Human Rights – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN rights chief urges leaders to ‘turn the page on rhetoric’

Leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina must abandon divisive policies and focus on building an inclusive future for all, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday in the capital, Sarajevo, concluding an official visit to the country.

Overturning of Roe v Wade abortion law a ‘huge blow to women’s human rights’ warns Bachelet

Friday’s decision by the US Supreme Court which overturns the 50-year-old Roe v Wade judgement guaranteeing access to abortion across the United States, was described by the UN human rights chief as “a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.”

Abu Akleh shooting: fatal shot came from Israeli forces, says OHCHR

Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday.

Internet shutdowns impact human rights, economy, and day to day life

The dramatic real-life effects of shutdowns of the internet on people’s lives and human rights are vastly underestimated, the UN human rights office warns in a report released on Thursday.

Actions to stem violence against women and girls ‘needed now more than ever’

Over the past two years, there has been “an unprecedented increase in all forms of gender-based violence,” the UN Deputy Secretary-General told a high-level meeting in Kigali, on Thursday, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a major contributor.

Violence against indigenous women, ‘legacy of colonialism’ rooted in racism

Indigenous women and girls face grave, systematic, and continuous acts of violence that permeate every aspect of their lives, a UN-appointed independent rights expert said on Wednesday in a hard hitting report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva

Iran urged to halt imminent finger amputation of eight prisoners

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, is urging Iran to call off plans to amputate the fingers of eight prisoners convicted of burglary, Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said on Wednesday. 

Violence, rhetoric, hate speech, drive atrocity crimes in Ukraine and beyond, Security Council hears

The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide briefed the Security Council on Tuesday, reinforcing concerns already voiced by other senior UN officials in the chamber, over “the heightened risks” of sexual violence, and trafficking, which are “significantly impacting women and children”, following the Russian invasion of 24 February.

222 million crisis-hit children currently require educational support

A shocking new UN report released on Tuesday indicates that the number of crisis-impacted school-aged children requiring educational support has grown from an estimated 75 million in 2016, to 222 million today.

‘Militarised approach’ to policing peaceful protests, only increases risk of violence: UN human rights expert

Civic space is shrinking, together with a rise in human rights violations during peaceful protests worldwide, while governments adopt an increasingly militarised approach to policing demonstrations, said an independent UN human rights expert on Monday. 

Bringing jobs to Colombia’s conflict-affected communities

In Colombia, decades of violence and armed conflict created significant obstacles to human development and sustainable peace. To encourage the private sector to move back into hard-hit areas, the UN is financing an innovative project that is supporting local businesses and providing sorely needed job opportunities.

Building peace: Plotting a route towards democracy in The Gambia

After two decades of dictatorship, The Gambia is on the road towards democracy and respect for human rights, The UN is working closely with the government on this journey, a process that involves facing up to the country’s violent past.

Hate speech ‘dehumanizes individuals and communities’: Guterres

Hate speech incites violence, undermines diversity and social cohesion and “threatens the common values and principles that bind us together,” the UN chief said in his message for the first-ever International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

UN expert urges UK to halt transfer of asylum seekers to Rwanda

A UN human rights expert on Friday urged the United Kingdom to halt its controversial policy of transferring some asylum seekers to Rwanda and expressed serious concern that the two country’s asylum partnership arrangement violates international law, and risks causing irreparable harm to those seeking international protection.

Sexual violence in conflict ‘terrorizes populations, destroys lives and fractures communities’

Sexual violence has become a brutal tactic of warfare and repression that “terrorizes populations, destroys lives and fractures communities,” the UN chief said on Friday.

Amid ‘inhumane’ conditions, Bachelet urges Nicaragua to release all detainees

The human rights situation in Nicaragua has continued to decline over the past three months, with detainees being held in appalling conditions, civic space shrinking, and an “unprecedented” rise in people fleeing the country, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Thursday. 

Afghanistan facing ‘the darkest moments’ in a generation

The Afghanistan people are experiencing some of “the darkest moments” in a generation the UN human rights chief told Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

Rights experts alarmed by violent civil society crackdown in Iran

UN independent human rights experts have deplored the recent violent crackdown on civil society in Iran, calling on Wednesday for independent investigations into excessive use of force against protestors.   

Tanzania: More violence feared over bid to evict Maasai from ancestral lands

The reported use of live ammunition by security forces in Tanzania, against ethnic Maasai herders, and the death of a police officer, have been condemned by top UN-appointed independent rights experts.

New UN guide aims to tackle growing problem of elder abuse

Every year, one in six people aged 60 years and older experience some form of abuse – a trend that is expected to continue with rapid population ageing in many countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. 

UN’s Bachelet concerned over Ukraine orphans ‘deported’ to Russia for adoption

The UN’s top rights official expressed her concern on Wednesday at reports that Ukrainian children have been “forcibly deported” from the country’s embattled eastern regions, and taken to Russia for adoption.

WHO to determine if Monkeypox should be declared ‘Emergency of International Concern’; rights expert warns of COVID ‘vaccine apartheid’

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee has been convened due to the spread of the Monkeypox virus to 32 non-endemic countries.

Disabilities convention supports ‘inclusive, accessible, and sustainable world’

We have the tools to end the “systemic marginalization” of persons with disabilities, the UN chief told the 15th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Tuesday.

Myanmar: Cycle of ‘human rights violations and abuses’ continues, warns Bachelet

Still suffering from the devastating consequences of the February 2021 military coup, the UN rights chief said on Tuesday that the people of Myanmar remain “trapped in a cycle of poverty and displacement, human rights violations and abuses”.

Ukraine and rising global insecurity, test for us all, says UN rights chief

War in Ukraine continues to cause mayhem and “destroy the lives of many”, and it is everyone’s responsibility to limit the global food, fuel and financial crisis” that it has sustained, the UN’s top rights official told the Human Rights Council on Monday, in her last session as High Commissioner.

UN calls on militants in eastern DR Congo to ‘immediately cease’ civilian attacks

The UN issued a statement on Saturday calling for attacks on civilians by multiple armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to “immediately cease”.

UN human rights experts urge China to allow them ‘full access’ 

Dozens of independent UN human rights experts on Friday urged the Chinese Government to “cooperate fully” with the UN human rights system over abuse allegations, and grant them “unhindered access – particularly to prisons and detention centres. 

Myanmar: Death sentences ‘vile attempt at instilling fear’, rights experts charge

The international community must increase pressure on Myanmar ‘s military rulers in the wake of their decision to move ahead with death sentences against four individuals, including two prominent opponents of the regime, UN independent human rights experts said on Friday. 

Mediterranean Sea journeys for migrants have grown more deadly: UNHCR

Migrants who risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean to Europe on flimsy boats often piloted by people-smugglers, are at greater risk of dying now than for years, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.

World must ‘speed up’ efforts to end AIDS pandemic by 2030

To end AIDS, beat COVID-19 and “stop the pandemics of the future”, the world needs to ensure global access to lifesaving health technologies, the UN Chef de Cabinet has told a meeting of the General Assembly to review progress.