Human Rights

Wartime sexual violence a ‘psychological weapon’, sets back cause of peace

Sexual violence is used as a war tactic and a political tool to dehumanize, destabilize and forcibly displace populations across the globe, the UN’s expert on the issue told the Security Council on Friday, pressing countries to adopt a survivor-centred approach that ensures victims will not be forgotten.

Colombia: Killing of rights defenders, social leaders, ex-fighters, most serious threat to peace

The killing of former combatants, human rights defenders and social leaders of communities devastated by decades of conflict, remains the most serious threat to peace in Colombia since the signing of a landmark peace agreement in 2016, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday, meeting in-person at UN Headquarters in New York, for the first time in four months.

COVID-19 lockdown in Myanmar exposes precarious position of LGBTQI population

In Myanmar, the COVID-19 lockdown has laid bare the stigmatization, discrimination and harassment faced by many LGBTQI people, particularly in rural areas. The United Nations is working to support those people.

UN chief underscores need for reconciliation 25 years after Srebrenica genocide

Twenty-five years after the Srebrenica genocide, peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains fragile, underscoring the need for true reconciliation in the region, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday in a video message marking the anniversary of the worst atrocity crime in Europe, since the Second World War.

UN expert calls for end to gender-based violence against women journalists

Women journalists face particular dangers while going about their work, an independent UN expert told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, saying that Governments should do more to protect them. 

Human rights through peacekeeping essential factor in beating coronavirus

The UN human rights chief is calling for greater investment in the human rights components of peace operations - not least to monitor the impact of efforts to contain the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Independent rights expert speaks of ‘anguish, stress and disempowerment’ of poverty

More than 70 million people are expected to fall into extreme poverty because of COVID-19, the UN Human Rights Council heard on Tuesday, as a leading rights expert slammed “greatly exaggerated” claims of global poverty eradication between 1990 and 2015.

Fresh evidence of war crimes committed by all sides in Syrian conflict, probe finds

Hospitals, schools and homes have all been targeted during Syria’s brutal and long-running conflict, said UN-appointed investigators, who on Tuesday condemned likely fresh war crimes committed by all parties.

UN rights office expresses alarm at Hong Kong arrests under new security law

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has expressed alarm at the arrest of demonstrators in Hong Kong, following China’s adoption of a national security law for the Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Israel’s illegal annexation plans for Palestine, ‘disastrous’ for wider Middle East – Bachelet

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned Israel on Monday not to proceed along the “dangerous path” of annexing a swathe of occupied Palestinian territory, urging the Government to listen to its own former senior officials along with the “multitude of voices around the world”.