Rural women around the world deprived of their human rights, say UN chief

Women living in rural areas in many parts of the world face severe deprivations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in a message on the International Day of Rural Women calling for greater support of their rights.

UNICEF lauds first-ever children's rights law in Southern Sudan

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has hailed the first-ever law recognizing children's rights launched today in Southern Sudan, extolling the Government for its efforts to create a society in which children can grow and develop to their full potential.

Greater efforts needed to protect children’s rights, says top UN official

A landmark treaty adopted 20 years ago has transformed the way the world views children but greater efforts are needed to ensure that their rights are protected and advanced, the United Nations human rights chief said today.

Ban pays tribute to late women’s rights advocate and senior UN official, Lucille Mair

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today paid tribute to the late Lucille Mathurin Mair, a distinguished Jamaican diplomat and leading women’s rights advocate, who was also the first woman to be appointed as an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Holocaust has vital lessons for today, says Ban

The Holocaust provides important lessons for the present, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, stressing the necessity to bolster the forces of harmony and dialogue.

UN working to ensure release of gay men jailed in Senegal

Stressing that homophobia has no place in the response to the AIDS epidemic, the United Nations today deplored the jailing of nine gay men who were members of a group working to provide condoms and HIV treatment in Senegal, and said it is working with a coalition of partners to ensure their release.

Ban urges UN rights council to rise above ''partisan posturing'' and review all States

The United Nations Human Rights Council marked the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a special session today, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling on it to rise above “partisan posturing and regional divides” and review the record of every State.

Seven human rights fighters receive top UN awards

The United Nations General Assembly today awarded its top human rights prize to seven global advocates ranging from a Congolese doctor who treats female victims of sexual violence, a nun who fought for indigenous rights before her murder in Brazil, and the assassinated Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto.

Human rights abuses continue in Iraq, despite security improvement - UN

Grave rights abuses persisted in Iraq during the first half of this year, including targeted killings of professionals, assaults on minorities, alleged widespread torture of detainees and attacks against women, despite great improvements in general security, according to a new United Nations report released today.

Some Sudanese regions rife with arbitrary arrest and detention, says UN report

Arbitrary arrest and detention are rife in many parts of Sudan, and are often linked to further serious violations such as torture, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says in a report released today.