Special Rapporteur

News in Brief 8 December 2020

  • Don't let your guard down during COVID vaccine drive: WHO
  • IOM business support helps vulnerable women and children
  • Release Julian Assange immediately UN rights expert urges
Audio -
3'4"

‘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.

‘Eyes and ears’ of UN Human Rights Council facing funding crisis

The work of UN-appointed independent rights experts is at risk from a critical lack of funding, they warned on Monday.

Governments urged to protect poor against modern slavery, step up development financing

Unless governments act now, millions of the world’s most vulnerable people could be pushed into contemporary forms of slavery and other exploitation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a UN independent human rights expert has said. 

 

Myanmar: Departing UN rights expert still hopeful for democratic transition

An independent human rights expert said she has not given up hope for a democratic transition in Myanmar even though the country has yet to address “grave allegations” of international crimes, including possible genocide. 

 

Independent UN rights experts call for ‘immediate investigation’ into alleged Bezos phone hack by Saudi Arabia

Independent UN rights experts said on Wednesday they were “gravely concerned” over allegations that in 2018, a messaging app account belonging to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was used to hack into The Washington Post owner’s mobile phone, calling for an “immediate investigation” by authorities in the United States.

Zimbabwe facing man-made starvation, says UN expert

Man-made starvation is “slowly making its way into Zimbabwe” and most households in the country are unable to obtain enough food to meet their basic needs, Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food, declared on Thursday.

Contemporary slavery often 'invisible and clandestine': UN rights expert

As the first human rights issue to provoke wide international, slavery is perpetuated by traditional practices such as child and forced marriage, and by the fact that almost half the countries in the world have yet to criminalize it.

According to the latest UN figures, 40 million people were living in a state of modern slavery in 2016. One in four children are in forced labour, and about 98 per cent of women who are in forced labour have also been subjected to sexual exploitation.

Deeply rooted in fear, with victims often “not realizing” they’re enslaved, it becomes "invisible", and "clandestine”, leaving victims unprotected, said Urmila Bhoola, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, who sat down with UN News's Ana Carmo to talk through its causes and consequences.

Audio -
12'11"

Transform societies to value older persons, including those with disabilities: UN rights expert

Because impairment is widely seen as a natural part of the ageing process, many older people with disabilities are shut out from receiving the support they need, according to a UN human rights expert.

UN Special Rapporteur Catalina Devandas Aguilar is encouraging governments to ensure older persons with disabilities have a voice in any policies to make cities more inclusive, particularly as the global population ages.

Audio -
8'59"

Decisive international action needed to end Israeli occupation: UN rights expert

The international community has a responsibility and legal obligation to compel Israel to end its 52 year-long “occu-annexation” of Palestinian territory and remove barriers preventing Palestinian self-determination, a UN independent human rights expert told the General Assembly on Wednesday.