Human Rights

UN launches key initiative to protect seafarers’ human rights amid COVID-19 crisis

Around 200,000 cargo ship crew members are stranded at sea, beyond the length of their contracts due to COVID-19 restrictions, placing a major strain on their physical and mental health. New UN guidelines were published on Thursday, aimed at helping the industry better protect human rights at sea, as new COVID variants threaten to further delay crew turnover.

FROM THE FIELD: Uganda conflict survivor helps communities find ‘ways forward’

A Ugandan man who avoided being drawn into a decades’ long conflict as a child soldier, is dedicating his adult life to healing communities which were impacted by his government’s fight with the rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA).

USA: Rights expert decries wave of anti-protest laws ‘spreading through the country’

A UN independent human rights expert has slammed new laws in several American states aimed at suppressing racial justice protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, according to a statement on Wednesday. 

Release jailed dissident on medical grounds, UN experts urge Iran

United Nations independent human rights experts, on Tuesday, called on Iranian authorities to immediately release a political activist, said to be at risk of severe health complications and even death, if not provided with appropriate medical care.

UN human rights office urges calm, after bloodshed in Colombian city of Cali

The United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) on Tuesday voiced deep alarm over the violence in the city of Cali in Colombia overnight, as a number of people were reportedly killed and wounded when police opened fire on demonstrators. 

Chad: UN rights office profoundly disturbed over violence against protesters

The UN rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday that it is deeply disturbed by security forces in Chad's use of live ammunition during recent protests after the death of former President Idriss Déby, on 19 April.

Middle East coordinator calls for new and timely Palestinian election date 

After the postponement of the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, originally scheduled for 22  May, a senior UN official in the region on Friday urged the authorities to set a new date for heading to the polls. 

Europe: COVID must spark rethink to prioritize ‘human lives’ over economic policies 

The devastating impact of COVID-19 serves as a stark reminder that the European Union must “put human lives” above economic policy considerations, that privilege competition between EU Member States, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday. 

Filipino investigative journalist to receive UN press freedom prize

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Tuesday named investigative journalist and media executive Maria Ressa of the Philippines as the recipient of its 2021 press freedom award.

Nepal: New appointments ‘undermine independence’ of rights oversight body, UN experts warn

United Nations independent human rights experts on Tuesday voiced serious concerns over recent appointment of new members to Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission, which they said “undermined its independence, integrity and legitimacy”.