How we make a difference 2017
South African radio stations stand up for human rights
Community radio stations across South Africa were encouraged to join the “Stand up for someone’s rights today” campaign during a recent radio competition. The winning station solved a compensation issue for a local farm worker injured on the job.
Men and boys in the fight to eliminate violence against women
“We believe that men and boys are part of the solution (to the problem of violence against women)…and we need them engaged to stop violence against women,” said Lana Wells, a professor at the University of Calgary, Canada during a panel discussion on involving men and boys in the fight for gender equity at the Human Rights Council.
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.
Migrant survivors of torture: A ‘silent epidemic’ of trauma
Two-thirds of the 50,000 torture victims assisted by the UN Fund for Torture Victims are migrants and refugees. Experts stress that migrants and refugees who have experienced torture must be identified and offered treatment as soon as possible upon their arrival in border areas and reception centres.
Basic income possible solution to human rights problem of poverty
“Universal basic income could offer the solution to pressing problems that are about to become far more intractable as a result of the directions in which the global economy appears inexorably heading,” UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston said.
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.
Uncertain prospects for Boko Haram survivors
As more women and girls are freed from the violence of terror group Boko Haram, those returning to their communities do not always receive a survivor’s welcome. How can local authorities improve their reintegration into their communities and ensure their rehabilitation?
Crossing borders: A child’s journey
The numbers of refugee and migrant children travelling alone have hit a record high, with at least 300,000 unaccompanied minors recorded in nearly 80 countries during 2015-2016, a fivefold increase from 2010-2011. One former child migrant tells his story.
Women’s health at the heart of sustainable development
When women’s right to health is upheld, their access to all other human rights are enhanced, triggering a process of transformative change and greater development for all, said Tarja Halonen, co-chair of the High-Level Working Group on Health and Human Rights.
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.
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.
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.
Stand up for human rights to – and through - health
Human rights cannot be fully enjoyed without health, nor can health be fully realized without the dignity upheld by human rights. A new report launched by a group of UN experts calls on Governments to stand up for the human rights to health through health by taking concrete actions to deliver on existing promises to fund, protect and expand health care provision.
Stand up for human rights to - and through - health
A report by the High-Level Group on health and human rights calls for tangible action to advance the right to health of all, in particular women, children and adolescents. Health workers, as human rights defenders, can play an indispensable role in making this happen.
Towards a global compact on migration
A huge step forward for migrants, as UN Member States begin discussions to reach a new international agreement in 2018 to uphold the human rights of migrants. “We have effectively broken the barrier of silence,” say human rights expert on migration François Crepeau.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Protecting the rights of detainees in Syria
Protection of detainees and the disappeared in Syria was the focus of a recent panel discussion held during the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The discussion focused on the experiences of former detainees as well as providing some ways forward.
Hunted for their body parts
The killing of human beings and the use of their body parts in amulets and potions in “traditional medicine” and in witchcraft is a crime, says the UN expert on the rights of people with albinism, Ikponwosa Ero.
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.
Access to essential medicines is a fundamental element of the right to health
“Millions are unable today to access essential medicines not due to any inherent lack of these commodities, but to entirely man-made policy deficits and entrenched practices,” said UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore at a panel discussion on access to medicines during the recent UN Human Rights Council.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Devastating cruelty against Rohingyas in Myanmar
A mother witnessing her child’s murder as she herself was being gang-raped is one of many shocking accounts of violence and violations told to UN Human Rights staff by Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar.
Commemorating the victims of the Holocaust
As we honour the victims of the Holocaust, we must also acknowledge the need to prevent the recurrence of anti-Semitism and all forms of racial and religious hatred and discrimination today.
Davos: Business leaders must stand up for human rights
High Commissioner Zeid calls on business leaders at Davos to use their considerable influence to stand up for human rights and to join in the fight to defend the global values that are currently under threat.
Engaging in critical dialogues for human rights and peace in Mali
Members of an armed separatist group listen to a presentation by the UN Human Rights and Protection Division in Ber, northern Mali. The meeting is part of a critical strategy to engage extremist groups in human rights dialogue, said Division Director Guillaume Ngefa.
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