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How we make a difference 2010


European Union backs indigenous peoples’ rights worldwide
European Union funds help promote the work of OHCHR and its partners for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide
30-12-2010
Standing up for the rights of migrant domestic workers
A UN treaty body responsible for monitoring and protecting the rights of migrant workers steps up the pressure for recognition of the particular vulnerabilities of domestic migrant workers
28-12-2010
Indigenous rights declaration endorsed by States
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has received backing from the United States, the last of four UN Member States who had opposed it.
23-12-2010
Indian human rights defender fights to end Roma discrimination
Sri Kumar Vishwanathan, an Indian human rights defender, fights to end discrimination against the Roma in the Czech Republic.
21-12-2010
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, pledges support for decriminalization of homosexuality
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, pledges to “rally support for the decriminalization of homosexuality everywhere in the world.”
21-12-2010
Romanian human rights defender advocates for children’s lives
Adriana Tontsch, a human rights defender from Romania, advocates for children’s lives and says access to health care is a human rights issue.
17-12-2010
Minority Forum opens third session
Minorities’ effective participation in economic life contributes to fair and just societies.
15-12-2010
UN urges ‘positive action’ on African descendants
With a call for righting past and present wrongs, the UN launches the International Year for People of African Descent.
14-12-2010
UN chief applauds human rights activists
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges governments to uphold the rights of human rights defenders and to embrace the freedoms they stand for.
13-12-2010
Criticism is not a crime: Human Rights Day 2010
On Human Rights Day 2010 UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay pays tribute to human rights defenders and says it is time we all did a better job of defending the defenders.
10-12-2010
Defending the defenders: Human Rights Day 2010
In a special message sent to the Geneva 2010 Human Rights Day event Myanmar’s recently released Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeals for solidarity in the struggle for human rights.
10-12-2010
Defending sexual diversity in South America
2010 marked a milestone for gay rights in South America with Argentina becoming the first country to legislate for same sex marriage
09-12-2010
Human Rights defender advocates through his art
Human rights defender from Cambodia creates music, poetry and documentaries to promote the protection of human rights and end discrimination.
08-12-2010
Human rights flagship publication more accessible to all
OHCHR makes flagship publication accessible to persons with visual and print disabilities.
03-12-2010
Breaking down the wall of silence
Human Rights chief Navi Pillay denounces the wall of silence surrounding women who are victims of violence.
02-12-2010
Ludmilla Alexeeva – a veteran human rights defender
Ludmilla Alexeeva, one of the best-known human rights defenders in Europe today speaks of her hopes for the next generation of human rights advocates in Russia.
01-12-2010
Monitoring human rights during elections
The UN Human Rights office monitors the human rights situation during elections in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea.
01-12-2010
Human rights defender from Gaza advocates for women
Zeinab-Al-Ghonaimy, human rights defender from Gaza, advocates for an end to discrimination against women.
30-11-2010
Discrimination against indigenous communities robs them of their human rights
A human rights defender from an indigenous San community in Botswana, Southern Africa, stands up for his community and speaks out against discrimination
25-11-2010
Taking a stand against homophobia
UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay renews call for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality and action to counter homophobic violence and discrimination
24-11-2010
Defending the rights of national minorities in Southern Kyrgyzstan
Defending human rights in the wake of the violence in Kyrgyzstan earlier this year.
24-11-2010
A cooperative effort to protect the human rights of stateless persons
The UN Human Rights office and the UN Refugee agency cooperate in the Middle East and North Africa region to improve the lives of stateless persons
22-11-2010
UN Human Rights Chief visits Bolivia
Concluding a five-day visit to Bolivia UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay welcomes reforms to end discrimination.
19-11-2010
Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights talks equality in Brussels
Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang emphasizes non-discrimination at the Equality Summit in Brussels.
16-11-2010
Pedaling for a Greener World
Riding bikes between UN buildings in Geneva allows staff to contribute toward creating a greener global environment
12-11-2010
People on the move: safeguarding the rights of migrants
In her capacity as Chair of the Global Migration Group, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls for a human rights-based approach to global migration.
11-11-2010
Migration: a global governance issue
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that xenophobia is on the rise and urges the international community to search for smart solutions to an extraordinarily complex issue.
09-11-2010
Access to medicines - fundamental to the right to health
Human rights must be at the core of policy design and decision-making aimed at ensuring greater access to medicines.
05-11-2010
UN working group on enforced disappearances at 30
The international community commemorates the 30 years of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. [Includes video]
05-11-2010
Human Rights Committee celebrates 100 sessions
The Human Rights Committee celebrates its 100th session and reflects on achievements and future prospects.
