Human Rights

Coronavirus casts ‘huge shadow’ over Afghan life as multi-dimensional crisis continues

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health emergency, but a multi-dimensional crisis for Afghanistan, dealing its people a painful blow just as Kabul and the Taliban prepare for peace talks in Qatar, the top UN official in the country says.

Digital tools being used to track people as never before, warns UN rights chief

The internet and new digital tools are being manipulated as never before to infringe on people’s right to free assembly, the UN’s top rights official said on Thursday, in a call for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology during peaceful demonstrations.

Devastating South Sudan coronavirus deaths,'a tragedy that can be prevented', Security Council hears

South Sudan is facing the twin threat of COVID-19 and an uptick in violence that risks unravelling a fragile ceasefire and derailing the peace process, the top UN official in the country says. Briefing the Security Council on Tuesday, David Shearer said that so far, nearly 2,000 cases of novel coronavirus - and 35 deaths - have been recorded in South Sudan.

Global ban needed on bogus ‘conversion therapy’, argues UN rights expert

“Conversion therapy” is built on the false premise that it can alter the sexual orientation of gender diverse people, and many more countries around the world need to recognize its “dehumanizing” and deeply corrosive impact, according to a UN report that’s before the UN Human Rights Council this month.

Human Rights Council calls on top UN rights official to take action on racist violence

The UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet, is to spearhead efforts to address systemic racism against people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, the Human Rights Council decided on Friday. The resolution – decided unanimously without a vote - follows a rare Urgent Debate in the Council earlier in the week, requested by the African group of nations, following the death of George Floyd in the US state of Minnesota.

Hong Kong: Draft law on national security must comply with rights obligations

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday that her office was closely following developments as China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress, holds talks on a proposed national security law for Hong Kong.

‘I am my brother’s keeper’, Philonise Floyd tells UN rights body, in impassioned plea for racial justice

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday heard powerful testimony from the brother of George Floyd, whose death,  captured on video, while a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis, has sparked worldwide protest.

US Supreme Court ruling ‘extremely positive’ for LGBT community, says UN Rights Expert

A UN expert on Wednesday hailed an historic judgement issued by the United States Supreme Court on 15 June that firing a person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful.

Rights experts call for global opposition to Israel’s annexation plans

Nearly 50 independent human rights experts are calling for the international community to oppose Israel’s plan to annex significant parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank beginning as early as next month.

Conviction of Filipino journalist ‘a new low’, says independent UN expert

The conviction of prominent Filipino journalist Maria Ressa has been described by an independent UN expert as “a new low in the Philippines’ protection of the freedom of expression” and “the ability of an independent media to function in the country”.