Human Rights

No safe harbour: lifting the lid on a misunderstood trafficking crime

The crime of harbouring, in which victims of human trafficking are accommodated or forced to stay in a specific location, is not universally understood by courts around the world. A new UN study aims to address that issue, and improve protection for victims.

'Landmark decision’ gives legal teeth to protect environmental defenders

A 46-strong group of countries across the wider European region has agreed to establish a new legally binding mechanism that would protect environmental defenders, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said on Friday.

Only ‘real equality’ can end vicious cycle of poverty

Although poverty and privilege “continue to reproduce themselves in vicious cycles”, it is possible to break the chain and shift the paradigm, an independent UN human rights expert told the General Assembly on Wednesday. 

Myanmar: In race against time, experts collect evidence of rights violations 

For more than two years, a UN-appointed team of 59 people has been collecting and analyzing more than two million pieces of evidence about possible human rights violations in Myanmar.  

Libya: War crimes likely committed since 2016, UN probe finds

War crimes and crimes against humanity have likely been committed in Libya by all parties to conflict since 2016 including by external actors, a Human Rights Council-appointed probe said on Monday. 

Iraq: ‘Moral obligation’ to ensure justice for Yazidi and other survivors of ISIL crimes 

A new Iraqi law to support Yazidi women survivors of crimes committed by ISIL terrorists, represents “a watershed moment” in addressing the wrongs committed against them and other minority groups, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict told an event on Thursday, highlighting the need for effective reparations.

‘Urgent’ international response needed in Myanmar: UN chief 

An “urgent” international response is needed to prevent the crisis in Myanmar from becoming a “catastrophe” in the heart of Southeast Asia and beyond, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned. In a report sent to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the UN chief also said he feared that the military’s grip on power would become increasingly difficult to counter. 

Comprehensive support needed for Haitians facing expulsion in Americas

Vulnerable Haitian men, women and children on the move in the Americas, should not be expelled from countries where they have found shelter, UN agencies said in a protection appeal on Thursday.

Syria: 10 years of war has left at least 350,000 dead

A decade of war in Syria has left more 350,200 people dead, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet told the Human Rights Council on Friday, noting that this total was an “under-count of the actual number of killings”.

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.