Human Rights

Youth activist speaks up for environmental protection at Human Rights Council

At the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, a teenager from Côte d’Ivoire has explained why protecting the environment matters so much.

Bachelet renews call for accountability in Philippines war on illegal drugs

The Human Rights Council should consider supporting new accountability measures against perpetrators of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines’ so-called war on illegal drugs, the UN’s top rights official said on Tuesday.

Harmful practices rob women and girls of ‘right to reach their full potential’

Urgent, and accelerated action is needed to end female genital mutilation, child marriage, and other “harmful practices” and abuses carried out against women and girls, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA), said on Tuesday, in its latest major report on the state of the world’s population. 

Speak out against torture, an ‘abhorrent denial of human dignity’, urges UN chief

Torture is an “egregious abuse of human rights”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday, the International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture.  

Devastating South Sudan coronavirus deaths,'a tragedy that can be prevented', Security Council hears

South Sudan is facing the twin threat of COVID-19 and an uptick in violence that risks unravelling a fragile ceasefire and derailing the peace process, the top UN official in the country says. Briefing the Security Council on Tuesday, David Shearer said that so far, nearly 2,000 cases of novel coronavirus - and 35 deaths - have been recorded in South Sudan.

Human Rights Council calls on top UN rights official to take action on racist violence

The UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet, is to spearhead efforts to address systemic racism against people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, the Human Rights Council decided on Friday. The resolution – decided unanimously without a vote - follows a rare Urgent Debate in the Council earlier in the week, requested by the African group of nations, following the death of George Floyd in the US state of Minnesota.

COVID-19 intensifies ‘brutal crime’ of sexual violence in conflict 

Conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is “a brutal crime” that is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN chief underscored on Friday, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

US Supreme Court ruling ‘extremely positive’ for LGBT community, says UN Rights Expert

A UN expert on Wednesday hailed an historic judgement issued by the United States Supreme Court on 15 June that firing a person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful.

Conviction of Filipino journalist ‘a new low’, says independent UN expert

The conviction of prominent Filipino journalist Maria Ressa has been described by an independent UN expert as “a new low in the Philippines’ protection of the freedom of expression” and “the ability of an independent media to function in the country”.

Children caught in conflict facing ‘brutality and fear while the world watches’

Boys and girls used and abused in armed conflict have had their childhoods replaced by “pain, brutality and fear while the world watches”, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said on Monday.