Human Rights

Human rights in Belarus continue downward spiral, warns Bachelet 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday that she continues to be alarmed by “persistent allegations” of “widespread and systematic torture” of protesters in Belarus. 

UNICEF: Haiti children vulnerable to ‘violence, poverty and displacement’

As Haiti continues to reel from the “triple tragedy” of natural disasters, gang violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed concern on Thursday that two-thirds of Haitian migrants expelled from the United States border in recent days are women and children – including newborns with “specific and immediate needs”.

South Sudan plagued by violence and corruption, Human Rights Council hears 

South Sudan continues to be “plagued” by violence and corruption, the Human Rights Council heard on Thursday, jeopardizing the young nation’s efforts to establish lasting peace and put it on the road towards sustainable development. 

Human rights ‘catastrophe’ in Myanmar: UN calls for urgent action  

Urgent action is needed to prevent the situation in Myanmar from escalating into a “full-blown conflict”, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned on Thursday.   

Myanmar: UN expert says current international efforts failing, urges ‘change of course’

The UN independent rights expert on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday that conditions inside the country following the 1 February military coup have worsened, urging a “change of course” to prevent further human rights abuses and deaths.

20 years after Durban Declaration, racism reverberates in ‘echo chambers of hate’

Two decades after a landmark declaration was adopted to eradicate racism, discrimination continues to “permeate institutions, social structures and everyday life in every society”, the UN chief told a high-level meeting on Wednesday.

Afghanistan: ‘Palpable’ fear of ‘brutal and systemic repression’ of women grows

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last month, they have made some commitments to uphold human rights. However, their subsequent actions have “sadly contradicted” those promises, the UN rights chief told a side event of the General Assembly on Tuesday.

UN agencies shocked by deaths near Belarus-Poland border 

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and migration agency IOM, called on Tuesday for an immediate investigation into the deaths of four people near the border between Poland and Belarus, due to causes yet to be determined.  

First Person: A life dedicated to indigenous rights in Brazil

For almost 30 years, Brazilian activist Joenia Wapixana, has been fighting for indigenous land rights and against “institutionalized discrimination” in Brazil. In a special interview with UN News, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, she says it’s time to dedicate more resources to this fight.

UNICEF stresses Afghan girls must not be excluded from school

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday welcomed the news that secondary schools are due to reopen in Afghanistan on Saturday, after months of closure due to COVID-19, but stressed that girls must not be kept from the classroom.