How we make a difference 2009
Women in Congo seek justice
Sexual violence is a hallmark of the conflict in Eastern Congo. Justice for most of the women has been elusive.
Human Rights Day – a global celebration
This year’s Human Rights Day theme, ‘embracing diversity, ending discrimination’ is enthusiastically embraced in many countries through a wide variety of celebratory programmes.
A legacy of trauma
The campaign of terror being waged across several central African nations by the renegade group, the Lord’s Resistance Army “may amount to crimes against humanity” according to two reports just released by Human Rights investigating teams.
Transitional justice in Burundi
National consultations in Burundi aim at healing wounds after three decades of armed conflict between the two main ethnic groups the Hutus and Tutsis
Human Rights Day, 10 December 2009
In the lead-up to Human Rights Day, 10 December Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay is marshalling global support for a campaign focused on non-discrimination
A world free of land mines
A decade on from the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty, progress has been substantial. However, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kyung-wha Kang says many challenges remain.
Modelling transitional justice
Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay identifies implementation as the real challenge in the development of transitional justice for States devastated by conflict or emerging from repressive rule.
Calls for change in Colombia
On a visit to Colombia, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kyung-wha Kang undertakes to convey to the authorities the concerns of local groups who live in fear of homicides, landmines, threats, forced displacement and stigmatization.
Regional judges meeting in the Maldives are urged to interact more to find ways of fighting inequality and discrimination.
In Search of Justice and a Home
The United Nations human rights office in Cambodia works closely with partners to help stop forced evictions and assist victims to seek fair compensation.
History shackles Afro-Brazilians
Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay on a week-long visit to Brazil travels to a quilombo – one of the communities founded by escaped slaves where the inhabitants have taken action to achieve economic independence.
Who are the victims of human trafficking?
Victims must not be treated as criminals by national immigration and law enforcement officials, says Special Rapporteur on trafficking in report to UN General Assembly.
A story of modern slavery
The latest report from the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery describes the plight of the millions of people globally who work as bonded labourers.
Human Rights Diplomacy
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay lectures on diplomacy the Harvard Law School faculty.
Quality Education for Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous communities globally are missing out on quality education. A report to the Human Rights Council gives advice for the improved implementation of their right to education.
Somalia: “Another problem in another place”
The UN’s Independent Expert on Somalia says the international community must act to bring an end to the long-standing human rights and humanitarian law abuses in Somalia.
The evolution of transitional justice
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay urges States confronting the past to make full use of the human rights mechanisms and expertise available.
Migrant domestic workers
Economic instability leaves the most vulnerable in the global community more exposed than ever. The rights of domestic migrant workers are the focus of a day of discussion at the UN Committee on Migrant Workers.
The Human Rights Council in special session
Human Rights chief Navi Pillay, at a special session of the Human Rights Council urges respect for human rights as the basis for a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Rights of the Child Convention turns 20
Human Rights Chief urges practical measures to realize children’s rights to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Business and Human Rights: a way forward
Human Rights chief Navi Pillay welcomes private and public sector delegates to a global gathering in Geneva, organised to discuss a way forward for business and human rights.
OHCHR opens new offices
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay signs an agreement to establish an office in Mauritania and another to create a regional office for South America in Chile.
Biking for human rights
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has a new, highly visible aid available to its human rights monitors in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
Violence against women
Progress made and lessons learned: the role of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.
A shared vision
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights supports the establishment of the Regional Center for Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education in Zambia.
Witches in the 21st Century
Action is urged to combat a growing problem: thousands of people, mostly older women and children accused as witches are murdered every year.
World Humanitarian Day
The first World Humanitarian Day honours workers who have lost their lives in service of others.
A week dedicated to indigenous peoples
Over 300 representatives of indigenous peoples from around the world, UN agencies and bodies, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations converged in Geneva this week for the second annual session of the Expert Mechanism of IP.
An alternative to “see you in court.”
