Human Rights

UN independent expert urges Austria to promote cultural diversity and rights

The United Nations independent expert on cultural rights today encouraged the Austrian Government to consider cultural diversity an invaluable resource and to take concrete measures to promote it by recognizing the ways of life of minority groups.

Syria's violent repression of protests risks fuelling further anger - UN official

The United Nations human rights chief on Saturday urged Syria to listen to the voices of its people who are rising up and demanding change in the country, warning that continued killing of protesters will only lead to more anger and violence.

DR Congo: UN report details suffering of rape victims, recommends reparations

A United Nations report unveiled today highlights the deprivations endured by thousands of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including poverty, denial of justice and lack of access to medical and psychological treatment, and recommends the establishment of a reparations fund.

Level of police violence in Papua New Guinea alarms UN expert on torture

An independent United Nations human rights expert has voiced concern about the “regular practice” of police violence in Papua New Guinea, which he said often reaches the level of torture, as well as appalling conditions for detainees.

Secretary-General voices concern about human rights in Western Sahara

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern today about alleged violations of human rights in the Western Sahara conflict and vowed to continue to promote the rights of Sahrawis after meeting with the head of the Frente Polisario, one of the parties to the dispute.

Laos: UN expert warns against marginalizing religious minorities

Religious minorities in Laos remain isolated with little access to higher education, few opportunities for job promotions in the public sector and effective exclusion from decision-making processes, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today.

UN human rights chief hails new pact to protect Africa's displaced

The United Nations human rights chief today welcomed a new treaty to protect and assist those uprooted from their homes due to conflict and natural disasters in Africa, which accounts for nearly half of the world's 26 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Forced evictions contravene human rights standards, UN expert tells Cambodia

An independent United Nations human rights expert today expressed her extreme concern about the threatened eviction of nearly 100 families in Phnom Penh, and called on the Cambodian authorities to halt this practice pending a review of current policies.

Ban welcomes US decision to close Guantánamo Bay detention centre

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the decision by United States President Barack Obama to begin the process of closing the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay.

UN voices ‘strong concern’ for Myanmar boat people held in Thailand

Fearing for the well-being of some 126 boat people in Thai custody, the United Nations refugee agency today requested access to the group of stateless Muslims who fled Myanmar to determine their need for international protection.