Culture and Education

Keep Turkey’s Hagia Sophia ‘a space for meeting of cultures’, UN rights experts urge

The historic Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, designated a mosque once again earlier this month by the Turkish Government, should be maintained as an inter-cultural space “reflecting the diversity and complexity of Turkey and its history”, said two independent human rights experts on Friday.

Rights experts call on Tanzania to end ‘crackdown’ on civic space

Tanzania should allow peaceful gatherings to take place ahead of elections in October and step back from “draconian” laws, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.

First-ever World Chess Day, helps calm nerves during COVID-19 pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a pause for most sport worldwide, the UN has been celebrating a highly-competitive game that you can play safely indoors or online – with the added bonus of helping reduce anxiety, and improving mental health: Monday marks the first ever World Chess Day.

COVID-19: UN and partners work to ensure learning never stops for young refugees

Global advocates for refugees are pushing to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic does not derail efforts for displaced children and young people to continue learning and eventually return to a real classroom.

UNESCO expresses deep regret over Turkey decision to change status of historic Hagia Sophia

As the Turkish President signed a decree on Friday converting the ancient Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque, the UN cultural agency (UNESCO) said that it "deeply regrets the decision" made "without prior discussion", having earlier in the day called on the State to abide by its “legal commitments and obligations” in accordance with it’s status as a museum, on the World Heritage List.

Universal, inclusive education ‘non-negotiable’

Inclusive education should be a “non-negotiable” right for all children, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a new report launched on Tuesday.

On International Yoga Day, UN spotlights power of ancient practice to help ease COVID stress

The UN celebrates the sixth annual International Day of Yoga on 21 June, recognizing the ancient practice as a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, and a powerful tool for dealing with the myriad stresses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic

‘I am my brother’s keeper’, Philonise Floyd tells UN rights body, in impassioned plea for racial justice

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday heard powerful testimony from the brother of George Floyd, whose death,  captured on video, while a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis, has sparked worldwide protest.

Coronavirus leading to ‘desperately unequal’ learning levels: UNICEF

With nearly 1.2 billion children out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, inherent inequalities in accessing the internet and other tools, allow them to continue their studies threatens to deepen the global crisis in learning, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday.

Making education safe for children with albinism in Malawi

In Malawi, where children with albinism face attacks, and even ritual killings, going to school can expose them to life-threatening dangers. The UN is helping to make schools safer for these vulnerable students.