Human Rights 

UN human rights report cites ‘multiple root causes’ of deadly Chile protests

The 30-page report based on research during the first three weeks of November, extensively details multiple allegations, including torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence by the police against people held in detention. The leader of the UN mission, Imma Guerras-Delgado, told journalists in Geneva, that the overall management of demonstrations by the police “was carried out in a fundamentally repressive manner.” When a student protest in October over subway prices turned into a nationwide movement against the Government, peaceful demonstrations swept across the country. Although the great majority…

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Human Rights 

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: COP25 latest, Aung San Suu Kyi at the ICJ, Asia-Pacific malnutrition, rights in Egypt

COP25: Italy and Mexico pave the way on climate education A commitment by Italy and Mexico to ramp up climate and environmental education has been welcomed by the UN office which supports global efforts to respond to climate change.  Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change (UNFCCC), expressed hope that more nations will follow their initiative, announced this week at the UN COP25 climate change conference in Madrid.  Read more here. Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court Myanmar will have “no tolerance” for human rights abuses committed…

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Human Rights 

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

Ms. Suu Kyi was testifying in defence of her country, which is facing charges of genocide committed against the mainly-Muslim Rohingya minority group, brought by The Gambia, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. If war crimes have been committed, they will be prosecuted within our military justice system Myanmar State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi The de facto leader of Myanmar, who was placed under house arrest by the country’s then military rulers off and on over more than 20 years, is not on trial at the ICJ,…

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Human Rights 

Failure to register newborns leaves millions ‘invisible’ warns UN Children’s Fund

UNICEF reports that the births of one in four children under-five, or some 166 million children globally, have never been officially recorded.  Too many children are “slipping through the cracks,” said Henrietta Fore, the agency’s Executive Director: “A child not registered at birth is invisible – nonexistent in the eyes of the government or the law,” she explained.  “Without proof of identity, children are often excluded from education, health care and other vital services, and are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”  South Asia making ‘great strides’  The findings come in the new report, Birth…

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Human Rights 

Human Rights Day celebrates ‘tremendous activism’ of the world’s young people

They are the ones who are “bringing human rights to life”, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated in his message for the day.  “Globally, young people are marching, organizing, and speaking out: For the right to a healthy environment, for the equal rights of women and girls, to participate in decision-making, and to express their opinions freely”, he said.  “They are marching for their right to a future of peace, justice and equal opportunities.”   Human Rights Day commemorates the 10 December 1948 adoption by the UN General Assembly of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights,…

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Human Rights 

‘World has failed’ victims of genocide too often: Guterres

Marking the day at a round table event, Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Viotti spoke on behalf of the UN chief, saying that, genocide remains “a scourge…causing great suffering”.  “On this day we remember and pay tribute to the victims of the horrendous crime of genocide” she stated, encouraging all to reflect on what can be done to uphold the responsibilities set out in the Genocide Convention. She maintained that the devastating impact on the victims, communities and society as a whole “can take generations to overcome and heal”. “Acting…

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Human Rights 

Monday’s Daily Brief: increasing inequality, human rights and climate, civil war crimes, Ethiopia reforms

Inequality risks splitting society apart ‘on scale not seen since industrial revolution’ [embedded content] A new generation of inequalities risks splitting communities around the world on a scale not seen since the industrial revolution. That’s the message from the 2019 Human Development Report, produced by the UN Development Programme, UNDP. The report suggests that, although people worldwide have seen some progress in securing access to education, healthcare and technology, disparities are high, or increasing, between the so-called haves and have-nots. Taking the example of two 20-year-olds – the first from…

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Human Rights 

Corruption thwarts attempts to build a better world and ‘must be fought by all, for all’

“Corruption affects people in their daily lives”, said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in his statement for International Anti-Corruption Day, which is commemorated annually on 9 December. Mr. Fedotov maintained that corruption prevents accessing resources and opportunities, while eroding trust in public institutions and compromising the social contract. In doing so, “corruption thwarts our attempts at building a better world”, he stated. “To win the fight against corruption is to create the conditions necessary to effectively combat poverty and the inequalities that…

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Human Rights 

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Peacekeeping performance, Iranians’ rights, Syria, Australia, Haiti updates, Greta Thunberg at COP25

UN evaluates progress in improving peacekeeping performance The international community on Friday took stock of action to improve UN peacekeeping in line with a Security Council resolution aimed at enhancing performance at all levels, both at Headquarters in New York and in the field.  The UN welcomes opportunities to review its effectiveness, Secretary-General António Guterres told the meeting on Resolution 2436, adopted in September 2018. The UN chief recalled that his Action for Peacekeeping initiative renews collective commitment to excellence amid an increasingly dangerous landscape for ‘blue helmets’ and their civilian colleagues. For our full coverage, see here. Spike in Syria attacks on civilians Syrian civilians are…

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Human Rights 

UN agency hails Brazil ‘milestone’ decision over Venezuelan refugees

The decision by Brazil’s National Committee for Refugees (CONARE) on Thursday to accept asylum-seekers on a “prima facie basis”, gave immediate relief to around 21,000 Venezuelans, waiting for applications to be processed. From now on, they will no longer need to wait for an interview.  “This move constitutes a milestone in refugee protection in the region” said UNHCR, and it comes after the national committee decided to recognize the situation in Venezuela was causing “serious and generalized human rights violations” under the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees.  Oil-rich Venezuela has become…

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