03-11-2010
Forensic genetics and the search for the truth
The Human Rights Council decides to continue exploring the possibility of developing international guidelines for the use of forensic genetics.
29-10-2010
Right to education to achieve development
UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay discusses with African research scholars the role of women of science in development.
27-10-2010
Taking the human rights message to the Russian public
Moscow’s International Book Fair attracts thousands of visitors and again gives the UN Human Rights office an opportunity to promote its work and publications.
22-10-2010
Using numbers to achieve human rights goals
On World Statistics Day, UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay says data enables more effective promotion, monitoring and implementation of human rights standards.
20-10-2010
In recognition of human rights defenders
UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay addressed the human rights community at the annual ceremony of the Martin Ennals Award
19-10-2010
Six UN Agencies Advocate for Change on Anti-Trafficking policies in the European Union
On the eve of a major conference relevant in the formulation of a European Union (EU) strategy against trafficking, six UN agencies have shared their views and suggestions to ensure that the rights of victims of trafficking are effectively addressed
19-10-2010
Victims of Sexual violence in the DRC need more support
A high level panel convened by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is calling for more support for victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
15-10-2010
Private military and security companies face greater international regulation
The international community moves a step closer to establishing a new international convention to regulate further the activities of private military and security companies.
15-10-2010
The 2010 Social Forum - Climate change and human rights
The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva calls for the integration of human rights in end of year negotiations aimed at reaching agreement on a global climate change treaty.
11-10-2010
In globalization era human rights are everyone’s business
The 10th biennial International Conference of National Human Rights Institutions opens in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a focus on business and human rights
08-10-2010
A landmark decision to make the right to water and sanitation legally binding
The UN Human Rights Council takes a decision which gives legal standing to the right to water and sanitation
06-10-2010
From domestic work to modern day slavery
The UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery highlights human rights abuses in the domestic work service industry, one of the largest industries in the world.
01-10-2010
A global shift: the ageing of the world’s population
The UN Human Rights Chief calls on all governments to protect the human rights of older persons
01-10-2010
Landmark Statement on Protecting the Human Rights of Irregular Migrants
In a historic statement, the Global Migration Group chaired by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights speaks out for the protection of the human rights of irregular migrants across the globe.
30-09-2010
Human Rights and Trade
UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay calls for the international trade regime to incorporate all human rights.
28-09-2010
UN expert urges more law reform in Sudan
UN expert on the Sudan addresses the Human Rights Council and urges the Government to continue its process of law reform in the country
24-09-2010
Gender justice a must for ending poverty
Large numbers of women and girls are being left behind in the race to achieve the MDGs
22-09-2010
Urgent need to protect the rights of migrant children
A new study by the United Nations Human Rights office has identified “serious protection gaps for migrant children in every region of the world.”
21-09-2010
Competition for Reporting on Human Rights in DRC
Canadian NGO, Journalists for Human Rights and OHCHR launch a competition for best news features on human rights in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
17-09-2010
International trade should incorporate all human rights, including women’s rights.
States and intergovernmental organizations are urged to incorporate all human rights, including women’s rights in their trade policies.
17-09-2010
Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security
A decade on, the international community assesses the impact of the first Security Council Resolution to specifically address the impact of war on women and their role in the prevention and resolution of conflict.
16-09-2010
UN Human Rights office calls for international action to achieve peace in Somalia
UN Human Rights Deputy High Commissioner Kyung-wha Kang calls for concerted efforts to realize peace in Somalia.
16-09-2010
The Human Rights Council opens 15th session
The Human Rights Council opens its 15th regular session in Geneva for 3 weeks of review and discussion on thematic and country specific human rights issues.
13-09-2010
Join hands to protect the human rights of all migrants
All members of the Global Migration Group have agreed to focus the inter-agency body's work on the theme of the effective protection of the human rights of all migrants in the second half of 2010
08-09-2010
Maternal mortality, human rights and accountability
United Nations Human rights chief Navi Pillay says that maternal mortality is often a result of the concomitant violations of key human rights principles
03-09-2010
Ending the cycle of bereavement
The remains of her four daughters were returned to a mother in Colombia who had been unaware of their whereabouts for the past 10 years.
02-09-2010
The Right to Health key to achieving MDGs
High Commissioner: The right to health is at the very core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
30-08-2010
Human Rights and MDGs in Practice
A new publication by the United Nations Human Rights office showcases that a human rights approach helps achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
25-08-2010
UN Expert urges action on Somalia
A call for international action in Somalia to address one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
23-08-2010
Films for human rights and development
Film directors from different parts of the world use documentaries to draw attention to human rights and the Millennium Development Goals.
