How we make a difference 2018

What does it mean to win the UN Human Rights Prize?
The UN Human Rights Prize winners for 2018 agree that winning the prize is a proud moment for them, their organizations, their communities and their countries. More importantly, it is a rare recognition of the work of the millions of human rights defenders around the world who make great sacrifices in pursuit of equality, justice and dignity for all.
Learning how to better defend his community
"I am going to share (what I have learned)…with my community, so they can know how to defend themselves, but also know their rights," said Edwin Álvarez, Vice President of the Organization of Ethnic and Community Development in Honduras. Álvarez was recently in Geneva to receive training in human rights and advocacy as one of the 2018 African Descent Fellows.
Front Line Defenders, winner, 2018 Human Rights Prize
The fourth recipient of the 2018 UN Human Rights Prize is Front Line Defenders, an organization which works for the protection of human rights defenders.
Rebeca Gyumi, winner, 2018 UN Human Rights Prize
Rebeca Gyumi, lawyer and activist for the rights of girls and women in Tanzania, is one of the recipients of the 2018 prestigious UN Human Rights Prize.
Joenia Wapixana, winner, 2018 UN Human Rights Prize
Joenia Wapixana, activist for the rights of indigenous communities in Brazil, is one of the recipients of the 2018 prestigious UN Human Rights Prize.
Parliamentarians promote fairer societies
Jamila Ksiksi is the first Black woman MP in Tunisian and amongst the first parliamentarians to champion ground-breaking anti-racial discrimination law in her country Tunisia.
Asma Jahangir, winner, 2018 UN Human Rights Prize
Asma Jahangir, the departed world renowned human rights lawyer from Pakistan, is one of the recipients of the 2018 prestigious UN Human Rights Prize.
The leaders they are looking for
Over 400 pupils and students in Geneva, the human rights capital, commemorate the 70th years of the rights declaration and shine a light on their role as the current and next generation of human rights defenders.
Human rights defenders call for urgent action to "save our homes."
While the effects of climate change are dramatically felt by the small island nations in the Pacific, for women living there, the challenges are even greater. Women’s human rights defenders call for more women to be included in all levels of decision making and negotiations surrounding climate change.
Action on climate change is a human rights obligation
The worst effects of climate change can be averted, the High Commissioner says, at COP24 – and they must.
"‘Change’ is too mild a word": human rights law requires action on climate-related violations
At the COP24, High Commissioner Bachelet calls for policies to counter “overwhelming” climate impact
"The force of these rights binds us together as human beings"
High Commissioner Bachelet celebrates the power of human dignity, human equality and human rights
Meeting the complex challenges of climate change and migration
Prompt, effective and principled policies can better protect those most vulnerable.
The double-edged sword of new technology for human rights defenders
For human rights defenders, the fast pace of technology developed both into a tool to promote rights and a weapon to try and silence them. During a recent discussion on technology and human rights, activists, experts, politicians discussed technology’s opportunities and challenges for defenders.
Celebrating human rights heroes, the power of the human spirit and #UDHR70 in South Africa
"A shared river of history runs between us," the High Commissioner says, citing Nelson Mandela and Albertine Sisulu.
Parliamentarians promote democracy and human rights
Kenneth Okoth, a Parliamentarian from Kenya, gives us his perspective on how human rights can promote fairer societies.
Bachelet celebrates Human Rights Day
As we celebrate the 70th anniversary and many achievements of this trailblazing document, High Commissioner Bachelet calls on "each of us to do our part to breathe life into the beautiful dream of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
Doing right by women and girls
Tikhala Itaye, a young human rights defender from Malawi, wishes initiatives to promote the rights of women and girls would reach communities at the grassroots. “If they don’t know their rights, we are not doing something right,” she says.
Shine a light on icons of human rights past and present
As the world celebrates what would have been the 100th birthdays of human rights icons South Africans Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, a new generation of human rights activists shine a light on issues still facing the country.
