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Logo Human Rights Day 2012: My voice counts

Human Rights Day 2012 - Feature stories

Many inspirational stories on inclusion and the right to participate in public life throughout this year have been featured on our website and can be found here.

 

Liu Xiaobo: The definition of civic courage and human dignity - Zeid
Liu Xiaobo: The definition of civic courage and human dignity - Zeid
China's iconic peace and democracy figures Liu Xiaobo was the definition of civic courage and human dignity – an inspiration to human rights defenders everywhere - Zeid.
13 July 2017
Justice and reconciliation needed to heal Iraq’s wounds – Zeid
Justice and reconciliation needed to heal Iraq’s wounds – Zeid
With Mosul reaken by Iraqi security forces, Zeid urges real dialogue between communities to halt the cycle of violence and ensure ISIL’s crimes do not poison Iraqi society for generations.
11 July 2017
Civilians mustn
Civilians mustn't be sacrificed for rapid military victories
"The intense bombardment of Al-Raqqa over the past three weeks has reportedly left civilians terrified and confused about where they can seek refuge as they are caught between ISIL’s monstrosities and the fierce battle to defeat it,” High Commissioner Zeid says as he appeals for their protection.
28 June 2017
Is international human rights law under threat: a lecture on international day for victims of torture
Is international human rights law under threat: a lecture on international day for victims of torture
To overcome prejudice and uphold human rights requires a continuous investment of thought. The default flow in the minds of humanity may be reptilian; but the internal battle to overcome it is profoundly human.
26 June 2017
Zeid welcomes international investigation into DRC
Zeid welcomes international investigation into DRC
The creation of an international investigation into allegations of gross violations in the Kasai regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo sends a strong message to perpetrators that the international community is serious about bringing them to justice.
23 June 2017
Horrific violations in the DRC require independent investigation
Horrific violations in the DRC require independent investigation
"A landscape of horror": harrowing reports of violations in the Kasais, and the launch of a new militia, indicate the need for international investigation, High Commissioner Zeid tells the Human Rights Council.
20 June 2017
States that fail to engage on human rights betray their people - Zeid
States that fail to engage on human rights betray their people - Zeid
High Commissioner Zeid tells Human Rights Council members they have particular responsibility to cooperate with human rights bodies.
6 June 2017
New NGO law deeply damaging for human rights in Egypt
New NGO law deeply damaging for human rights in Egypt
A repressive new law issued in Egypt leaves human rights defenders even more vulnerable to sanctions and reprisals than they already are. Muzzling dissent can only lead to further instability, High Commissioner Zeid says.
1 June 2017
UN human rights report maps 13 years of violence and impunity in the Central African Republic
UN human rights report maps 13 years of violence and impunity in the Central African Republic
Mass killings and other serious human rights violations have been documented in an extensive UN mapping report covering the multiple conflicts in the CAR between 2003 and 2015. Many of the violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, the mapping report states, as it sets out a strategy to fight pervasive impunity in the country.
30 May 2017
After more than half a century, a community receives justice
After more than half a century, a community receives justice
After more than 50 years, the Rastafari community of Coral Gardens in Jamaica have received recognition, recompense and an expression of regret of the human rights violations against hundreds of Rastafarians across the island. The UN Human Rights Advisor assisted the community in their advocacy to honour the commitment to justice.
26 May 2017
Airstrikes, ISIL causing civilian casualties in Syria
Airstrikes, ISIL causing civilian casualties in Syria
The same civilians who are suffering indiscriminate shelling and summary executions by ISIL, are also falling victim to the escalating airstrikes, particularly in the northeastern governorates of Al-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor.
26 May 2017
Landmark partnership with Microsoft
Landmark partnership with Microsoft
The UN Human Rights Office's five-year agreement with Microsoft is an opportunity to develop and use advanced technology to better predict, analyse and respond to critical human rights situations, and highlights the private sector's role in helping advance human rights globally.
16 May 2017
Violence and insecurity spreading in CAR
Violence and insecurity spreading in CAR
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expresses grave alarm over the expanding attacks by armed groups against the civilian population in several parts of the Central African Republic in recent months, as well as attacks against UN peacekeepers in the southeast.
16 May 2017
High Commissioner Zeid visits Uzbekistan
High Commissioner Zeid visits Uzbekistan
High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the human rights reforms initiated by the new administration in Uzbekistan could, if successfully implemented, have a transformational impact on the country's future.
11 May 2017
Moves to impeach Nepal Chief Justice an assault on human rights
Moves to impeach Nepal Chief Justice an assault on human rights
Zeid urges the Government in Nepal to respect the independence of the judiciary, and withdraw what appears to be a politically motivated impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, Sushila Karki.
5 May 2017
War-weary civilians at imminent risk of further violence
War-weary civilians at imminent risk of further violence
Women, children and men who fled violence in the Upper Nile region of South Sudan in the most horrifying circumstances are now trapped in Aburoc town, at imminent risk of gross human rights violations and inter-ethnic violence.
4 May 2017
Zeid calls for justice after more mass graves discovered in DRC
Zeid calls for justice after more mass graves discovered in DRC
The DRC Government must ensure there is a transparent and independent investigation into alleged human rights violations and abuses by all parties, Zeid says, after 17 further mass graves are found in the Kasais.
19 April 2017
Rape chants lay bare campaign of terror by Burundi militia
Rape chants lay bare campaign of terror by Burundi militia
A chilling video of Imbonerakure militia members in Burundi chanting a call to impregnate or kill opponents is an alarming indication of the militia's campaign of fear and terror, Zeid warns.
18 April 2017
Escalating erosion of the right to health is a critical human rights issue
Escalating erosion of the right to health is a critical human rights issue
