Human Rights – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Child labour ‘robs children of their future’, scourge must end urges UN

Although child labour has decreased significantly over the last decade, one-in-ten children are still caught up in harmful work, the UN’s labour agency said on Friday, kicking off a year-long bid to eradicate the practice.  

Israel: Ensure equal COVID-19 vaccine access to Palestinians – UN Independent experts 

Israel’s “impressive” vaccination programme against the COVID-19 pandemic must include Palestinians under occupation, UN independent human rights experts stressed on Wednesday. 

Peru: UN rights office decries excessive use of force in November protests

Police in Peru used unnecessary and excessive force during protests in the capital last November challenging the legitimacy of the interim President, a report published on Tuesday by the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR has found. 

Close ‘disgraceful’ Guantánamo camp – UN experts urge incoming US administration 

Exactly 19 years after the Guantánamo Bay detention centre first opened, UN independent human rights experts on Monday urged the incoming United States administration of Joe Biden, to close the notorious military prison as soon as possible. 

Uganda: ‘Deteriorating’ human rights situation in run-up to elections next week

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, is urging authorities in Uganda to ensure elections next week are free and peaceful, noting that the arrest of opposition candidates and their supporters are among several “worrying” developments ahead of the vote. 

Viet Nam: UN rights office denounces ‘increasing clampdown’ on freedom of expression

The UN human rights office (OHCHR), on Friday, voiced concerns over the use of “vaguely defined laws” in Viet Nam, to arbitrarily detain an increasing number of journalists, bloggers, commentators and rights defenders, amidst what appears to be part of an “increasing clampdown” on the freedom of expression in the country.  

Saudi Arabia: UN rights expert welcomes ‘positive first step’ toward détente in Gulf  

Saudi Arabia’s action in lifting sanctions against Qatar is a “positive first step” towards normalized relations in the Gulf region, a UN independent human rights expert said on Thursday, urging the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt to follow suit. 

Callamard calls for ‘clear, explicit and unambiguous standards’ to protect civilian planes during conflicts

Urgent measures are needed to protect civilian aircraft flying over conflict zones or other areas where military tensions are high, a UN independent human rights expert said on Thursday. 

Hong Kong: UN human rights office urges immediate release of arrested activists

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Thursday voiced deep concerns over the arrests of over 50 individuals under the new National Security Law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, and called for their immediate release. 

UN human rights expert ‘cautiously’ welcomes UK court’s refusal to extradite Julian Assange

An independent UN human rights expert has welcomed a British court’s refusal to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States on the basis that he would be exposed to oppressive conditions of imprisonment. 

World Braille Day highlights importance of accessible information

The United Nations is commemorating World Braille Day on Monday, highlighting the importance of the universal touch-based communication system for the full realization of human rights for blind and partially sighted people. 

Iran execution of child offender breaks international law: UN rights office

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial.

Argentina: ‘Ground-breaking’ new abortion law crucial to ending gender discrimination – UN experts

The year drew to a close in Argentina with “a ground-breaking law” that legalizes abortions up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, in a move that independent UN rights experts called on Thursday, “a crucial step in eliminating discrimination against women and girls”. 

First Person: Vietnamese man finds ‘true voice’ in gay community

A Vietnamese man has told the UN he has found his ‘true voice’ in the gay community, despite the discrimination and harassment that LGBT people face in his country

US pardons Blackwater guards: An ‘affront to justice’ – UN experts

Five independent UN experts condemned United States President Donald Trump’s pardoning of private security contractors, convicted in 2015 for war crimes in Iraq, on Wednesday.

Bias, racism and lies: facing up to the unwanted consequences of AI

Powerful digital tools using artificial intelligence (AI) software are helping in the fight against COVID-19, and have the potential to improve the world in many other ways. However, as AI seeps into more areas of daily life, it’s becoming clear that its misuse can lead to serious harm, leading the UN to call for strong, international regulation of the technology.

Netherlands violates nationality rights: UN rights committee 

The Netherlands has violated a child’s rights by registering children under the category “nationality unknown” as opposed to Stateless – leaving them ineligible to access international protections, the UN Human Rights Committee  declared on Tuesday.  

UN rights expert urges United States to remove sanctions hindering rebuilding in Syria

A UN independent human rights expert, on Tuesday, called on the United States to remove unilateral sanctions against Syria that may hamper efforts to rebuild the war-torn country’s destroyed civilian infrastructure.

FROM THE FIELD: Misunderstood and mistreated; transgender women in Mexico

A group of transgender women in Mexico City has been telling the UN how despite living with discrimination and the threat of physical violence, they have managed to help others in a poor neighbourhood of the Mexican capital during the COVID-19 crisis.

Chad: New law safeguards 480,000 refugees

 The UN refugee agency commended Chad on Friday for adopting its first-ever asylum law, which will enhance the protection of the nearly 480,000 refugees it is hosting by providing key elements for their socio-economic inclusion.

Hate speech on Facebook poses ‘acute challenges to human dignity’ – UN expert 

An independent UN human rights expert called on Wednesday for Facebook’s Oversight Board to give greater consideration to the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities before making decisions over controversial content, particularly involving hate speech.      

Iraq: Trump pardons for Baghdad Blackwater guards ‘contributes to impunity’ says UN rights office

The UN human rights office OHCHR, has voiced deep concern over the decision by United States President Donald Trump to grant pardons to four security guards who were tried and convicted for the killing of 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, in 2007.

Press freedom more important than ever, as UN condemns killing of 59 media workers

At least 59 media workers have been killed this year, four of them women, the UN said on Wednesday, in a call to stand up for access to information and factual reporting “as a public good”.

UN independent expert asks outgoing US president: Pardon Wikileaks’ Assange

In an open letter to Donald Trump on Tuesday, an independent UN human rights expert asked the departing United States President to pardon Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. 

Thailand: UN rights office deeply troubled by treason charges for protestors

Thailand’s decision to charge protestors with treason is deeply troubling, the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, said on Friday following the arrest of at least 35 activists, including a teenager, in recent weeks. 

UN rights experts ‘deeply troubled’ by impunity for killing of Palestinian children

UN independent human rights experts, on Thursday, called for an impartial and independent investigation into the killing of a 15-year-old child by Israeli security forces at a West Bank protest this month. 

UN committee on enforced disappearance registers ‘milestone’ 1,000th request to locate victims

The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) reached “a significant milestone” on Thursday after registering its 1,000th urgent request for governments to take action to locate victims. 

China undermining human rights by locking up rights lawyers, UN independent expert says

China has mounted a "shocking" five-year assault on lawyers who stand up for human rights, putting them in prison and even torturing them, an expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cartoonist must be released on medical grounds, urge rights experts 

An ailing Bangladeshi cartoonist who has been detained for allegedly spreading fake news about the country’s response to COVID-19, should be released immediately, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday. 

UN experts raise concern over charges against US indigenous leader and rights defender 

Independent UN human rights experts expressed serious concern on Friday over the arrest and charges brought against an indigenous leader, for peacefully protesting a political rally held last July at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located on treaty lands of the Great Sioux Nation.