Exhibition embraces diversity and commemorates inclusion
"FifteenPercent" is a new exhibition by Italian photographer Christian Tasso, which documents the lives and stories of persons with disabilities from across the world.
Fight slavery with truth
Leonardo Sakamoto is a Brazilian journalist and member of the Board of Trustees for the UN Voluntary Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, who has spent the last 20 years fighting slavery and labour exploitation. He says it was his journalism that led him to become a human rights anti-slavery activist.
Graffiti for human rights – the colours of equality
Senegal’s first female graffiti artist, Dieynaba “Zeinixx” Sidibé, believes in all human rights for everyone.
"The movement to ensure businesses uphold human rights is gaining momentum"
In a keynote to the 2018 Business Forum, the High Commissioner argues for greater human rights due diligence and advocacy.
Attacks on UN civil society allies raise alarm
Twenty years ago, countries adopted the UN declaration to protect human rights defenders. But individuals and civil society actors around the world face increasing attacks and reprisals mainly from governments, even in the corridors of the UN, for their human rights work and for cooperating with the organization.
"I look to a Europe which has the courage and will to continue building on its achievements"
In Brussels, the High Commissioner calls for policies that resist discrimination and uphold fairness and dignity.
Digital age: Is our privacy under threat?
States have a responsibility to protect against unlawful interference with the right to privacy. More transparency in how States and the private sector manage personal digital data is key to protecting our human rights.
“If we don’t take action now, we might lose our future”
“It is important to fight for climate justice because if we don’t take action now, we might lose our existence and might not have a place to live in the future,” said Sabina Moce, a 17-year old human rights defender and climate justice advocate from Fiji.
Human rights to live in harmony
The UN Human Rights office kicks off in Manchester “a month of activation,” with other events taking place across the world, leading up to the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the iconic Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December.
Does digital technology offer us fresh hope for the realization of human rights -- or is it Game Over?
The internet is increasingly becoming an arena for sophisticated forces of propaganda, surveillance and manipulation
Challenge of climate change is transformative
"We do not perpetuate the existing inequalities when dealing with climate change," said Nazhat Shameem Khan, Ambassador for Fiji to Switzerland and Human Rights Day Icon for Fiji. "Climate change is a new challenge for us, but it is not business as usual. In my view, gender responsiveness is a silver lining in the cloud of climate change."
ISIL’s legacy of terror: at least 200 mass graves in Iraq
The UN has uncovered the existence of some 200 mass graves in areas formely controled by ISIL in Iraq. A new UN report says there may be more.
Harassment, detention, death: journalists still in peril
More than 1,000 journalists have been killed globally for doing their jobs – reporting and informing the public, with only 10 percent of their cases seeing justice. A recent UN Human Rights Office report and Human Rights Council resolution call for States to take more concrete actions to protect journalists.
"No such thing as an unimportant child"- Bachelet on harm to children by air pollution
“Air pollution deepens inequalities, and compounds injustices. It is unacceptable that children be systematically damaged in this way.”
UN expert: arts and culture help create and maintain stable, peaceful societies
“Cultural and artistic expressions have a strong transformative power and can influences the societies we live in,” said Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.
High Commissioner Bachelet defends the rights of human rights defenders at a Summit meeting in Paris
“It is not an act of terrorism to disagree with a Government’s policies…. Criticism is not the same thing as treason”, she declared.
Angola mass expulsions put thousands of Congolese at risk
Hundreds of thousands of people deported from Angola to the DRC are in an extremely precarious situation with serious rights violations reported on both sides of the border, High Commissioner Bachelet says.
Universality, cultural diversity and cultural rights
The universality of human rights must be protected from those seeking to use culture as a weapon against others, and cultural rights and cultural diversity defended in accordance with international standards when those principles come under attack says UN expert, Karima Bennoune.
Music to overcome bullying
Robdarius Brown, stage name Roben X, was bullied as a child because of his albinism. Today, he wishes to raise awareness of his condition and fight against bullying. "The change starts with you," he says.