BASESwiki is a global, interactive website designed to help people find and exchange information on non judicial alternatives to solving disputes between business and society.
Prisoners’ right to education
A recent report from the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to education urges States to guarantee on-going learning opportunities for all prisoners.
Graduate students discuss the impact of the global economic crisis at the 2009 United Nations Graduate Study Programme.
Land grabbing in Cambodia
A community tells the story of its battle for access to land to grow food and the effect it has had on hundreds of families.
Silence is Violence
A new UN report focuses on threats and attacks against women participating in public life and the widespread but under-reported problem of rape.
Voice of the victims
The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict held two rounds of public hearings to give a voice to the victims
The story of Barbara Shaw
Barbara Shaw, a vocal campaigner for the rights of Aboriginal Australians tells her story of discrimination and deprivation
United against torture
High Commissioner marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June by calling on leaders worldwide to root out torture.
The story of Nusreta Sivac
Nusreta Sivac was targeted as a Muslim and sent to a concentration camp in Omarska where she was repeatedly abused during the war in Bosnia.
Born into Slavery
Mariama Oumarou, a young woman from Niger in west Africa who was born into slavery tells her story to the international community.
Inequality before the law
Fourteen years on from the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the repeal of discriminatory laws is a continuing struggle.
The story of Geiler Romaña
Geiler Romaña comes to Geneva to tell the story of the millions of displaced Colombians forced away from their homes by decades of violent conflict.
Caught in the conflict
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay highlights civilian suffering in armed conflict and calls for the protection of fundamental human rights and respect for the rule of law.
A Milestone for Business and Human Rights
High Commissioner for Human Rights hails a policy framework that underscores the corporate responsibility to respect human rights as “an important milestone.”
In need of urgent action
The Human Rights Council met in a special session to address the human rights consequences of the conflict in Sri Lanka.
Prioritising Human Rights
High Commissioner Pillay calls on the international community to maintain its investment in the human rights work of the United Nations in spite of the global economic downturn.
Universal Periodic Review opens fifth session
The Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, from 4 to 15 May, is to examine the human rights situations in 16 countries from different regions of the world.
The story of Creuza Oliveira
From domestic worker to a leader for Afro-Brazilian women, Creuza Oliveira highlights the power of unions and social movements in combating racism.
The story of Khalid Hussain
Khalid Hussain appeals to the international community to help the Urdu speaking Bihari minority achieve equal rights in Bangladesh
Anti-racism Durban Review Conference adopts final outcome document
The anti-racism Durban Review Conference on 21 April adopted its final outcome document. High Commissioner for Human Rights warmly welcomed the latest development and called upon the international community to continue the fight against all forms of racis
The story of Elena Gorolová
A Roma woman’s horror at discovering she had been involuntarily sterilized and her courage in the fight for justice.
“United Against Racism”
All victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are honoured at the start of the week-long Durban Review Conference.
On the road for human rights
The Government of Thailand joins the United Nations country team, and the National Human Rights Commission to sponsor the Human Rights caravan – the latest event to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Funding human rights
OHCHR continues to receive voluntary donations from member states and a greater percentage of those is being donated unearmarked.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay met with African leaders during an African Union summit, from 2 to 3 February, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Digital record of the UDHR
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has entered the digital era. A new web site provides access to early UN documents related to the drafting of the Declaration.
Concerted efforts to prevent genocide
World experts meet to discuss the prevention of genocide at a 21 January seminar organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Right to food in Timor-Leste
In Timor-Leste, hunger is a daily reality for many people. OHCHR works in monitoring and advocating their right to adequate food.
Violence must stop
The Human Rights Council 12 January concluded its special session which addressed the critical human rights situation in the Gaza Strip.
Shake Your Rights
Seven student designers have been awarded prizes in an international art competition, held to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A new web concept for human rights
An interactive online site addressed to young people was developed by the OHCHR Office in Guatemala to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR.
Posters illustrating the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exhibited in Mexico to mark the 60th anniversary of the Declaration.
Stories by year