English Site French Site Spanish Site Russian Site Arabic Site Chinese Site OHCHR header
Make a donation to OHCHR

How we make a difference 2014

Access to justice for children
“Access to justice is not only a fundamental right in itself, it is also a prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all other human rights,” said the UN Human Rights Deputy, Flavia Pansieri.
UN Human Rights Chief launches new management plan
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay presented the OHCHR Management Plan for 2014-2017 to Member States at the United Nations in Geneva.
Local and small-scale farming: a solution to hunger and malnutrition
Over the past fifty years, there has been significant progress in boosting agricultural production, however this has hardly reduced the number of people whose right to food remains unrealized and who suffer from hunger and malnutrition, states a recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter.
UN General Assembly backs plans to boost the global protection and promotion of human rights
The UN General Assembly boosts the protection of human rights globally, approving plans to improve the system which requires States to report on compliance with their human rights treaty obligations.
What the victims need: redress for sexual violence in the DR Congo
At the latest session of the Human Rights Council, panellists discussed lessons learnt and continuing challenges in addressing sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Religious leaders’ quest for peace in the Central African Republic
UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay met with two religious leaders from the Central African Republic to discuss the dire human rights situation in the country.
More than mothers
A special UN event in New York explored the impact of the narrow focus of the Millennium Development Goals on maternal health and the critical need for incorporating a human rights-based approach in the Post-2015 development framework.
UN Human Rights Chief offers her support for a new Convention on the rights of older persons
Opening the 2014 Social Forum in Geneva, UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay urges governments to consider a dedicated Convention to promote and protect the human rights of older persons.
The Rwanda genocide: 20 years later
“We must support Rwandan efforts to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights for all, and efforts to move towards reconciliation and rehabilitation,” says UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay in her message on the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.
Minority rights key to an inclusive post-2015 development agenda
Ensuring the inclusion of minority issues in the post-2015 development agenda is key for addressing the social and economic marginalization faced globally by persons belonging to minorities.
Terrorised population in Syria deserves a political solution, states UN Commission
Syrians want a peaceful resolution to the conflict and accountability for the crimes committed in their country, the Commission of Inquiry on Syria tells the Human Rights Council.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: crimes against humanity revealed
During the UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, Switzerland, the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea presented its report on an array of systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations, some amounting to crimes against humanity, being committed by the DPRK.
Tackling manifestations of collective hatred
Contempt, fear, mistrust and political tactics are the principal causes of collective religious hatred, the UN expert on freedom of religion and belief says.
Defenders urgently need a safe and enabling space
Defending human rights is a dangerous activity in some countries where defenders may be vilified, attacked, arrested, tortured, and even murdered. The UN Human Rights expert on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders condemns these acts and provides, in her final report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, recommendations on ways to create a safe and enabling space for defenders.
Strong leadership needed to combat racial discrimination
“True leaders employ the power of their standing in society to advocate a long-term vision of racial equality and social justice—they integrate, inspire, and mobilize others to bring a common aspiration to life,” said UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay.
Growing global trend calling for an end to capital punishment
Experts at the Human Rights Council discuss the progress and remaining challenges to abolish the death penalty worldwide.
Protecting civil society space to guarantee human rights
“International bodies and governments alone cannot achieve the fulfilment of the protection and promotion of human rights without the full participation of civil society,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue.
Integrating cultural rights in transitional justice strategies in post-conflict societies
The latest report to the Human Rights Council of the Rapporteur on cultural rights addresses memorialization processes in post-conflict societies and the importance of culture in transitional justice.
Fighting for equality for Romani women and girls in Moldova
Romani women and girls in Moldova often have lower levels of education, significantly higher rates of unemployment and poorer health than the rest of the population, according to a UN Human Rights Office report.
Equal access to land for women
“Despite the fact that many women are legally entitled to equality in access to land, they still experience considerable discrimination in this area,” said the UN Human Rights Office’s Gender and Women’s Rights Advisor in New York, Gaynel Curry.
