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 Bangladeshi indigenous girls perform traditional dance
Indigenous Bangladeshi girls perform traditional dance. The voices of indigenous people must be included to help protect cultural heritage and promote human rights.

Protection of cultural heritage must include views of indigenous peoples

In order for the world to truly grasp the opportunity to adopt a new agenda for sustainable development and human rights, the voices of indigenous peoples must be heard, said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
“It will be vital to ensure that throughout key negotiations that will take place this year, and well beyond them, due emphasis is given, at last, to the rights and to the voices of indigenous people,” he said.
Zeid made his comments during the Eighth session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which took place in Geneva.

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 (Child looks out the window of a mud hut. © Credit EPA/RAINER JENSEN)

Greater ambition needed to improve financing for development

Financing for development is not dependent on money as much as it is on will, ambition and compassion. In a statement read on his behalf on the last day of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called on States, civil society, private business interests and others to seize the opportunity to provide freedom from fear and want to people across the world.

 (Two satellite photos of the Wi’a Military Training Camp and Detention Facility in Eritrea.© Credit UNOSAT

More satellite images to assist human rights work

Satellite imagery plays a vital role in helping to substantiate and help corroborate other sources of information, including witness testimonies, of human rights violations. A recent agreement between the UN Human Rights Office and UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) hopes to expand the use of this technology for human rights work.

Human Rights in the news

Opening of Hissène Habré trial
High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein welcomes the opening of the trial of Hissène Habré, the former President of Chad, before a special court in Senegal, calling it “a milestone for justice in Africa.”

Israel / Force-feeding
UN human rights experts urge the Israeli authorities to halt the legalization of force feeding and medical treatment of prisoners and detainees on hunger strike against their will.

Fears of arbitrary deportation
The UN Working Group on People of African Descent urges Dominican Republic to prevent arbitrary deportations and address allegations of racial profiling of people of Haitian descent.

“It is possible”
Despite great challenges, it is possible to make a reality the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, UN expert Léo Heller says on the fifth anniversary of a key UN General Assembly resolution.

Reprisals against rights defenders
"High time to pull the plug on televised reprisals against rights defenders in Venezuela" - UN and Inter-American experts condemn a clear pattern to intimidate them on State-controlled television.

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