South Sudan: Call to free hundreds of abducted civilians
UN report details surge in violence between April and August in South Sudan where hundreds of civilians were abducted, raped, forced into sexual slavery and forcibly recruited. Accountability for these crimes is essential.
Death row ‘reserved for the poor’
For those executed despite never having committed a crime, the death penalty is the ultimate injustice. What compounds it is that only poor people – denied access to legal safeguards that could have mitigated the punishment – are ever sentenced to death.
Bachelet says human rights must be at core of UN action
With 71 field presences, Kenya, Tunisia and Colombia are just a few of the countries where the UN Human Rights Office, working with governments, has recorded key human rights milestones.
“The only option to survive is to be brave”
Pakistani athlete and human rights defender Noorena Shams is a triple-threat athlete (cycling, squash, cricket) and an outspoken advocate for rights and an active example of how sport can “make you bold.”
Human Rights Council Retreat
This week, government representatives, members of civil society and human rights experts took stock of progress made by the Council while expressing their views on its future work.
“Sports and human rights give me hope”
“Sport has given me hope because being an athlete gives you courage,” said Rose Lokonyen. Lokonyen was part of the team of refugees who took part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. She was speaking at the recent Social Forum on Sports, the Olympic ideal and human rights.
An entire life sentenced to death
On World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October, we look at the gender-based biases and the intersectional discrimination that lead women to death row.
Nobel Peace Prize: Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege
UN human rights chief salutes Nobel Peace Prize winners Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege. “This is richly deserved recognition of these two extraordinarily brave, persistent and effective campaigners against the scourge of sexual violence, and the use of rape as a weapon of war.”
Gender integration in human rights investigations
“Investigations that overlook the ways in which gender, other identities and the associated social norms serve to aggravate, falsely normalize, hide and even excuse human rights impacts cannot be accepted. Gender identity and status matter,” said UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore.
Rights declaration still world’s brightest shining light
As it clocks 70 years, the world’s most translated document – 500 languages and counting – is hailed as the conscience of the world and an inspiration for justice for generations to come.
Displaced and afraid in Idlib, Syria
Warring parties in Idlib have given little consideration for civilian lives and have caused massive displacements. UN experts propose recommendations to address the situation of the displaced.
Improve integration of child soldiers
“We are concerned about the punitive approach taken by some States toward children associated with armed groups, including mercenaries, and insist that the best interests of the child should be the primary consideration,” said Saeed Mokbil, Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries during the Human Rights Council.
There is nothing more patriotic than fighting for public good - Bachelet
"We need to hammer this message home: criticism and debate do not constitute terrorism - they are a preventive tool against the rise of violent extremism," High Commissioner Bachelet.
Syria: justice must be delivered
Impunity and denial of the truth, like dry gunpowder, can ignite the flames of conflict at any time. High Commissioner Bachelet calls for justice for Syria, citing Latin America's successful examples.
Telling good human rights stories
Sometimes we lose sight of the good human rights stories - stories that produce a ripple effect, even a surge, forging new mind-sets across society.
Empowering women unlocks economic potential
Gender inequality is damaging to society as a whole. High Commissioner Bachelet at the UN in New York urges us to confront obstacles to women’s economic empowerment and unleash their potential.
Rethinking sanctions that affect the rights of Syrians
Unilateral sanctions have negatively affected the rights of Syrians and impeded the operations of civil society and humanitarian actors in Syria, the UN expert on unilateral coercive measures says.
In 70 years of the Universal Declaration, a thousand steps forward
We still have a long way to go towards protection of the human rights of all, everywhere, but in the 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, humanity has moved a thousand steps forward, Bachelet tells the UN in New York.
Poverty makes people especially vulnerable to injustice
"There is no more heart-rending example of the failure of the rule of law than when inequity in the justice system is compounded by poverty to expose people to the ultimate injustice of the death penalty," Michelle Bachelet tells high-level officials in New York.