Kyrgyzstan establishes a new system to prevent torture
Following alarming reports of torture in places of detention after the ethnic conflict in 2010, Kyrgyzstan is the first country in Central Asia to adopt a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) law, which establishes a National Centre as an independent body to monitor places of detention.
Everyone needs a place to call home
The UN human rights expert on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, presents new Guiding Principles on tenure security for the urban poor in her last report to the Human Rights Council.
Every woman’s right to water, sanitation and hygiene
Human rights and health experts held an interactive dialogue on women’s advances in securing their rights and dignity in topics related to water, sanitation, and hygiene during a special event at the United Nations in Geneva.
Young migrants tell their stories
The UN World Youth Report on Youth and Migration provides a personal glimpse inside the lives of young migrants and the challenges they face at every phase of migration.
Too Young to Wed
The “Too Young to Wed” exhibition at the United Nations in Geneva highlights the issue of child marriage through more than 30 photographs of child brides from around the world by photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair.
Rights advisory committee starts study on the rights of persons with albinism
Persons with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. The Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council starts a study on priority areas of protection of the rights of persons with albinism.
The Human Rights Council’s 25th session opens in Geneva
At the opening of the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay spoke of the daunting challenges, which lie ahead, for the full protection and promotion of human rights and highlighted the recent human rights achievements.
Learning to live in peace in Kyrgyzstan
Following an intense ethnic conflict in Kyrgyzstan in 2010, today students at Osh State University start thinking critically about ethnicity through a course initiated by the UN Human Rights Regional Office in Central Asia.
Hundreds of thousands besieged in Syria
Sieges imposed by parties to the Syrian conflict leave thousands of civilians trapped facing life threatening shortage without access to humanitarian assistance.
UN Commission report places spotlight on human rights in North Korea
The UN Commission of Inquiry on DPRK released an unprecedented report documenting wide ranging crimes against humanity, urging referral to ICC.
A right to education for all, including persons with disabilities
A new UN Human Rights study outlines how to address discrimination against persons with disabilities in the educational system
New global development goals must fight inequality and discrimination
“To eradicate poverty, we must address inequality,” said UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay during a side event of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Josephine Adaza: fighting for freedom of religion in Nigeria
Minority Fellow Josephine Adaza calls for religious freedom for the Christian minority in Northern Nigeria.
In memory of the victims of the Holocaust: A star shining in darkness
The UN Human Rights Office held an event marking the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Afghanistan: a pivotal moment for human rights
Since 2001, there have been several human rights achievements in Afghanistan; however these gains remain fragile and many Afghans worry about how this year’s political, security and economic transition might impact the human rights of its citizens.
Savio Mahimaidass: calling to end caste-based discrimination worldwide
“Caste-based discrimination is not just an Indian issue. It’s a global issue,” says Savio Mahimaidass, the 2013 Fellow of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and member of the Dalit community.
Civilians deliberately targeted in large-scale killings in Central African Republic
Deliberate killings of Christian and Muslim civilians continue with impunity in Central African Republic.
Towards a new development agenda fully grounded in human rights
People from all over the world are demanding that human rights principles be a central part of the new development agenda: the challenge of how to effectively integrate human rights is a debate among the international community.
Tunisians seeking the right to the truth
The United Nations Human Rights Office in Tunisia is working with the interim Government and various stakeholders including victims and civil society organizations, towards the establishment of a comprehensive transitional justice process that would promote the truth about the past, and provide reparations and justice for all.
UN Human Rights Office advances human rights education in Mozambique
The UN Human Rights Office contributes a variety of human rights publications to the Eduardo Mondlane University’s new Human Rights Resource Centre in Maputo, Mozambique.
Sports stars come out against homophobia
Celebrity athletes join UN leaders and rights activists at a special event co-organized by the UN Human Rights Office on the role of sports in the fight against homophobia.
Stories by year
Related links