Human Rights

Vast majority of crimes against journalists yet to be resolved: UNESCO

Even though 2020 saw a “slight decrease” in the rate of impunity for crimes against journalists, 87 per cent of such cases worldwide were still not resolved, UNESCO, the UN agency tasked with defending press freedom, has reported. 

‘High time for accountability’, UN expert says as Israel approves highest rate of illegal settlements 

The international community must answer a “grave” breach of international law with “more than mere criticism”, an independent UN expert said on Friday after the Israeli Government announced its approval of nearly 5,000 new settlement homes in occupied Palestinian territory.

Rights expert urges greater protection for mass graves: proof of ‘heinous events’

More action must be taken to protect mass graves, which provide proof of “heinous events” that must never be forgotten, an independent UN human rights expert has said, in an appeal to the international community. 

Poland ‘slammed the door shut’ on legal and safe abortions: Human rights experts

A group of UN independent human rights experts have denounced a court ruling in Poland that bans abortions on the grounds of fatal or severe foetal impairment, effectively “slamming the door shut” on safe and legal pregnancy terminations.  

‘Serious concerns’ over rights situation in Myanmar ahead of next month’s elections

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) voiced “serious concerns” on Tuesday over the situation in Myanmar – including rights violations and proliferation of hateful speech against minority communities – as the country prepares for general elections next month. 

Independent UN rights experts urge Thai government to allow peaceful protests 

Calling the latest imposition of a state of emergency in Thailand, a “draconian measure”,  UN-appointed human rights experts on Thursday urged the Government there to guarantee the fundamental rights of peaceful assembly and free speech.  

UN chief calls for end to reported police brutality in Nigeria 

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was closely following recent developments across Nigeria, in the wake of reports that protesters had been shot dead and wounded, and called for “an end to reported police brutality and abuses.” 

Safeguard human rights defenders, rights of NGOs in India, Bachelet urges

Highlighting that India has long had a strong civil society at the forefront of “groundbreaking human rights advocacy within the country and globally", the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, raised concerns on Tuesday that “vaguely defined laws are increasingly being used to stifle these voices”.  

‘We want justice for these girls’: the Kenyan helpline for victims of gender violence

Around four million girls worldwide suffer female genital mutilation every year. Although it is forbidden in Kenya, COVID-19 has led some families to revive itthe traditional practice, and a UN-supported phone helpline for victims of gender-based violence in the country has seen a big rise in calls since the pandemic hit.

Syria: Humanitarians ‘very concerned’ for thousands still living in Al Hol camp

Humanitarians are “very concerned” about the plight of more than 64,000 people living in the restive Al Hol camp in northeast Syria, the UN Spokesperson told journalists on Friday.