Reprisals: Targeting Human Rights Defenders
"The horrendous impact on the victim and their families aside, reprisals against people for cooperating with the UN sends a chilling message to others of what will happen if they do the same thing. As they are designed to do," said Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour.
Genocide: "Never again" has become "time and again"
“Nothing can prevent hate crimes such as genocide, more than the existence of societies where human rights are fully enjoyed” said Fabian Salvioli, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence.
The unspoken servitude of women domestic workers
The integration of women in the global labour market and ageing societies have created a gap in households filled by migrant domestic workers whose rights can be gravely violated, says Urmila Bhoola, UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery.
"The truth can be recovered" - the methodology behind fact-finding in Myanmar
Human rights experts of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar reveal the methodology they used to assess the credibility of allegations against Myanmar authorities.
Bachelet applauds Indian Supreme Court LGBT ruling
As Indian LGBT activists celebrate, Bachelet urges courts in other countries to follow unanimous Supreme Court decision to decriminalize consensual same-sex relations
Michelle Bachelet becomes new UN Human Rights Chief
On 1 September 2018, Michelle Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The UN Human Rights Office was established in 1993 and Ms. Bachelet is the seventh High Commissioner.
"This is what true leaders look like" - High Commissioner Zeid's parting message
A note of courage and defiance on behalf of human rights defenders, and "a longing for the leadership of the just".
Nicaragua rights crisis demands action and accountability
Repression and retaliation continue in the wake of protests in Nicaragua as the world looks away, Zeid warns, as he calls for urgent action to tackle the country’s human rights crisis.
Myanmar Fact Finding Mission: accounting for the gravest international crimes
The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar found patterns of gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States, amounting to the gravest crimes under international law. The report calls for Myanmar military generals to be investigated for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Kofi Annan: the epitome of human decency and grace
The United Nations Human Rights Office is deeply saddened by the passing of Kofi Annan. He will always be remembered for his leadership as a courageous, dynamic and charismatic Secretary-General.
"A piece of me died that day"
"No matter how many years go by, there is always that one moment, like a secret drawer where the pain is still intact," said Laura Dolci. Her husband, Jean-Sélim Kanaan, was among the 22 UN staff who were killed during the 2003 UN compound bombing in Baghdad.
Migration nightmare for an indigenous woman in Mexico
The UN Human Rights offices in Guatemala and Mexico advocate for the rights of an indigenous migrant who faces prolonged detention in a State prison in Mexico, after she was kidnapped by smugglers near the country’s border with the US.
Michelle Bachelet appointed to lead UN Human Rights Office
UN Human Rights staff look forward to welcoming Michelle Bachelet and working under her leadership for the promotion and protection of all human rights, for everyone, everywhere. She will succeed Zeid when his mandate ends on 31 August.
Human Rights Council Advisory Committee marks tenth anniversary
The Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council marked its tenth anniversary with a commemorative event at its 21st session to reflect on the Committee’s contributions to the Council since it was established in 2008.
A reflection on past war crimes and today’s crimes against humanity
Zeid and Nuremberg prosecutor, Benjamin Ferencz, reflect on progress achieved in protecting human rights since the end of World War II. “We are all inhabitants of a single planet … I regret that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being violated … more than it is being accepted,”Ferencz says.
"Nothing they can do will stop me."
Investigative journalist and human rights defender Rana Ayyub was the subject of an intense online hate campaign because of her outspoken views and stories on the majority Hindu government. She spoke with the UN Human Rights Office about combatting hate speech online.
SIDs Trust Fund honours Tonga
Tonga delegate Elsie Fukofuka has become the 100th beneficiary of the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund. The Fund provides support for delegates from least developed countries and small island nations to attend the Human Rights Council.
Team Human: Making the New Case for the UDHR
"We are now making a defence for universal rights, (something) which we thought was a discussion that was already won," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. "I would submit we must make the case for a world where we combine our efforts. We have to be team human and not team us."
