Human Rights

Economic sanctions should be lifted to prevent hunger crises in countries hit by COVID-19 – UN rights expert

As the world exhibits new bonds of solidarity in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it is a matter of “humanitarian and practical urgency to lift unilateral economic sanctions immediately,” to prevent hunger crises in pandemic-hit countries, a UN human rights expert, said on Tuesday.  

Release inmates in Yemen to avert nationwide coronavirus outbreak, experts urge

An international panel of human rights experts called today for the immediate release of political prisoners and detainees in war-ravaged Yemen to help avert a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19.

COVID-19 stoking xenophobia, hate and exclusion, minority rights expert warns

Combatting the COVID-19 pandemic must also include stamping out what one independent human rights expert has called the “darker sides” of the disease: verbal and physical attacks against Chinese and other minority communities, and excluding them from access to healthcare.

FROM THE FIELD: Threatened Brazilian activist fights for slavery descendants' rights

A Brazilian activist who regularly receives threats of violence says he will continue fighting for the right of people of African descent to access land and property in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

UN rights chief urges quick action by governments to prevent devastating impact of COVID-19 in places of detention

COVID-19 has begun to strike in prisons, jails and immigration detention centres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned on Wednesday, as she urged Governments “not to forget those behind bars” and to protect those working in closed facilities, in their overall efforts to contain the pandemic

Ease sanctions against countries fighting COVID-19: UN human rights chief

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called for an easing of sanctions against countries such as Iran to allow their medical systems to fight the disease and limit its global spread. 

Water access critical to beating back COVID-19 spread in slum areas

As regular hand washing is a key tool in combating COVID-19, the UN and its partners are taking steps to ensure people living in informal settlements have access to running water at this critical time, according to the agency working to achieve more sustainable cities.

UN expert raises alarm over migrant, asylum seeker ‘pushbacks’ at Turkey-Greece border 

Greece must take immediate action to end the violence against migrants and asylum seekers at the border between Turkey and Greece, an independent UN human rights expert said on Monday, expressing alarm at reports of violence at the hands of some Greek security officers and unidentified armed men.

UN rights chief urges South Sudan authorities to address inter-communal violence

Authorities in South Sudan must address intercommunal violence if the nation is to achieve lasting peace, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday, in response to a recent escalation in fighting in the east and central parts of the country.  

Preventing discrimination against people with disabilities in COVID-19 response

Unless Governments and communities take action, discrimination against people with disabilities could increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert with the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.