Human Rights 

Thursday’s Daily Brief: impact of bad working conditions, Syria and Libya humanitarian news, human rights in Bahrain, families reunified in South Sudan

Stress, overtime, disease, contribute to 2.8 million workers’ deaths per year, reports UN labour agency Stress, excessively-long working hours and disease, contribute to the deaths of nearly 2.8 million workers every year, while an additional 374 million people get injured or fall ill because of their jobs, the UN labour agency, ILO, said on Thursday. In a new report underlining ILO’s message that no paid work should threaten your wellbeing, your safety or your life, the agency identifies several new or existing occupational risks of growing concern, that affect women…

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Human Rights 

Progress against torture in Afghan detention centres, but Government needs to do more, says UN report

Based on interviews with more than 600 detainees and published jointly by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), their latest report on the treatment of prisoners in 77 facilities in 28 out of 34 provinces indicates that an average of nearly one in three, provided “credible and reliable” accounts of suffering.  In the previous reporting period, covering 2015 and 2016, the ratio was closer to four in 10.  Beatings represented the most common form of torture and ill-treatment, according to the data,…

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Human Rights 

Nicaragua crisis: One year in, more than 60,000 have fled, seeking refuge

Echoing concerns from the UN’s human rights office, OHCHR, and others about the deteriorating situation in the Central American country, UNHCR said that families with young children are now taking extreme measures to cross the border. “The kinds of reasons that people have been giving for fleeing are the fear of losing their lives, being attacked or kidnapped by paramilitary groups,” spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell told journalists in Geneva. According to OHCHR, hundreds of activists have been arrested in Nicaragua in recent months in protests, while some 300 people reportedly died…

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Human Rights 

Friday’s Daily Brief: human rights in Sudan, sombre anniversaries for Rwanda and Nigeria, and fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya

Sudan military committed to ‘ensuring stability’ and ‘peaceful transition’ says senior diplomat, as UN rights chief appeals for protesters’ rights to be upheld Sudan’s military has an “overarching duty” to refrain from using violence against protesters and ensure that their human rights are protected amid concerns of a further escalation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Friday. Her comments followed the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, announced on State television on Thursday, accompanied by the declaration from the defence minister, that a military council would govern…

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Human Rights 

From ‘dead on the inside’ to ‘truly alive’: Survivor of genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda recounts her story as UN marks 25th anniversary

“Most of the survivors we have today were broken in their bodies and their souls”, Esther Mujawayo-Keiner told those gathered in the General Assembly Hall, to reflect on what UN chief António Guterres referred to as “one of the darkest chapters in recent human history”, which overwhelmingly targeted Tutsi, but also moderate Hutu and others who opposed the genocide. Esther Mujawayo-Keiner, survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, shares her story during the International Day of Reflection, 2019, by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe She recounted how the genocide…

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Human Rights 

UN experts warn Assange arrest exposes him to risk of serious human rights violations

Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions, Agnes Callamard, tweeted that in “expelling Assange from the Embassy” and allowing his arrest, it had taken Mr. Assange “one step closer to extradition”. She added that the UK had now arbitrarily-detained the controversial anti-secrecy journalist and campaigner, “possibly endangering his life”. Mr. Assange took refuge inside the embassy in 2012, to avoid extradition to Sweden by the UK authorities where he faced charges, since dropped, of sexual assault. But he also faces US federal conspiracy charges, relating to the leak of a vast number…

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Human Rights 

‘Still time’ to stop a ‘bloody battle’ for Libya’s capital, insists Guterres

The offensive directed towards the capital, and troops loyal to the internationally-recognized Government led by Faiez Serraj, began on Monday. UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric briefed reporters earlier in the day that clashes were “reportedly intensifying, with increased use of artillery and airstrikes”.  After briefing the Security Council, I reiterated my strong appeal for the fighting in Libya to stop immediately. There is no military solution. I believe there is an urgent need to return to a serious political process. https://t.co/jy9HANLKTS pic.twitter.com/swJwEsdObM — António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 10, 2019 The self-styled Libyan National Army…

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Human Rights 

Mexico cannot move forward ‘without addressing the shadows of the past’, says UN rights chief

Recalling enforced disappearances, clandestine graves, tortured detainees and other human rights violations, Michelle Bachelet said in a statement she delivered in the capital, Mexico City, that she was heartened the new Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, had committed as a “State responsibility” to “search for the disappeared and establish truth and justice for the families and victims”. “My Office will be an ally that will not hesitate to assist in the investigations”, she affirmed. “We will acknowledge when authorities fulfil their commitments to the families of the victims,…

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Human Rights 

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

The ILO was born out of the rubble of the First World War, as the victors met to draw up the Treaty of Versailles, where they affirmed the need for social justice in the service of a “universal and lasting peace”. The UN chief painted a picture of a time of upheaval, when newly-emboldened labour unions in many parts of the world, demanded fair treatment, dignity at work, adequate wages and an eight-hour working day. It is an honour to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the @ilo, the first specialized…

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Human Rights 

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), made the announcement after condemning Monday’s attack by the self-styled Libyan National Army’s (LNA) aircraft against Meitiga airport, Tripoli’s only functioning terminal that is available for civilian use. The conference was hoping to reach agreement among the various political factions after months of UN-led discussions at a local level nationwide, towards democratic elections which would unify the country and lead to way to economic recovery. The development follows concerns voiced by the…

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