Zeid disturbed and concerned by current human rights situation in OPT
“Only an end to occupation can bring about lasting peace an establish the conditions in which the human rights of all can be fully respected and each side respects the humanity and equality of each other,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
UN Expert: Content moderation should not trample free speech
Both States and companies have a duty to ensure that moderation of content online does not infringe on free expression, said David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression. The best way to do this, is to use human rights as the basis for any rules.
Deportation is an unworkable solution for migration
Involuntary returns and reintegration in countries of origin have repercussions on the human rights of migrants, says UN migration expert, Felipe González Morales.
Bridging the digital gender divide
The potential of technology to help women and girls exercise their human rights has yet to be realised because of a persistent and growing digital gender divide. But experts say this divide can be bridged through concentrated efforts to educate, ensure access, and improve the skills of women and girls.
Civilians in South Sudan killed, raped by Government forces
There must be consequences for the men who reportedly gang-raped children, slit the throats of elderly villagers and shot fleeing civilians in the swamps where they hid, High Commissioner Zeid urges.
An unresolved uprooted life
Internally displaced persons in Japan and Mexico look to their Governments to recognize their displacement.
Digital misogyny is personal and fixable
For women and girls, the internet can be an empowering space. It can also be dangerous, as online abuse escalates. But a group of experts and activists say the abuse can be challenged using human rights and technology.
Ethno-nationalism denies millions their citizenship rights - anti-racism expert
States have used access to citizenship and immigration status as a discriminatory tool to deny the human rights of minorities, the UN expert on racism, Tendayi Achiume, says.
Nicaragua: Act now to end violence, Zeid urges authorities
Zeid calls on the Nicaraguan government to take meaningful steps to prevent further loss of life, address impunity and guarantee justice for victims after weeks of protests and bloody violence in the country.
What choice will you make – for yourself, and for our world?
True patriotism consists in viewing humanity as a community of mutual responsibility, with shared needs and goals.
Stop using civilians as pawns in Syria
High Commissioner Zeid calls on each side of the Syrian conflict to protect civilians and their right to flee to safety. He condemns the use of civilians as “pawns” for advancement in Daraa.
Centre puts human rights and sports on same team
A coalition of sporting bodies and human rights groups launched the Centre for Sport and Human Rights in Geneva this week. The independent Centre will promote effective ways to mitigate, prevent and remedy the human rights impacts associated with sports and sporting events.
‘I just wanted to die’ says torture survivor on way to recovery
On her birthday, 26 June, which is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, a torture survivor spoke at the United Nations about how a rehabilitation programme has turned her life around.
What to know about detention and the right to health
The UN right to health expert, Dainius Pūras, says that over 10 million people detained in prisons and confined in other institutions are denied their right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
Sports and human rights natural teammates
Sport has the unique ability to attract and inspire people. During a conversation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee discussed how human rights and sport make natural teammates.
Venezuela: Impunity amid dismal human rights situation
UN report details Venezuelan authorities’ failure to hold accountable perpetrators of serious human rights violations and the grave impact of the economic and social crisis on the rights to food and health.
Refugees and other migrants do not lose their rights by crossing borders
Current migration policies and populist rhetoric dehumanise people on the move across the globe and criminalise migration, a fundamentally human phenomenon.
UN human rights report on Kashmir details multiple violations
First-ever UN human rights report on Kashmir calls for an international inquiry as part of efforts to address multiple violations and deliver justice for all people in Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.
UN expert on albinism: "We are gaining ground"
Regional steps for rights protection and individual achievements by people with albinism themselves are celebrated on this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day.
"The one core lesson brought home to me by this extraordinary mandate"
This is the way that wars are made: with the snarl of belligerence and the lash of injustice.
The High Commissioner is proud of the UN Human Rights Office in 2017
The UN Human Rights Report 2017 outlines the achievements of his Office both in Geneva and in the field.
“We have no choice but to keep going”: environmental activism in Kenya
Environmental rights activists in Kenya have faced harassment, threats and intimidation as they push for justice for environmental pollution in their community. “The issue is not over,” said Phyllis Omido, environmental human rights defender. “We have no choice but to keep going.”
