Human Rights

UN rights chief urges Thailand not to forcibly return Lao Hmong, over half are children

Expressing concern that around 150 Hmong tribes-people, over half of whom are children, may be subjected to “serious human rights violations” if forced to return home to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the top United Nations rights official today urged Thailand to halt their imminent deportation.

Proposed UN convention on disabled rights close to fruition as negotiations resume

A new United Nations convention to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is within reach and could be adopted later this year, the chairman of the negotiations said today as he opened what may be the final round of talks.

Meeting on first-ever international rights treaty for disabled persons opens at UN

Pledging to complete a full draft of a first-ever international treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities, the General Assembly committee charged with that task opened a marathon three-week meeting at United Nations headquarters today.

For disability rights meeting, UN will print first direct-to-Braille documents

In time for negotiations for an international agreement on the rights of persons with disabilities, the United Nations will be able for the first time to produce materials directly in Braille thanks to the donation today of a state-of-the-art printer by a US-based non-governmental organization (NGO) for the blind.

Annan reports momentum against racism continues following Durban conference

Momentum generated by the United Nations World Conference against Racism four years ago is fuelling a trend towards reporting and monitoring, often using statistics, of racist crimes and incidents, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in his latest report on the issue to the General Assembly.

Secretary-General welcomes humane treatment of ethnic minorities in Laos

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the humane treatment extended by the Lao Government to the ethnic minorities who emerged from remote areas over the weekend, and he stressed the readiness of the United Nations to provide humanitarian assistance to such groups at the Government's request.

UNESCO hails release of two long-time Laotian political prisoners

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today welcomed the release of two long-time Laotian political prisoners whose freedom the agency has sought for many years.

Malaysia: UN agency seeks moratorium on deportations of asylum-seekers

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for a moratorium on the deportation of Indonesian asylum seekers in Malaysia amid persistent reports that authorities there are planning to deport some 250 people who fled conflict in the province of Aceh.

UN-backed meeting adopts action plan to help disabled persons in Asia, Pacific

Concluding the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled People, a United Nations-backed meeting held in Japan today adopted a wide-ranging regional framework for action to integrate the concerns of disabled persons into development programmes.