire to mark the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims around the world.

Cyclone Amphan’s trail of destruction in Bangladesh and India

UN humanitarians and partners are working hard to assist the people of Bangladesh and India suffering from the impact of Cyclone Amphan, which made landfall on Wednesday, wreaking havoc, causing high tidal surges, flooding and embankments to collapse. 

Asia-Pacific nations commit the whole region to ‘defeat’ COVID-19

Gathering together at the top UN intergovernmental body in Asia and the Pacific on Thursday, countries of the vast region of more than four billion people, urged greater measures that reinforce global solidarity in ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

FROM THE FIELD: Nature ‘strongest ally’ to building sustainable planet

Nature is humankind’s ‘strongest ally’ to help build a sustainable planet, according to a Malaysian biodiversity expert, whose organization is supported by the UN Development Programme, (UNDP).

Philippines typhoon recovery, complicated by coronavirus concerns

As Typhoon Vongfong slammed the Philippines on Thursday, tens of thousands of people fled to cramped shelters, raising fears that without proper safety precautions in place, evacuation centres could become a hotbed of coronavirus infection, the UN emergency humanitarian relief agency (OCHA) said on Friday.