Keeping the peace – human rights on the ground
Meet Mamadou Bah and Christian Lumbala, two of our human rights officers working in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.
Flying to freedom - new guidelines to cut aviation route for human trafficking
Commercial aircrafts is one of the means of transportation used by traffickers to move their victims. The UN Human Rights office and the International Civil Aviation Organization have collaborated to produce guidelines to train aviation personnel to spot and report trafficking.
Zeid hails key step in transitional justice in Tunisia
Zeid hails the start of a new era in the fight against impunity in Tunisia as a specialized chamber begins hearing the first case of gross human rights violations committed by past Tunisian regimes.
What place for human rights, in a world of deepening divisions?
Resurgent hostility is an existential threat to the human rights movement -- and a very real threat to humanity.
Zeid urges Mexico to act to end wave of disappearances in Nuevo Laredo
Zeid urges Mexico to take urgent steps to end a wave of enforced disappearances in Nuevo Laredo, amid strong indications that these crimes have been committed by federal security forces.
Seventy years of peacekeeping and human rights
Meet Nicole Ngoy, one of our human rights officers working in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo.
Knocking down walls to live independently
Matthieu Chatelin has surmounted countless hurdles to live independently and be included in the communities where he has lived.
Mental health is a human right
People with mental health conditions and those with psychosocial disabilities worldwide endure treatment that no other strata of the population is subjected to. Current mental health practices impact their dignity, autonomy and the enjoyment of their human rights.
Libya: Health care under attack in conflict
Continued violence in Libya is having a devastating impact on health care in Libya. A new report released by the UN Human Rights Office shows how attacks on hospitals, medical facilities and medical personnel have contributed to a failing health-care system.
"To honour the Vienna Declaration, States must act on it"
High Commissioner urges a defiant movement for rights
New UN Human Rights office continues work in Liberia
After the United Nations ended its Peacekeeping mission in Liberia in March this year, the United Nations Human Rights Office stayed open, forging a new agreement with the government to continue improving human rights protection and advocacy.
Major rethink needed for the prevention of mass atrocities
The UN’s approach on atrocity prevention is in need of radical reform, said the former Special Rapporteur on transitional justice, Pablo de Greiff. In a recent study presented to the Human Rights Council, he suggests a way forward.
Syrian victims seek justice against their torturers
Khaled Rawas and 21 other Syrians survivors look to a German court to seek redress for the inhuman treatment they suffered at the hands of their torturers in Syria. The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture is supporting their quest for justice.
Supporting Yemen human rights NGOs help bring peace and tolerance
For the first time, the UN Human Rights Office in Yemen sponsored three local NGOs whose work helps to better promote, embed and empower human rights activism at the grass roots level.
Dialogue with the African Union, a "mighty force" for rights
During talks in Addis, the High Commissioner offered human rights expertise to help promote sustainable peace and development.
"We need to be brave": HC hails the Amnesty International Conscience award
"Despite the xenophobia, bigotry and nationalism metastasising across the world, I am confident we can come together to build societies that are truly strong -- because they are fair"
The Universal Declaration works to stem the "insatiable machine" driving conflict
Why is recognition of the inalienable rights of all human beings the basis of freedom, justice and peace in the world?
Human rights monitoring in Yemen for the victims’ voices
When it comes to gathering the true facts behind the headlines of human rights violations, UN Human Rights Office monitors in Yemen put their lives on the line to ensure victims’ voices are heard.
Upholding rights through development is cost effective - and urgent
At the World Bank, the High Commissioner said human rights monitoring and assistance boost the sustainability of development work.
Access to justice is a form of rehabilitation for torture victims
Despite remarkable progress made in the international framework to prohibit torture, there needs to be greater focus on victims being able to access justice through victim-centered work, stated the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore. Gilmore made her remarks during a panel discussion on access to justice for victims of torture organized by the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
UN report details scale and horror of detention in Libya
Armed groups in Libya, including those affiliated with the State, hold thousands of people in prolonged and unlawful detention, and submit them to torture and other human rights violations, according to a UN report published on Tuesday.