20-08-2010
World Humanitarian Day
The international community pays tribute to the thousands of humanitarian workers who help those in need of assistance in crises brought on by natural and man-made disasters.
19-08-2010
Ensuring the human rights of people affected by leprosy
The Human Rights Council will consider draft principles and guidelines to address discrimination against the thousands globally affected by leprosy
13-08-2010
A special place for human rights
Ramallah public library in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank now has a special corner dedicated to human rights
12-08-2010
Knowledge for change in Nepal
The United Nations Human Rights office in Nepal helps protect the rights of indigenous communities near wildlife conservation parks across the country through human rights training
09-08-2010
Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights visits the Kyrgyz Republic
The Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to use human rights principles as a foundation to rebuild stability and security.
05-08-2010
Elections in Guinea: cause for celebration
The international community including the UN Human Rights office assist the government of Guinea achieve the country’s first democratic, free elections.
04-08-2010
Haiti six months on
The focus in Haiti shifts from emergency relief efforts after January’s earthquake to fundamental reform and systemic change.
30-07-2010
Protect the human rights of all migrants
The United Nations Human Rights office denounces mistreatment of migrants and urges respect for their rights.
28-07-2010
Human rights are key in relief efforts
To have greater impact, humanitarian agencies should place human rights at the centre of emergency response, human rights experts and relief actors say.
27-07-2010
Anti-discrimination cooperation in South Africa
OHCHR partners with the South African Human Rights Commission to address discrimination against non-nationals in the country.
20-07-2010
Nelson Mandela International Day
The world celebrates the inaugural Nelson Mandela International Day, to be commemorated annually on 18 July.
20-07-2010
AIDS 2010: Rights Here, Right Now
The largest global AIDS conference now taking place in Vienna stresses that respect for human rights is a prerequisite to a successful response to HIV.
19-07-2010
Protection of civilians in armed conflict
In a speech to the UN Security Council, Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay says key to protection of civilians in conflict zones is ensuring accountability for perpetrators
13-07-2010
Indigenous expert mechanism holds 3rd session
Experts and representatives of indigenous peoples concentrate on the right to participate in decision making at the 3rd annual session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
12-07-2010
A ticket to ride: spreading the message of diversity
Mexico City’s millions of commuters buy the message, “Embrace diversity: End Discrimination”.
08-07-2010
More should be done to prevent unlawful or arbitrary killings
Philip Alston says in his final report more can and should be done to prevent unlawful or arbitrary killings.
07-07-2010
Human Rights: Key to keeping the MDG promise of 2015
States must implement the international human rights framework in order to uproot entrenched patterns of disempowerment, exclusion and discrimination
02-07-2010
The hazard of toxic wastes on human rights
At the Human Rights Council in Geneva, panellists discuss the impact on human rights of the movement and dumping of toxic wastes
30-06-2010
Protection of journalists in armed conflicts
The Human Rights Council is told of increasing violence directed at journalists. Governments are urged to ensure the safety of journalists covering conflicts.
22-06-2010
Girls have a right to know
The international community is urged to redouble its resolve to strengthen equality in education and ensure equal access to school for both boys and girls.
18-06-2010
1st UN Human Rights Chief visit to Iceland
The UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay congratulates Iceland on its continuing interest in advancing human rights both at home and internationally
18-06-2010
A Rights-based approach to preventing maternal death and injury
Human Rights Chief: States are obliged under international human rights law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights related to pregnancy and childbirth
17-06-2010
Human rights key to MDG success
Integrating human rights in their development strategies gives countries a better chance of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
15-06-2010
Independent Expert: Cultural Rights enrich universal human rights
Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights Farida Shaheed outlines the challenges of this new mandate in her first report to the Human Rights Council.
14-06-2010
Embracing diversity at the World Cup
For UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay the message of the World Cup must be that there is no place for racism and intolerance in sport.
11-06-2010
Deal with the past, Pillay urges Kenyans
UN Human Rights chief ends a three-day visit to Kenya with a keynote address at the University of Nairobi on justice and accountability for serious crimes.
09-06-2010
Survivors of human trafficking – breaking the silence
The rights of victims should be at the centre of actions to prevent human trafficking.
07-06-2010
Principled pragmatism – the way forward for business and human rights
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative on business, John Ruggie updates the Human Rights Council on the human rights framework for business.
