Human Rights

Closing Guantánamo Bay will end ‘dark chapter’ for US, stress UN experts

A group of independent United Nations human rights experts have welcomed United States President-elect Barack Obama’s announced decision close the Guantánamo Bay detention centre, stressing it will end “a dark chapter in the country’s history.”

Martin Luther King an ‘unsurpassed advocate’ of UN values, says Ban Ki-moon

Viewing original papers written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta – the city he called home – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today paid tribute to the renowned United States civil rights leader, saying the values he lived and died for are shared by the United Nations.

UN agency urges release of Laotians held in Thailand for more than a year

The United Nations refugee agency has called for the release of 149 Lao Hmong, including many children, who have been held in sub-standard conditions in a Thai detention centre since they were rounded up for deportation more than a year ago.

Violence against Algerian women hidden because of social taboos – UN expert

An independent United Nations human rights expert has called on Algeria to take concrete measures against the gender inequality underlying violence against women, which she called a largely hidden problem because of the North African country’s social taboos around violence.

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.