Human Rights

Ark of Return: UN erects memorial to victims of transatlantic slave trade

The bravery of millions of victims of the transatlantic slave trade, who suffered unspeakable injustice and finally rose up to end the oppressive practice, was permanently enshrined today as the United Nations unveiled a memorial at its New York headquarters, on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Entitled the Ark of Return, and designed by American architect Rodney Leon, of Haitian descent, the memorial aims to underscore the tragic legacy of the slave trade, which for over four centuries abused and robbed 15 million Africans of their human rights and dignity, and to inspire the world in the battle against modern forms of slavery, such as forced labour and human trafficking.

FEATURE: Architect of UN slavery memorial explains ‘The Ark of Return’

This year’s commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade will have particular significance at United Nations Headquarters in New York, where six years of work to establish a permanent memorial to honour the victims pays off with the unveiling today.

UN to unveil permanent memorial in New York honouring victims of transatlantic slave trade

A permanent memorial to honour the victims of one of the most horrific tragedies of modern history will be revealed at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday, when the world marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Iran: UN experts urge ‘immediate halt’ over scheduled execution of juvenile

The Government of Iran must comply with its international human rights obligations and immediately halt its planned execution of a juvenile offender, two United Nations human rights experts urged today.

Citing ‘surge’ in executions, UN expert voices deep concern about right to life in Iran

The human rights situation in Iran remains of deep concern, an independent United Nations expert said today, flagging issues related to the right to life, the judicial system, religious persecution, and discrimination against women.

UN rights office disappointed as Thai court upholds conviction on insulting monarchy

The United Nations human rights office today voiced its disappointment at the decision of a court in Thailand to uphold the conviction and sentencing of an editor for publishing articles considered offensive to the monarchy.

Thai law on defaming monarchy has ‘chilling effect’ on free expression – UN rights office

The United Nations rights office today expressed serious concern over the prosecution and harsh sentencing of individuals in Thailand under the country’s so called lèse majesté law and its “chilling effects” on freedom of expression.

Greater local-level autonomy in Viet Nam would be ‘litmus test’ for religious freedom – UN expert

During his recent visit to Viet Nam, the United Nations independent expert on religious freedom, Heiner Bielefeldt, stressed the need for religious communities in the country to be able to operate also outside of the officially established channels for religious practice.

‘Outraged’, UN experts urge Egypt to overturn largest confirmed mass death verdict

The credibility and integrity of the Egyptian justice system has become “deeply compromised”, a group of United Nations human rights experts today said, urging the Government to impose a moratorium on the death penalty and to offer new and fair trials for 183 people whose death sentences have been confirmed.

UN expert urges Belarus to guarantee the right to elect and to be elected

Belarus is the only country in Europe with no opposition in parliament, a United Nations independent expert has said urging the Government to strengthen the right to elect and to be elected.