Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Disability inclusion, minimum wage, and LGBTI rights in Botswana

11 June 2019

This Tuesday, we cover: a new strategy for disability inclusion; continued talks on social justice at the international labour conference; an update on Yemen; a historic Security Council resolution on missing persons in conflict; and same-sex rights in Botswana. 

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

Disability inclusion is not only a fundamental human right, it is “central to the promise” of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the annual conference on the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which began on Tuesday.

“When we fight to secure those rights, we move our world closer to upholding the core values and principles of the United Nations Charter”, he explained. “When we remove policies or biases or obstacles to opportunity for persons with disabilities, the whole world benefits”.

Read our full story here.

Macron leads EU-wide minimum wage call as Merkel, Medvedev warn of global injustice 

“Fundamental change” to the world of work – including an EU-wide minimum wage – is needed to address the growing gap between society’s haves and have-nots, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. 

In a 45-minute speech at the International Labour Organization’s Centenary conference in Geneva, Mr. Macron insisted that the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few from globalization had created a “law of the jungle”, which had opened the door to damaging nationalism, xenophobia and disillusionment with democracy. 

Find our full coverage here.

UN Security Council offers Yemen Special Envoy ‘their full support’

Security Council members issued a statement on Monday offering “their full support” to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, after he had reportedly come in for criticism by the Government.

A fragile ceasefire has largely held in and around the crucial port city of Hudaydah since the signing of the historic Stockholm Agreement last December, seen as crucial first move to brokering a lasting peace between rebel Houthis, and the Saudi-led coalition backing the Government.

Find out more here.

Families deserve answers when loved ones go missing in conflict: Security Council adopts historic resolution

The 15 members of the United Nations Security Council adopted on Tuesday the very first ever resolution focused on the issue of missing persons in armed conflict. The aim is to encourage countries to fulfil their obligations, take action to step up prevention, and tackle the issue earlier, so that ultimately families separated by conflict can be reunited, or at least given answers as to the fate of their loved ones.

“Alarming numbers of persons go missing in armed conflict,” said Reena Ghelani, who heads operations and advocacy at the UN’s humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, and was briefing on behalf of UN relief chief Mark Lowcock.

Learn why this is a major win for thousands of war-torn families.

UN human rights chief Bachelet hails Botswana decision decriminalizing same-sex relationships

And finally, a landmark ruling by Botswana’s High Court that scraps laws against same-sex relationships has been welcomed by UN human rights top official, Michelle Bachelet.

In a statement on Tuesday the UN High Commissioner underlined that the High Court had “unanimously found sections of the Penal Code…to be unconstitutional and a violation of human rights”.

Such discrimination has impacts that go far beyond arrest and detention, Ms. Bachelet said, noting that the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people could lead to them being denied healthcare, education, employment and housing.

Botswana’s decision follows similar action in nine other countries in the past five years, including Angola, Belize, India and Trinidad and Tobago.

In Kenya last month, however, a similar constitutional challenge to overturn laws that discriminate against the LGBTI community, was unsuccessful.

Listen to or download our audio News In Brief for 11 June on SoundCloud: 

 

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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

Nearly 100 people were reportedly killed during an attack on a traditional Dogon hunters’ village in Mali on Sunday, prompting a call from UN chief António Guterres for authorities to act fast and “bring the perpetrators to justice”.

UN makes ‘declaration of digital interdependence’, with release of tech report

The digital future must be safer and more inclusive, says a new tech report, “the Age of Digital Interdependence”, released on Monday by the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, almost a year after the Panel was launched by Secretary-General António Guterres.