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Friday’s Daily Brief: electronic hopes and fears, Security Council elections, updates from Libya, Syria, Australia and the Philippines

Wrapping up this week, our top stories are: how new technologies are a "vector for hope" and "source of fear", according to UN chief Guterres; new members at the Security Council; the plight of migrants in Libya; war rules violations in Syria; human rights in Australia and the Philippines.

FROM THE FIELD: Saving the tree kangaroos of Papua New Guinea

The survival of an endangered animal which looks part kangaroo and part lemur has been secured thanks to a project in Papua New Guinea (PNG) supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

News in Brief 13 May 2019

  • New Zealand youth ‘in frontline’ of fight against climate change: UN chief
  • Climate change ‘a threat to our human rights’, says Australian minority community
  • Condemnation for deadly attack on church in Burkina Faso
  • Conflict escalation in Gaza possible ‘at any time’ amid growing despair and depression: UNRWA
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‘Semi-catatonic children’ among victims of Australia’s offshore detention policy: UNHCR

A “pervasive sense of helplessness and hopelessness” exists among those held in Australia’s offshore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, which has worsened in recent months, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned on Friday.  In an appeal to the Australian Government to evacuate the more than 1,400 asylum-seekers and migrants there, UNHCR spokesperson Catherine Stubberfield told UN News that some children have become “semi-catatonic” and need urgent help.

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News in Brief 12 October 2018

  • Violent clashes in eastern DRC undermining Ebola response
  • Australia urged to evacuate offshore processing facilities amid suicides and mental distress
  • 833 children released from armed group in North-East Nigeria
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4'21"

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

Australia should end its offshore processing policy on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea amid reports of widespread, acute mental distress and attempted suicide by children and young adults, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday.

News in Brief 17 July 2018

  • Nicaraguan State must end demonstrator killings: UN human rights office
  • UN refugee agency appeals over Australia refugee family separation
  • Spain overtakes Italy as number one route for migrants
  • DR Congo Ebola outbreak set to be declared over
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Australia’s offshore processing policy for refugees has taken huge toll, warns senior UNHCR official

Asylum seekers bound for Australia have been left mentally scarred by years of detention on Pacific islands, senior UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) official Indrika Ratwatte said on Wednesday. 

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Australia-bound asylum seekers left mentally scarred by years of detention on Pacific islands, warns UN refugee official

A senior United Nations refugee agency official warned on Wednesday about the “shocking” effects of long-term detention on Australia-bound asylum seekers who are being held on remote Pacific islands.

Sea boundaries treaty by Australia and Timor-Leste ‘example to follow’ – UN chief

Australia and Timor-Leste on Tuesday signed a bilateral maritime boundaries treaty, which United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres hailed as a ground-breaking event that could inspire other countries to peacefully settle disputes through mediation.