Human Rights

Child labour figure rises to 160 million, as COVID puts many more at risk 

For the first time in two decades, the number of children being put to work has risen – to 160 million worldwide, representing an increase of 8.4 million over four years – while millions of other are at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new UN report launched on Thursday. 

Free press ‘a cornerstone’ of democratic societies, UN says

The United Nations Secretary-General on Monday urged governments to “do everything in their power” to support free, independent and diverse media, which the UN’s top human rights official highlighted as “a cornerstone of democratic societies”. 

UN chief to Indigenous Forum: ‘Prioritize inclusion and sustainable development’

Although they represent the greater part of the world’s cultural diversity and speak the major share of its languages, indigenous people are three times more likely to live in extreme poverty, the UN chief told the opening session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on Monday. 

‘Racist lie’ must end, UN chief warns on Remembrance Day for enslaved people 

Although the transatlantic slave trade ended more than two centuries ago, “the ideas of white supremacy that underpinned it remain alive”, the UN chief said on Thursday, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

‘Pernicious evil’ of racism pervasive in ‘all regions and all societies’ – UN chief

Much of today’s racism is “deeply entrenched in centuries of colonialism and enslavement”, the UN chief said on Friday ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Despite pandemic, UN continues to fight ‘scourge’ of sexual exploitation abuse 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday, released his annual update on how the Organization is working to stamp out the “scourge” of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) through its zero-tolerance policy, which required special measures this year in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Syria: Grim 10-year anniversary of ‘unimaginable violence and indignities’ 

As the Syrian war reaches its grim decade-long milestone, the UN envoy for the country told the Security Council on Monday that it will “go down as one of the darkest chapters in recent history” referring to the Syrian people as among “the greatest victims of this century”. 

Independent UN rights expert calls for unilateral sanctions to be dropped against Venezuela

At the end of a two-week visit to Venezuela, an independent UN human rights expert noted on Friday that unilateral sanctions imposed on the country have exacerbated pre-existing crises, calling for them to be dropped. 

US witnessed ‘echoes of the Holocaust’ during breach of the Capitol, says concentration camp survivor 

Having grown up a Jewish child in Nazi-occupied Europe, Irene Butter said on Wednesday during a UN commemorative event online, that the United States had seen for itself “echoes of the Holocaust” on 6 January during what she described as an ‘attempted coup’ at the Capitol, in Washington DC. Some of the rioters that day, “wore Nazi symbols and used Nazi slogans”, she attested.  

Stand against antisemitism with the ‘utmost determination’ – German Chancellor Merkel

The world must stand with the “utmost determination against antisemitism”, the Chancellor of German told the UN’s annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony on Wednesday.