07-06-2010
Pillay addresses ICC Review Conference panel
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told delegates and fellow panelists taking part in a 3 June discussion on the Rome Statute’s core principle of ‘complementarity’
04-06-2010
Human Rights Council holds urgent debate
Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva holds an urgent debate following the Israeli military interception of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.
02-06-2010
The Human Rights Council opens 14th session
The Human Rights Council opens its 14th regular session in Geneva for 3 weeks of review and discussion on thematic and country specific human rights issues.
31-05-2010
A year in the life of OHCHR
The UN Human Rights Chief presents her Office’s yearly report on its global activities and achievements and appeals to Member States for more funding.
28-05-2010
MDGs remain achievable through more accountability and less discrimination
Human Rights Chief: The principles of equality, non-discrimination, accountability and participation add value to MDG strategies.
28-05-2010
MDGs remain achievable through more accountability and less discrimination
Human Rights Chief: The principles of equality, non-discrimination, accountability and participation add value to MDG strategies.
28-05-2010
New push to protect children
The UN is launching a new drive to protect children in all countries from different forms of violence.
27-05-2010
Equal figures, equal societies
A seminar highlights the relationship between the collection of disaggregated statistical data and the promotion of equal societies in Latin America and the Caribbean
19-05-2010
Vanuatu takes the lead
Vanuatu is set to become the first Pacific Island nation to ratify the Convention against Torture.
18-05-2010
Debt relief for human rights
The banning of profiteering by ‘vulture funds’ may foster the promotion of human rights in developing countries
17-05-2010
Human Rights Chief in South Korea and Japan
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is on an official visit to Japan and addressing a conference of women judges in South Korea.
12-05-2010
Murder in the name of family honour
Action is taken in the occupied Palestinian territory to address the issue of “honour” killings.
07-05-2010
A cooperative approach to human rights
UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay urges greater cooperative efforts between regional and international human rights bodies.
06-05-2010
OHCHR and Guinea sign agreement for presence
The UN Human Rights office and the Government of Guinea sign an agreement establishing OHCHR’s presence in the West-African country.
05-05-2010
Freedom of Information: the Right to Know
The UN Human Rights office mobilizes in different countries globally, supporting “freedom of information: the right to know” – the official theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
03-05-2010
Human Rights Records of 15 Countries under Review
The Human Rights Council reviews the human rights records of 15 countries during the eighth session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group.
30-04-2010
Guns for hire
UN Working Group on use of mercenaries urges support from international community for new treaty regulating activities of ‘guns for hire’.
29-04-2010
Human rights meeting in the Asia-Pacific region
Representatives from more than 30 states gather in Bangkok to share their human rights experiences and explore avenues for strengthening regional human rights initiatives.
27-04-2010
Human rights chief concludes Gulf tour
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay concludes ten-day visit to all six Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
27-04-2010
Human rights chief meets civil society in the Gulf
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay meets with diverse sectors of civil society during her current visit to the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
23-04-2010
A new world record: Universal Declaration in 370 languages
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, now available in 370 languages and dialects, has set a new Guinness record of being the most translated text in the world.
23-04-2010
National Human Rights Institutions in Gulf region
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visits the six Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council from 17 to 26 April.
22-04-2010
Human rights chief visits Gulf region
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visits the six Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council from 17 to 26 April.
19-04-2010
A massive human rights deficit
In a report on poverty in Afghanistan, the UN Human Rights office urges a human rights based approach in the search for solutions
12-04-2010
16 years on from the Rwanda genocide
UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay remembers those who died in the Rwandan genocide. In 1994, hundreds of thousands of civilians, mostly ethnic Tutsis died as the result of a deliberate campaign of extermination
09-04-2010
Prison walls – locking prisoners in and society out
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture says more than half the world’s prisoners live in appalling conditions and calls for a Special Convention on the Rights of Detainees.
06-04-2010
OHCHR in the field
The UN Human Rights office presents annual reports on the human rights situations in a number of countries to this year’s first meeting of the Human Rights Council.
01-04-2010
President: Human Rights Council ends session in “constructive spirit”
The Human Rights Council concludes its 13th session with the adoption of 28 texts on a wide range of human rights issues.
30-03-2010
Addressing sexual violence against children
The root causes of sexual violence against children, practical remedies and effective protection of children’s rights are analysed at the Human Rights Council.
30-03-2010
Women and citizenship
UN Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay emphasizes the importance of equal access to citizenship for both men and women.
29-03-2010
UN Human Rights chief meets non-governmental organizations
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay meets NGOs attending the Human Rights Council.