New database explores links between human rights and sustainable development goals
A new interactive database allows people to explore how countries following up on recommendations by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that will also contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals. The database, developed by the Danish Institute for Human Rights, is based on the more than 50,000 recommendations made during the first two UPR cycles, which are linked to SDGs and their targets
Collective shrug to chemical weapon use in Syria outrageous – Zeid
The world – and in particular the veto-wielding States on the Security Council -- need to wake up, and wake up fast, to the irreparable damage that is being done by the normalization of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Report: No one unaffected by sexual and gender-based violence in Syrian conflict
“It is utterly repugnant that brutal acts of sexual and gender-based violence have been perpetrated throughout Syria for over six and a half years,” said Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. He made his remarks during an event launching a report that looked into the pervasiveness of the issue in the Syrian conflict.
To truly honour the victims of trans-Atlantic slavery, we must take action
Slavery is not only a horror of the past. We need to end modern slavery and address the poverty, deprivation, discrimination and labour conditions which are its roots.
People of African descent demand action to end racial discrimination
On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called on everyone to act to ensure the full realization of the rights of more than 200 million people of African Descent.
One country’s example of promoting inclusion, justice, and respect for diversity
The UN Human Rights Office engages with Canada’s Governments and civil society to promote the rights of people of African descent.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The embrace of diversity is the great marker of strong and stable societies; we can push back against the forces of hatred and violence.
Tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity
Experts at the Human Rights Council mark anti-racism day by discussing ways to tackle global manifestations of racial discrimination and successes in promoting tolerance.
Profound violations amid Turkey’s state of emergency
Staggering numbers of people have had their human rights violated under the routine extensions of the state of emergency in Turkey, UN report finds, including hundreds of thousands arrested and arbitrarily dismissed.
“The Syrian crisis is breaking our world”
In an Arria briefing for members of the Security Council, the High Commissioner demanded justice for perpetrators of "mind-numbing" crimes in Syria.
Syria: the most dangerous place for children?
Civil society actors give the Human Rights Council information on violations of children’s rights in Syria and recommendations on how to protect rights of these children.
Mexico: Torture and cover-ups in Ayotzinapa investigation
Zeid urges Mexican authorities to continue search for truth and justice in the case of the 43 missing students, as UN report says strong grounds to believe people detained during the investigation were tortured and this in turn was covered up.
2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize call for nominations
The 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize will be given out at the United Nations in New York on Human Right Day, 10 December, coinciding with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nominations are open until 6 April 2018.
Emergency powers should be limited and proportionate - UN anti-terrorism expert
In her latest report, UN Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, addresses the human rights challenges of states of emergencies in the context of countering terrorism.
"We are at a pivotal moment in history" - HC Zeid
At Geneva's International Human Rights Film Festival, the High Commissioner outlines major global issues.
Honduras: excessive force used against electoral protests
Members of the Honduran security forces used excessive – even lethal - force to control protests that erupted after the controversial presidential elections last November, new UN report finds.
Human rights of women and girls of African descent: achievements and triumphs
A new publication by the UN Human Rights Office looks at the challenges and progress made on the enjoyment of human rights by women and girls of African Descent. The booklet was launched on International Women’s Day in Geneva by the UN Library.
Diverse stories key to improving women’s rights
Changing how women are treated globally is as simple and as difficult as changing the stories we tell about women, said best-selling author and women’s rights champion Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She spoke to the UN Human Rights Office to commemorate International Women’s Day.
High Commissioner’s global update of human rights concerns
At the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner spotlights more than 60 countries which have seen recent significant improvements – or negative trends.
A conversation on “kindness and generous accommodation”
A high-level conversation was hosted on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council to mark the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and celebrate his legacy to the world.
The role of women in shaping the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Women shaped the narrative of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through their influence on the language and the inclusion of particular rights, a new book to be published later this year contends.
