​​​​​How we make a difference 2021

We must “revitalise our forces for racial equality and justice,” says COVID-19 panel
While commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, panellists at the Human Rights Council urge Governments and the UN to step up efforts to address the structural racism and racial discrimination revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic that disproportionally affect racial and ethnic minorities.
"The people of Yemen look to us for hope, for help – for life," Bachelet says
At an event to raise funds for humanitarian support to Yemen, the High Commissioner pointed out that the consequences of prolonged hunger – or famine – on the current scale "will reach across the region, and for many generations"
Bachelet updates Human Rights Council on recent human rights issues in more than 50 countries
Focusing on the urgent need to expand people's participation in decisions-making, the High Commissioner deplored that “in every region of the world, people are being left behind – or pushed even further behind – as the coronavirus pandemic gathers pace". "This makes us all weaker," she observed, calling for Council members to "speak out against measures that silence civil society”
Responding to the needs of women, ‘first responders’ to Egypt’s COVID-19 crisis
Entisar Elsaeed, Founder and Director of the Cairo Foundation for Development and Law, has seen the increasing burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in Egypt. She decided to focus the work of her Foundation on the country’s most vulnerable during the crisis.
On Sri Lanka, Bachelet urges Human Rights Council to step up efforts for accountability and redress
In light of the failure to advance domestic justice for human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner called on the Human Rights Council to consider new ways to support accountability at the international level, including for collection and preservation of evidence
Secretary-General Guterres calls for a global reset, "to recover better, guided by human rights"
In a powerful speech to the Human Rights Council that focused on racism, women and the pandemic's impact on human rights, Antonio Guterres said "recovery gives us an opportunity to generate momentum for transformation"
Bachelet calls for stronger support for social protections, free press and public participation in decisions
"The pandemic has ripped the mask off the deadly realities of discrimination; deep inequalities; and chronic under-funding for essential services and rights," the High Commissioner said
Revitalise our action for racial justice, Bachelet tells the Human Rights Council
Marking the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration, the High Commissioner called for strong action to end discrimination, and address its role in "manufacturing poverty"
Myanmar coup is a "profound setback" to human rights; power should be returned to civilian control
Opening a Special Session of the Human Rights Council, the Deputy High Commissioner noted, "The indiscriminate use of lethal or less-than-lethal weapons against peaceful protestors is unacceptable. More violence against Myanmar’s people will only compound the illegitimacy of the coup, and the culpability of its leaders."
Keeping women and girls in Kenya safe during COVID-19
Beatrice Karore, a community mobiliser who helps survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Kenya, says that violence against women has increased during COVID-19 and uncovered unprecedented mental health needs.
Sri Lanka on alarming path towards recurrence of violations
New report highlights worrying trends, including political obstruction of accountability, militarization of civilian governmental functions and intensified surveillance and harassment of civil society.
The right to education for girls in post-ISIL Iraq
A new report by UN Human Rights looks at girls’ access to education in areas formerly controlled by ISIL in northern Iraq.
Workshop on human rights helps indigenous people battle the pandemic
Indigenous people from several regions in Brazil took part in a workshop to help them better promote and protect their rights during the COVID-19 crisis. The workshop was led by UN Human Rights Senior Indigenous Fellows.
Tackling COVID-19 in Nigeria from a safety education angle
The safety education tools that Ugochi Obidiegwu, Managing partner at The Safety Chic, develops for children and adults have been helping teachers and pupils in Nigeria resume school with minimised danger during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Quest for Justice: A Former Prison Guard from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea speaks out
A former prison guard from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) turned human rights activist is playing an important role in shedding light on human rights violations in the DPRK.
Stories by year
Related links