Human Rights

Those responsible for war crimes in Syria ‘will be held accountable for what they have done,’ says UN rights chief

War crimes, potentially crimes against humanity, are likely being committed in east Ghouta and elsewhere in Syria, and the United Nations human rights chief warned on Friday that the perpetrators of these acts must know they are being identified and will be held accountable.

‘Hell on earth’ in Syria’s eastern Ghouta must end – UN chief Guterres

Syria’s war-battered east Ghouta, the troubled Kasais region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, where violence has sparked a major exodus of Muslim Rohingyas, were all in the spotlight as the Geneva-based Human Rights Council opened its session today, with UN officials warning that these situations spiraled into crisis “because not enough was done, early and collectively, to prevent the rising horrors.”

INTERVIEW: Governments should think twice before putting children in detention – UN expert Manfred Nowak

Despite progress in the realization of children’s rights, as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which entered into force on 2 September 1990, too many commitments remain unfulfilled. This is particularly true for children deprived of liberty, who often remain invisible and forgotten.

FEATURE: Story of Japan’s 'Schindler' offers lessons for tackling contemporary xenophobia

During World War II, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat posted as an acting consul in Lithuania, disobeyed instructions from his own Government and issued visas for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

Women and girls with disabilities are equal rights holders, not ‘helpless objects of pity’ – UN rights committee

Noting that national policies often tend to treat women and girls with disabilities as helpless objects of pity or allow them to be treated in that manner, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has stressed that, instead, they need to be empowered and allowed to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms, as any other person.

 

FEATURE: Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover calls out racism, Afrophobia in the Americas

The international community must increase its commitment to fighting Afrophobia and discrimination against people of African descent, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador and actor Danny Glover has said, speaking during the International Decade for People of African Descent.

 

INTERVIEW: A fate shaped by injustice – one man’s mission to help the women of DR Congo

Dubbed by the press as “the man who mends women,” Dr. Mukwege has gained international recognition for his work and earned many prestigious distinctions, including the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 2008 and the Sakharov prize in 2014. At 59, he has also been shortlisted several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

'The moment we do not support the human rights agenda we see it rolling back in many parts of the world' – Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

In September 2002, Zeid was elected the first President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At that time, the Court was only a plan on paper, and over the next three years he oversaw the election of the first 18 judges, mediated selection of the Court’s first president, and led efforts to name the Court’s first prosecutor – laying out a functioning institution, despite considerable budgetary pressures and criticism of the Court from several leading nations.