Europe

COVID-19 vaccine rollout ‘unacceptably slow’ in Europe, WHO warns

Rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Europe is “unacceptably slow” as new cases increase among practically all age groups there, according to the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), which covers 53 countries and territories. 

Turkey’s withdrawal from women’s protection treaty, ‘worrying step backwards’

Turkey’s decision to withdraw from an important treaty on protecting women is “a very worrying step backwards”, a group of independent UN human rights experts said on Tuesday. 

UN agencies urge Turkey not to abandon international accord protecting women

United Nations agencies on Saturday called on Turkey to reconsider its withdrawal from a key regional treaty on preventing violence against women, including domestic violence, and bringing the perpetrators to justice. 

Russia responsible for Navalny poisoning, rights experts say

Russia is responsible for the poisoning and attempted killing of jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny, two independent UN rights experts said on Monday, issuing an “open call” for an international investigation into the incident. 

Belarus human rights situation deteriorating further, warns UN rights chief

A “systematic crackdown” against dissent in Belarus is continuing, months since the country’s disputed presidential election last year, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has told the Human Rights Council.

Russia: UN rights office ‘deeply dismayed’ by Navalny sentencing

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, expressed dismay on Wednesday over the sentencing of Russian opposition politician and activist Aleksei Navalny, and urged the authorities to release scores of his supporters arrested during rallies protesting his detention. 

EU must place social justice ‘at its core’ to lift people out of poverty

The European Union’s failure to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020, is “a defeat for social rights”, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday, urging the bloc to boldly rethink its whole socio-economic approach.

Asylum seekers subject to systematic pushbacks at Europe’s borders, says UNHCR

UN refugee agency, UNHCR, called on Thursday for an end to “systematic” expulsions and pushbacks of refugees and asylum-seekers at Europe’s land and sea borders.

Italy failed to rescue over 200 migrants in 2013 Mediterranean disaster, UN rights body finds

A UN rights committee said on Wednesday that Italy failed in its international obligations to protect the right to life of more than 200 migrants on board a vessel that sank in the Mediterranean Sea, in 2013. 

UN refugee agency calls for ‘new chapter for refugee protection’ across Europe

As Portugal assumes the presidency of the European Union (EU), to be followed by Slovenia later this year, the UN refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday called on them to lead the effort to forge a better protection system for those seeking refuge across the continent and beyond.