Human Rights 

Recognize and protect rights of persons with disabilities, UN chief urges, marking International Day

“These rights touch on every aspect of life: the right to go to school, to live in one’s community, to access health care, to start a family, to engage in political participation, to be able to play sport, to travel – and to have decent work,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message.  When crises such as #COVID19 grip communities, people with disabilities are among the worst affected. Let’s commit to tackling together the obstacles, injustices & discrimination they experience. pic.twitter.com/EkqepdPDtI — António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 3, 2020 While…

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Human Rights 

Global agreement on migration ‘taking root’ despite pandemic challenge: Guterres 

“The Compact reflects a growing global understanding of the great benefits of human mobility. But it also recognizes that, if poorly managed, migration can generate huge challenges, from a tragic loss of life to rights abuses and social tensions”, said Secretary-General António Guterres, launching his biennial report on the Compact’s implementation.   While the coronavirus pandemic heightened challenges and negatively affected more than 2.7 million migrants, particularly women and girls, new practices have emerged to protect those on the move, added Mr. Guterres, in a video message to accompany the launch.  The Secretary-General…

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Human Rights 

World must not accept slavery in 21st century: Guterres

Slavery is not simply a matter of history. Today, more than 40 million people are still victims of contemporary slavery. I call on countries, civil society & the private sector to strengthen their efforts to end this abhorrent practice. https://t.co/2FtDcsbLd9 pic.twitter.com/4QyYgsv38b — António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 2, 2020 In a message, Secretary-General António Guterres said that global protests this year against systemic racism brought renewed attention to a “legacy of injustices all over the world whose roots lie in the dark history of colonialism and slavery.”  “But slavery is not…

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Human Rights 

Deep worry over ‘grim realities’ endured by Palestinians

“Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the already dire humanitarian and socio-economic situation” Secretary-General António Guterres said at the meeting online marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which was on Sunday.   While noting that Israel’s suspension of West Bank annexation plans has removed a critical threat to peace and regional stability, he indicated that the expansion of settlement planning and construction continues.  Moreover, demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned structures by Israeli authorities across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have reached the highest documented rate in four years.    “Such actions are contrary to international law and undermine the prospects for…

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Human Rights 

FROM THE FIELD: Trafficked teenager advocates for women’s rights in Central America

Maxwell Matewere, a Malawian crime prevention expert with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has been active in the anti-human trafficking field for more than two decades. Today, he trains officials throughout Malawi to prevent and combat this crime: this year alone, despite COVID-19 restrictions, his work has led to the rescue of around three hundred human trafficking victims and 31 arrests.   Follow and like us:

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Human Rights 

UN chief calls for greater inclusion of persons with disabilities

The UN chief was addressing countries that are party to the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which he stressed can only be fully implemented by tackling the obstacles, injustices and discrimination that this population experiences.  “Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is crucial to fulfilling the core promise of the 2030 Agenda: to leave no one behind,” he said, referring to the global action plan to bring about a more just and sustainable world.  “In all our actions, our goal is clear: a world in…

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Human Rights 

The pandemic is fuelling slavery and sexual exploitation, UN experts warn

There was a direct link between the pandemic, socio-economic vulnerability and the risk of exploitation, they said. Exploitation could mean forced labour, including the worst forms of child labour, or being sold, trafficked and sexually exploited.  Governments and businesses should recognise how the loss of jobs, income or land could put vulnerable groups at greater risk, such as people already facing discrimination on grounds of sex, race, age, disability, religion, nationality and economic status, and people without basic services such as sanitation and education. Joint statement by over 50 mandate…

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Human Rights 

First Person: ‘people with disabilities are the greatest untapped resource on the planet’

I’ve been legally blind since elementary school, and lost all functional vision by my early thirties. My mother didn’t want me to go to a school for the blind, and was determined to keep me in the public school system: I used the low-vision technologies available at the time, as well as learning how to walk with a cane and read braille. I describe losing my sight as an inconvenience, nothing more! I’m married, I’m a father to three children, I’ve competed in martial arts, I ski, climb mountains and…

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Human Rights 

UN Committee urges end to impunity for enforced disappearances in Iraq

In issuing its findings, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances – a group of 10 independent experts that monitors States’ adherence to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance – also noted that revictimization prevails in these cases. The Committee called on Iraq to incorporate the offence of enforced disappearance into its domestic criminal legislation and to ensure that no person is held in secret detention. Legislation Delays To be sure, the Committee also welcomed that Iraq set up two fact-finding committees, in 2016 and 2018, to address…

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Human Rights 

UN rights experts condemn retaliatory arrests of activists in Egypt

The human rights activists, from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), were arrested “within days” of a meeting with 13 foreign ambassadors and diplomats on 3 November, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR). They face terrorism and public security charges.  “It is absolutely abhorrent to retaliate against human rights defenders from one of Egypt’s last functioning human rights NGOs, simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression by discussing Egypt’s human rights situation,” the UN experts said in a statement on Friday.  “These arrests underline the…

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