Human Rights 

Terrorism survivors: ‘I lived in fear that I would be killed’

For this final story in our special UN News series, we’ll hear from Fati Yahaya, who is 24-years old and comes from the village of Koghum in the north-east of Nigeria. She and her two young children were taken by armed insurgents in 2015 and spent three years as their prisoners. She has been living in Minawao, a camp for Nigerian refugees in the Far North region of Cameroon, since June 2018. Boko Haram came to my village Koghum in March 2015. It was a Wednesday evening at around 10pm…

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Human Rights 

Friday’s Daily Brief: Education key for Rohingya, DR Congo violence continues, Zimbabwe protest latest, women’s rights in Iran, environmental protection

Two years after exodus, Myanmar’s ‘desperate’ Rohingya youth need education, skills: UNICEF The daily struggle to survive for Myanmar’s Rohingya people in one of the world’s largest refugee settlements, has caused “overwhelming” despair and jeopardized the hopes of an entire generation, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, said on Friday. In a report marking two years since the arrival of around 745,000 Rohingya civilians in Bangladesh – after fleeing State-led persecution and violence in Myanmar – Executive Director Fore appealed for urgent investment in education and skills training.…

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Human Rights 

‘Quash’ convictions and release women jailed for protesting against wearing veils in Iran, urge UN rights experts

“We are alarmed that the arrest and lengthy sentences handed to these women are directly related to the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in the pursuit of gender equality in Iran,” the experts said in a joint statement on Friday. They called upon the Iranian authorities to quash the convictions and “immediately release all human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily detained for their work in advocating women’s rights, and to ensure full respect for the rights of women to freedom of opinion and…

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Human Rights 

Environmental protection moves ‘closer to the people’ through new human rights agreement

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will strengthen cooperation with OHCHR, as threats to individuals and communities defending their environmental and land rights intensify. Reports suggest that an average of more than three rights defenders were killed every week last year.  Although more than 150 countries have recognized the right to a health environment in their constitutions or legal frameworks, “significantly more work is needed” to inform policy makers, institutions and the public, say the leaders, both women, of the two UN bodies.  “A healthy environment is vital to fulfilling our aspiration to ensure people…

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Development Health Advice 

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Harrowing terrorist survivors’ stories, children first in Mediterranean rescues, Yemen and Switzerland updates, new SDG Advocates speak out

First-hand accounts of Boko Haram terrorism survivors To mark the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, on 21 August, UN News travelled to Chad and the Far North region of Cameroon in West Africa earlier this year, to interview people who have personal stories to tell, about how terrorism has shattered their lives. Hawa Abdu shared her experience in her own words. Read about Kedra Abakar’s first-hand ordeal here. And listen to why some youth become involved with terrorism: Children’s lives in Mediterranean Sea must take priority over politics,…

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Development Health Advice 

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Help for Venezuelans, Burundi Ebola vaccine drive, Paraguay poison probe urged, talking disarmament in Geneva, Libya violence down

Humanitarian assistance to be scaled-up for millions of Venezuelans in need The United Nations humanitarian wing launched a new Response Plan (HRP) on Wednesday, that aims to help around 2.6 million people in Venezuela through to the end of the year, almost half of whom are youth.   Noting that the plan “only represents a limited number of all people in need”, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that $223 million was required from donors, to achieve this goal.  A collective effort to coordinate and intensify the…

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Development Health Advice 

Winnie Byanyima ‘honoured to be joining UNAIDS’ as next Executive Director

“I am honoured to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” said Ms Byanyima. “The end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is a goal that is within the world’s reach, but I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead. Working with all its partners, UNAIDS must continue to speak up for the people left behind and champion human rights as the only way to end the epidemic.”   Secretary-General, António Guterres, appointed Ms Byanyima…

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Human Rights 

UN warns of spike in grave violations against children in Mali as ‘the new normal’

“We must not accept the suffering of children as the new normal. All parties must stop attacks on children and take all necessary measures to keep them out of harm’s way, in line with international human rights and humanitarian law,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. She added that children should be going to school and playing with their friends, not worrying about avoiding violence or being forced to fight. The Malian Government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012 that…

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Human Rights 

Friday’s Daily Brief: Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Yemen food aid, IDs for Rohingya, protect fleeing Malians, Nagasaki Peace Ceremony

‘Preserve, revitalize and promote’ indigenous languages, or lose a ‘wealth of traditional knowledge’, UN chief says  Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the urgency to “preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages” in his message for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Celebrated on Friday.  “Languages are how we communicate, and they are inextricably linked to our cultures, histories and identity”, the UN chief said, noting that 2019 also marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages.    He pointed out that almost half of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages, which are mostly indigenous, risk extinction.…

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Human Rights 

‘Preserve, revitalize and promote’ indigenous languages, or lose a ‘wealth of traditional knowledge’, UN chief says

“Languages are how we communicate, and they are inextricably linked to our cultures, histories and identity”, the UN chief said, noting that 2019 also marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages.  Indigenous languages are disappearing at an alarming rate, each one taking with it a cultural and intellectual heritage. We must protect languages under threat of extinction. #IndigenousDay pic.twitter.com/GaHSKc6OKN — António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 9, 2019 He pointed out that almost half of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages, which are mostly indigenous, risk extinction. “With every language that disappears, the…

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