Healthcare is not a privilege; it is a right, and it requires public policy. It is also a lever for everyone's economic, social and political advancement.
13 April 2017
Dangers of undermining international law and institutions
Dangers of undermining international law and institutions
We must stand up for the principles and institutions which protect us from chaos; or will our generation trigger a return to injustice, hate, war, imperialism and the oppressive exercise of naked power? - Zeid
5 April 2017
Preserve separation of powers, Zeid urges Venezuela
Preserve separation of powers, Zeid urges Venezuela
Zeid stresses the importance of the separation of powers for democracy and human rights, as he urges Venezuela’s Supreme Court to reconsider a ruling to strip the National Assembly of its legislative powers.
31 March 2017
Protection of civilians paramount as ISIL intensifies use of human shields
Protection of civilians paramount as ISIL intensifies use of human shields
High Commissioner Zeid urges Iraqi and Coalition forces to scrupulously respect international humanitarian law, to avoid loss of civilian lives, particularly given ISIL's cowardly strategy of using civilians as human shields.
28 March 2017
Two years of war, 13,000 civilian casualties in Yemen
Two years of war, 13,000 civilian casualties in Yemen
The violent deaths of refugees fleeing yet another war, of fishermen, of families in marketplaces, millions of people desperate for their basic rights to food, water, health and security - this is what the conflict in Yemen looks like two years after it began.
24 March 2017
National Human rights institutions link international law to local action
National Human rights institutions link international law to local action
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussien speaks with Beate Rudolf, chair of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions during a recent meeting in Geneva. NHRIs provide an integral link between international human rights law and their countries.
17 March 2017
Undoing slavery
Undoing slavery's legacy of injustice and discrimination
The International Decade for People of African Descent, which will run until 2024, aims to honour and restore the dignity of people of African descent by raising awareness and sparking real change.
16 March 2017
International, impartial, independent: hope for accountability in Syria
International, impartial, independent: hope for accountability in Syria
Probably tens of thousands of people are currently detained in Syria. In a sense the entire country has become a torture chamber - a place of savage horror and absolute injustice.
14 March 2017
Serious rights violations in southeast Turkey
Serious rights violations in southeast Turkey
The displacement of thousands of people and the wholesale destruction of neighbourhoods in southeast Turkey during Government security operations are detailed in a UN report.
10 March 2017
'We need to protect each other and stand up for what we believe in'
"At times such as these, human rights are too important to be left to governments alone. We must also act, in our own lives, to uphold human rights," High Commissioner Zeid tells the FIDHR film festival in Geneva.
10 March 2017
Backlash against women
Backlash against women's rights hurts us all - Zeid
Zeid calls for us all to stand up for women's rights as the world marks International Women's Day on 8 March, warning that advances in women's equality should nowhere be taken for granted.
7 March 2017
New agreement on activities between Mexico and the UN Human Rights Office
New agreement on activities between Mexico and the UN Human Rights Office
The Office looks forward to assisting Mexico in meeting challenges to human rights, including impunity.
23 February 2017
Zeid calls for immediate halt to DRC killings
Zeid calls for immediate halt to DRC killings
Zeid calls on the DRC Government to act amid credible allegations of massive human rights violations in the DRC, including people being targeted by soldiers for their alleged affiliation with a local militia.
21 February 2017
Conflict and violence are the offspring of human rights violations
Conflict and violence are the offspring of human rights violations
At a major human rights conference in the Arab region, Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore speaks to the power of human rights to prevent conflicts and rebuild broken societies.
21 February 2017
Film festival: the road to safety
Film festival: the road to safety
The 2017 edition of the Global Road Safety Film Festival marks 10 years of raising awareness of safety of the world’s road and preventing road traffic casualties and injuries.
20 February 2017
Ukraine conflict: End impunity for sexual violence
Ukraine conflict: End impunity for sexual violence
“What’s the point of saying what happened to me? No one will punish them.” UN report documents how survivors of sexual assault in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine are often denied justice.
16 February 2017
Life in a political earthquake: The stabilising force of human rights
Life in a political earthquake: The stabilising force of human rights
Standing up for human rights is the best answer to spreading protectionism, nationalism and apparent attempts to undermine international law: Zeid
16 February 2017
"Stand up and join the struggle to uphold human rights"
"Stand up and join the struggle to uphold human rights"
At the ISFIT student festival in Norway, Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore urged students from all over the world to uphold the vital principles of equality, justice, dignity and respect.
10 February 2017
Civilians in Yemen caught between warring parties
Civilians in Yemen caught between warring parties
Civilians were trapped and targeted during fighting in Al Mokha, and there are real fears that the situation will repeat itself in the port of Al Hudaidah, to the north of Al Mokha, where air strikes are already intensifying, Zeid warns.
10 February 2017
Record number of child casualties in Afghanistan
Record number of child casualties in Afghanistan
Civilian casualties in Afghanistan reached a record high in 2016. More children than ever have been killed, blinded, crippled while playing with unexploded ordnance negligently left behind by parties to the conflict.
6 February 2017
ISIL ‘deliberately targeting’ civilians in eastern Mosul
ISIL ‘deliberately targeting’ civilians in eastern Mosul
ISIL continues to target civilians in parts of Mosul recaptured by Iraqi forces with shelling and improvised explosive attacks, and reportedly shooting people attempting to flee the areas it still controls.
24 January 2017
Azimjan Askarov verdict in Kyrgyzstan ‘deeply troubling’
Azimjan Askarov verdict in Kyrgyzstan ‘deeply troubling’
The decision by a court in Kyrgyzstan to uphold a life sentence against political activist and journalist Azimjan Askarov highlights serious shortcomings in the country’s judicial system, Zeid says.
24 January 2017