The universality and inseparability of human rights are key to peace
Governance which serves rather than silences, and economic systems rooted in dignity, are the responsibility of every government, and underpin the legitimacy of every government.
South Sudan: Possible war crimes and crimes against humanity
UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan calls for reparations for victims of human rights violations in the ongoing conflict.
Freedom of expression vital for peace in South Sudan
People must be free to express opinions regardless of political or ethnic affiliations to achieve peace in South Sudan, UN report says, as ‘chilling’ crackdowns continue and millions suffer from conflict.
Stop the “monstrous annihilation” of Eastern Ghouta – Zeid
How much cruelty will it take before the international community can speak with one voice to say enough dead children, enough wrecked families, enough violence?
Afghanistan: 10,000 civilian casualties in 2017
More than 10,000 civilians lost their lives or suffered injuries during 2017, with a high number of casualties caused by suicide bombings and other explosive attacks, according to the latest annual UN report documenting the impact of the armed conflict on civilians in Afghanistan.
Asma Jahangir: "A giant within the global human rights movement"
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein paid tribute to former UN human rights expert and human rights defender Asma Jahangir, following her death in Pakistan earlier this month.
In Pacific Islands, human rights can help to navigate through challenges
Ending discrimination will benefit everyone, the High Commissioner tells Pacific Island students
Yemen civilians under fire from all sides - Zeid
Zeid voices alarms at how civilians in Yemen are under fire on all sides, as Houthi and affiliated forces carry out sniper attacks and indiscriminate shelling, and the Saudi-led Coalition continues to conduct airstrikes.
Zeid urges international action as violence soars in Syria
Zeid calls for urgent international action after a week of soaring violence and bloodshed in Syria, saying the past seven years of conflict have been an “epic failure of global diplomacy”.
Zeid visits Papua New Guinea
High Commissioner Zeid calls on mining and logging companies to stop trampling on the human rights of the communities where they operate, and urges the Government to strengthen rule of law and combat corruption.
Victims of Nochixtlán: a cry for justice
A year and a half after a clash between police and protestors in Nochixtlán, Mexico left six people dead. The UN Human Rights Office in Mexico works with human rights institutions and victims to bring about justice.
Indonesia’s tradition of tolerance can prevail – Zeid
Zeid calls on Indonesia to move forward on human rights, voicing hope that the strong tradition of tolerance of the Indonesian people will prevail over populism and political opportunism.
Maldives state of emergency assault on democracy – Zeid
The state of emergency in the Maldives has swept away the checks and balances and separation of powers necessary in a functioning democracy, potentially leading to a greater number of human rights violations, Zeid warns.
In Asia, upholding human rights is crucial for peaceful coexistence
Crackdowns, discrimination and other violations undermine the basis of sound development and security, the High Commissioner tells policy-makers and diplomats in Jakarta
Telling climate change stories for people and planet
An online platform gives everyone a chance to share their experiences of climate change and views on addressing its devastating effects.
We remember and honour the victims of the Holocaust by upholding human rights
If humanity is to thrive we must uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was forged from the horror of global warfare and genocide.
UN expert: despite medical cure leprosy causes stigma and discrimination
"For me it is so obvious, leprosy has always, through the centuries, been an issue with human rights violations," said Alice Cruz, the new UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members. Cruz made her comments as part of the observance of World Leprosy Day.
Zeid condemns upsurge in civilian casualties in Syria
The suffering of the people of Syria knows no end, says Zeid, as he condemns the upsurge in civilian casualties in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib amid escalations in airstrikes and ground-based attacks.
How to train cabin crews to identify trafficking victims
The UN Human Rights Office and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) develop set of guidelines to train cabin crewmembers on how to identify safely and report suspected cases of human trafficking.
Zeid urges Iranian authorities to defuse tensions
UN human rights chief urges Iranian authorities to respect rights of protesters, to investigate all deaths and serious injuries, and to take care not to inflame violence and unrest.