Human Rights – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Situation in central Mali ‘deteriorating’ as violence, impunity rise, UN rights expert warns

The growing violence has contributed to a deteriorating security situation in central Mali, with impunity being one of the aggravating factors, an independent UN human rights expert warned on Friday.

Cameroon: UN officials raise alarm over escalating violence, call for civilian protection

Four senior UN officials issued a joint statement on Friday deploring the continued human rights abuses committed against civilians, including women and children, in the south-west and north-west regions of Cameroon.

On World Social Justice Day, the UN labour agency  says ‘put people and planet first'

Reduce inequality around the world, the United Nations labour agency urged on Thursday, World Social Justice Day.

‘Deliberate starvation’ tactics used in South Sudan could be a war crime

The people of South Sudan have been “deliberately starved” in different parts of the country for ethnic and political reasons, and sexual violence against women and men as a weapon of war is ongoing, UN investigators said on Thursday. 

UN rights experts ‘gravely’ concerned at spike in civilian casualties in north-west Myanmar following internet shutdown

Independent UN human rights experts on Tuesday voiced grave concern over the killing and displacement of civilians in north-west Myanmar during the intensifying conflict between the military and an armed group, the Arakan Army, amid an information blackout in some parts of Rakhine and Chin states. 

Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ over deadly assault in north-west Cameroon

The United Nations Secretary-General has extended his deepest condolences to the families of those killed in an attack on a village in north-west Cameroon.

UN chief calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria’s war-battered north-west

Alarmed by the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in north-west Syria and the tragic suffering of civilians, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing fight that has displaced more than 900.000 civilians since early December.   

Database of businesses linked to Israeli settlements ‘important initial step’ towards accountability: rights expert 

A database of 112 businesses connected to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory has been hailed by an independent human rights expert as “an important initial step towards accountability and the end to impunity”. 

Transitional justice processes critical to lasting peace, Security Council hears

For countries to move forward after conflict or mass atrocities, suffering must be acknowledged and justice served, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told the Security Council on Thursday. 

‘We must all do more’ to protect children in armed conflict: UN chief

On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the need to integrate child protection into peace processes during a high-level Security Council briefing on Wednesday.

FROM THE FIELD: ‘A piece of me’ was taken

“My flesh has been taken away, but I can never give away my heart”; those are the powerful words of resolve from Abida Dawud, one of three women survivors of female genital mutilation, or FGM, from Ethiopia, who have been speaking to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) about their experiences.

$1.4 billion needed this year to fund UN’s agency for Palestine refugees

A minimum of $1.4 billion is needed to fund the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, known as UNRWA, the acting chief said on Friday.

US Middle East peace plan ‘lopsided’, says independent UN rights expert

A United States plan released this week to resolve the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is “lopsided” and will only entrench occupation, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday. 

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

A sophisticated Italian food system is placing a heavy burden on Italy’s workers and farmers, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday, following an 11-day visit to the country that many regard as the world’s food capital.

Iraq: Solutions needed ‘urgently’ to quell ongoing violence, break political deadlock

Amidst ongoing anti-government protests, rising casualties and the likelihood of further demonstrations, the top UN official in Iraq on Thursday, urged politicians to break the political deadlock, and “press ahead with substantial reforms”.

Stepped-up efforts needed to combat pneumonia; save nearly nine million children’s lives

Scaling up pneumonia-related interventions could save the lives of nearly nine million children during the course of the next decade, the United Nations Children’s Fund said on Wednesday.

2019: A deadly year for migrants crossing the Americas

More than 800 people died last year crossing deserts, rivers and remote lands while migrating across the Americas, making 2019 one of deadliest years on record, the UN migration agency said on Tuesday.

Iraq: UN human rights report voices concern over conduct of ISIL fighter trials

A new UN report published on Tuesday shows that while considerable effort has been made by Iraqi authorities to bring former ISIL terrorist fighters to justice, there are “serious concerns” about the fairness of the proceedings. 

‘Carry our stories forward’: Holocaust survivors share powerful testimonies at UN

When the Nazis invaded Poland, overnight, nine-year-old Theodor Meron became “a refugee, out of school, out of childhood and constantly in clear and present danger”, the man who would later become a Judge for International Criminal Tribunals told the United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony on Monday.

Societies must unite against ‘global crisis of antisemitic hatred’, Guterres urges

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, and the six million Jews and others murdered on Nazi orders during the Holocaust, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a ceremony in New York on Monday that the world must “re-commit to preventing any repetition of those crimes”.

Libya: UN report urges accountability for deadly attack against migrant centre

Warring parties in Libya, as well as foreign governments supporting them, are being urged to investigate deadly airstrikes last July which killed at least 53 migrants and refugees at a detention centre in the northwest of the country. 

End discrimination against women and children affected by leprosy

 Governments must put an end to the informal segregation and institutionalized neglect of hundreds of thousands of women and children affected by leprosy, an independent UN human rights expert said on Sunday, World Leprosy Day.

Combatting antisemitism requires ‘solidarity in the face of hatred’, says UN chief  

Against the backdrop of a constant stream of attacks targeting Jews, their institutions and property, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Saturday of a global crisis of antisemitic hatred. 

Myanmar: Departing UN rights expert still hopeful for democratic transition

An independent human rights expert said she has not given up hope for a democratic transition in Myanmar even though the country has yet to address “grave allegations” of international crimes, including possible genocide.   

75 years after Auschwitz liberation, antisemitism still threatens ‘foundations of democratic societies’

Commemorating 75 years since the liberation of the notorious Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, independent UN rights experts said on Thursday that “urgent action” is needed to combat mounting antisemitism.

Top UN court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide

Myanmar must take steps to protect its minority Rohingya population, the top UN court unanimously ruled on Thursday. 

Independent UN rights experts call for ‘immediate investigation’ into alleged Bezos phone hack by Saudi Arabia

Independent UN rights experts said on Wednesday they were “gravely concerned” over allegations that in 2018, a messaging app account belonging to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was used to hack into The Washington Post owner’s mobile phone, calling for an “immediate investigation” by authorities in the United States.

Portraits show ‘dignity and humanity’ of Holocaust survivors, 75 years after Auschwitz liberation

Seventy-five years ago, when soldiers of the Soviet army entered the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland, they were “stunned into silence” by what they saw, UN Secretary-General António Guterres recalled on Tuesday.

Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence

What had been largely peaceful demonstrations against Lebanon’s Government in the capital Beirut grew increasingly violent over the weekend, sparking the concern of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

The UN Human Rights Committee has determined that countries cannot deport people who have sought asylum due to climate-related threats.