26-03-2010
National Human Rights Institutions – the critical links
Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay urges States to fully support the role and mandate of National Human Rights Institutions to monitor and protect human rights.
24-03-2010
Blow the whistle – disqualify racism
On the 2010 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay calls for a multidisciplinary approach to tackle racism in sport.
19-03-2010
Enforced disappearances still a major human rights challenge 30 years on
The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances commemorates its 30 years of existence in 2010.
16-03-2010
Fulfilling the human rights of Haiti’s displaced
A group of experts stresses the need for a human rights-based approach to devising durable solutions for Haiti’s displaced.
15-03-2010
The right to the truth
The Human Rights Council is told that the development of the right to the truth is a fundamental element in efforts to combat impunity and prevent repetition of conflict and human rights abuses.
12-03-2010
Timor-Leste president addresses the Human Rights Council
Peace is the most important human right that States must strive to provide, Nobel Laureate for Peace and Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta told the 13th session of the Human Rights Council.
12-03-2010
Human rights chief’s visit to Italy
High Commissioner Navi Pillay raises concerns over the treatment of Roma and migrants in Italy.
12-03-2010
Meryl Streep urges action against gender discrimination
Actress Meryl Streep adds her voice to those calling on Governments round the world to take action to revoke discriminatory laws against women and girls.
10-03-2010
Realising the rights of persons with disabilities
At the 13th session of the Human Rights Council, UN Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay calls on parties involved in the emergency response in Haiti to take all measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities
09-03-2010
International Women’s Day: an Outlook on Haiti
Haitian women along with aid and protection organizations work together to overcome multiple challenges and risks in the camps for the displaced.
08-03-2010
The Gespeg Micmac community’s quest for land
Manon Jeannotte is a member of the Gespeg Micmac community from Canada. They say the refusal to recognize their land as a reserve is discriminatory.
05-03-2010
Human rights chief’s annual report to the Human Rights Council
The UN human rights chief presented her annual report to the Human Rights Council and engaged in an interactive dialogue with government and civil society representatives.
04-03-2010
Opening of the 13th session of the Human Rights Council
The Human Rights Council opens its 13th session in Geneva for a month of review and discussion on thematic and country specific human rights issues.
02-03-2010
Safeguard privacy while countering terrorism, says Special Rapporteur
In his latest report to the Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Martin Scheinin recommends greater regulation of anti-terrorism measures affecting the right to privacy.
24-02-2010
Impunity: a major challenge to peace and democracy in Central African Republic
The UN Human Rights Chief expresses concern about the continued impunity for human rights violations in Central African Republic.
19-02-2010
Voice of Victims – Transitional Justice in Nepal
Laxmi Khadka, whose husband disappeared during the conflict in Nepal, has embarked on a brave journey to get the voices of conflict victims heard.
17-02-2010
High Commissioner: protect human rights defenders
UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay calls on States to support and protect human rights defenders against repression and abuse at the 5th Dublin Platform on Human Rights Defenders.
12-02-2010
Universal Periodic Review opens seventh session
The Human Rights Council reviews the human rights situations of 16 countries during the seventh session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group.
08-02-2010
OHCHR and AU Commission strengthen cooperation for human rights in Africa
The UN Human Rights office and the African Union Commission sign a Memorandum of Understanding to solidify their cooperation in the field of human rights.
08-02-2010
UN world report alerts to the condition of Indigenous Peoples
The UN “State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” report depicts the stark condition of indigenous peoples in developing as well as developed countries. The publication also alerts to emerging issues which need to be addressed by Governments.
01-02-2010
Human Rights Council in solidarity with Haiti
The United Nations Human Rights Council stressed the importance of a human rights approach to the recovery of Haiti.
28-01-2010
Haiti: Human Rights in Action
A special team from the United Nations human rights office and the UN Refugee office is in Haiti to help protect the quake-stricken population.
26-01-2010
The Bambuti campaign to preserve their indigenous culture
Nyongolo Betto Mutimanwa from the Bambuti community in the Democratic Republic of Congo campaigns to preserve the unique culture of his people. Mutimanwa was in Geneva recently to take part in an Indigenous Fellowship programme run by the Human Rights off
22-01-2010
Campaigning for the rights of the Batwa people of Burundi
Bolivian indigenous peoples ‘log on’ and overcome the bureaucracy that had been obstructing their claims for land rights.
13-01-2010
Land rights for indigenous peoples via the web
Bolivian indigenous peoples ‘log on’ and overcome the bureaucracy that had been obstructing their claims for land rights.
07-01-2010
Stories by year
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