Human Rights – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Japan: UN experts ‘deeply disappointed’ by decision to discharge Fukushima water

Three independent UN human rights experts expressed deep regret on Thursday over Japan’s decision to discharge potentially still radioactive Fukushima nuclear plant water into the ocean, warning that it could impact millions across the Pacific region.  

UN experts urge US to align anti-terrorism programme with international law

A so-called “Rewards for Justice” programme in the United States is violating the human rights of some of the individuals it targets, independent UN human rights experts said on Wednesday. 

Prevention is ‘only cure’ to end sexual violence in conflict, Security Council hears

“Prevention is the best and only cure” to stem the multiple, devastating and enduring consequences faced by survivors of sexual violence in conflict, especially as a brutal tactic of war, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday.  

Settler violence is rising in Occupied Palestinian Territory, warn experts

Violence attributed to Israeli settlers against Palestinians living in the West Bank has worsened in recent months, amidst “an atmosphere of impunity”, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.

Burundi refugees in Tanzania living in fear: UN rights experts

The rights of refugees and asylum seekers who have fled Burundi for Tanzania must be respected, experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Tuesday in an appeal to authorities in both countries. 

Rights experts sound alarm over Uganda ‘brutal’ election crackdown 

UN-appointed independent rights experts on Tuesday condemned the killing of more than 50 people by “brutal policing methods”, linked to disputed national elections held in January.  

Review ‘disproportionate and unwarranted’ measures, rights experts urge Cambodia

United Nations independent human rights experts on Monday called for the review of new legal and administrative measures adopted by the Government of Cambodia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which they said appear to be “disproportionate and unwarranted”. 

UK armed forces bill would limit war crimes accountability: UN rights chief

Legislation under consideration in the UK regarding armed forces personnel could limit accountability for war crimes if it is passed in its current form, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Monday.

UN rights office urges protection, investigation, after latest clashes in West Darfur

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has urged authorities in Sudan to protect citizens “without discrimination” in the wake of the latest resurgence of deadly violence in West Darfur. 

Libya violated rights of ‘targeted’ woman activist, says anti-discrimination committee

The failure of Libya to investigate the unlawful arrest and torture of a women’s rights activist is a clear rights violation, the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), said on Wednesday.

Hate speech and violence still rising against Roma despite recognition gains, says rights expert

More must be done to tackle online hate speech against minorities including the Roma and Sinti, who continue to be scapegoated for spreading the COVID-19 virus, a leading rights expert said on Wednesday.

Counter hate-driven movements, Guterres urges, reflecting on genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

As the world marks the grim anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the massacre were also killed, the United Nations Secretary-General called for concerted efforts to defeat hate-driven movements to prevent history from repeating itself. 

Women abducted in South Sudan released, hundreds remain missing 

Fifty-eight women and children of more than 600 who were abducted last year during vicious intercommunal fighting in South Sudan, have been reunited with their families, the UN Spokesperson told reporters on Monday.  

End police brutality and impunity in Belarus, rights experts urge

The continued pattern of police brutality and impunity in Belarus must end, UN rights experts said on Thursday, expressing alarm over excessive use of force against protesters and repression of journalists in the country. 

Myanmar: ‘Significant action’ needed by Security Council to prevent ‘bloodbath’ 

Widespread, systemic attacks on civilians in Myanmar orchestrated by leaders of the military coup, demand a “firm, unified and resolute international response”, UN Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener said on Wednesday. 

Central African Republic: Rights experts concerned over ‘Russian advisers’ and close contacts with UN peacekeepers

UN-appointed independent rights experts on Wednesday raised concerns over the recruitment and use of private military and foreign security contractors by the Government of the Central African Republic, and their apparent close contacts with UN peacekeepers there.

Indonesia: UN experts denounce mega tourism project that ‘tramples on human rights’

UN rights experts, on Wednesday, raised alarm over forced evictions of locals and indigenous peoples, and threats against human rights defenders, to make way for a $3 billion tourism project on the Indonesian island of Lombok.

Rights experts concerned about alleged detention, forced labour of Uyghurs in China

Independent UN human rights experts have urged companies to closely scrutinize their supply chains following concerns over the alleged detention and forced labour of Muslim Uyghurs in China, according to a statement issued on Monday. 

Myanmar: UN chief condemns killing of civilians during brutal crackdown on protestors

The UN chief condemned in the strongest terms, the killing of dozens of civilians, including children and young people, by security forces in Myanmar on Saturday. 

First Person: ‘No daughter of mine will be cut’

Like 95 per cent of women in her Ugandan community, Margaret Chepoteltel underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) as a child, subjecting her to lifelong health problems. Today, she is raising awareness of the dangers of FGM, as part of a UN-backed programme.

‘Racist lie’ must end, UN chief warns on Remembrance Day for enslaved people 

Although the transatlantic slave trade ended more than two centuries ago, “the ideas of white supremacy that underpinned it remain alive”, the UN chief said on Thursday, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

Probe announced into alleged Tigray rights violations: UN rights office

Alleged serious abuses and rights violations in Ethiopia’s Tigray region are to be investigated by the UN, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Thursday.

Myanmar: UN expert calls for emergency summit, warns conditions ‘likely to get much worse’

The independent UN Special Rapporteur investigating human rights in Myanmar has called on the international community to hold an “emergency” summit of all stakeholders, including the parliamentarians who were democratically elected prior to February’s military coup. 

UN’s top human rights forum passes resolutions on Belarus, Myanmar

The UN’s top rights forum passed resolutions condemning abuses of fundamental freedoms in Belarus and Myanmar on Wednesday, in response to ongoing concerns over the human rights situation in both countries.

Young people help draw up UN digital protection recommendations

Over 30 years after the invention of the world wide web, The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has laid out the ways that young people and children should be treated in the digital world, and how their rights should be protected.

Human Rights Council strengthens rights office probe into Sri Lanka’s long civil war

The United Nations Human Rights Council has been given a mandate to collect and preserve information and evidence of crimes related to Sri Lanka's 37-year long civil war that ended in 2009.

Turkey’s withdrawal from women’s protection treaty, ‘worrying step backwards’

Turkey’s decision to withdraw from an important treaty on protecting women is “a very worrying step backwards”, a group of independent UN human rights experts said on Tuesday. 

UN chief ‘profoundly concerned’ over rise in violence against Asians

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has issued a statement expressing his profound concern over the rise in violence against Asians, and people of Asian descent, during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collective commitment needed to end the ‘poison’ of racism: UN cultural chief says

With the COVID-19 pandemic providing fertile ground for the resurgence of racism and discrimination, the head of the UN’s educational and cultural agency, UNESCO, called on Monday for countries to stand united in what she described as “these testing times”. 

‘Pernicious evil’ of racism pervasive in ‘all regions and all societies’ – UN chief

Much of today’s racism is “deeply entrenched in centuries of colonialism and enslavement”, the UN chief said on Friday ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.