Refugees and migrants braving seas to flee to Europe in 2015 top one million – UN

Refugees and migrants fleeing to Europe by sea this year have passed one million, according to figures just released by the UN refugee agency, many on perilous trips aboard inadequate vessels run by people smugglers, with at least 3,735 more believed drowned.

Refugees and migrants fleeing to Europe in 2015 top unprecedented one million – UN

The number of refugees and migrants fleeing to Europe in 2015 has topped an unprecedented one million – at least 3,600 died or went missing in the crossings – the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported today, calling for much more to be done to receive and aid those uprooted by persecution, conflict and poverty.

Hungary urged to halt campaign portraying refugees and migrants as ‘invaders’ – UN agency and partners

The United Nations refugee agency, together with two European partners, urged Hungary today to refrain from policies and practices that promote intolerance, fear and fuel xenophobia against refugees and migrants, including a campaign running through Christmas and into the New Year.

New bill in Finland threatens Sami peoples’ right to traditional lands, livelihoods, UN expert warns

A United Nations human rights expert expressed deep concern today at the lack of consultation and the reduced protections to the Sami indigenous people in the current draft law on the Finnish Forest and Parks Service (Metsähallitus) to regulate the management of State-owned lands.

Ukraine could again slip into cycle of calm giving way to savage fighting – senior UN rights official

A senior United Nations human rights official warned today that the fighting in Ukraine, which has recently decreased, could erupt again with a massive civilian toll in a conflict that has already left over 9,000 people dead and nearly 21,000 injured over the past two years.

In Finland, Ban urges open dialogue to prevent polarization and racism against asylum-seekers

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Finland's membership to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the country on its leadership in advancing the Organization's work on peace and security, development and human rights, and expressed his gratitude for the country's solidarity with refugees in the region.

Despite less fighting, eastern Ukraine still ‘highly flammable,’ UN reports, as death toll tops 9,000

Despite a significant reduction in hostilities in eastern Ukraine in the last few months in a conflict that has already left over 9,000 people dead and nearly 21,000 injured, serious human rights concerns persist, including killings, torture and impunity, the United Nations reported today.

Desperate farm families in eastern Ukraine forced into ‘difficult choices’ to survive – UN agency

The absence of financial, physical, social and human resources has left some 700,000 farm households extremely vulnerable in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, the results of a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) household survey revealed today, and also warned of food insecurity among those families due to “skyrocketing” commodity prices.

UN refugee agency concerned by violence at Greek border, calls for improved security

As a result of restrictions imposed by the authorities along the Western Balkans route, tensions have been rising at the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, prompting the United Nations refugee agency to call on the authorities of both countries to manage the border in a manner consistent with human rights and refugee-protection principles.

Flow of refugee and migrant children into Greece doubles, UN agencies report

About a third of the refugees and migrants who have drowned in the Aegean Sea this year were children, while the number of children applying for asylum in the European Union has doubled compared to 2014, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported today, warning of the increasing perils facing youngsters as winter takes hold.