Pacific 

Myanmar mired ever deeper in crisis as human rights spiral backwards, warns Türk

“By nearly every feasible measurement, and in every area of human rights – economic, social and cultural, as much as civil and political – Myanmar has profoundly regressed,” he said. “Despite clear legal obligations for the military to protect civilians in the conduct of hostilities, there has been consistent disregard for the related rules of international law”, the head of… Read More
Pacific 

UN deputy chief reminds Taliban: Islam does not ban women from education 

Traveling with UN Women chief Sima Bahous, and other senior officials, she told journalists on Thursday that she had informed Taliban leaders that a society based on exclusion and repression could never flourish.  The first goal of the visit focused on “solidarity and the importance of women’s rights…with a view to education, secondary and tertiary”.   ‘Double jeopardy’  The deputy UN… Read More
Pacific 

Candlenuts, chilli and chickens: Transforming Indonesia’s rural economy

Wilfridus Ngala, the mayor of Inegena, a village nestled amidst the central hills of Ngada district, on Flores Island, had a vision – to turn his community of 1,100 people, most of them subsistence farmers, into an agricultural powerhouse with its own food processing industry and exports. Mayor Ngala’s idea might sound far-fetched but, a year after Inegena was chosen… Read More
Pacific 

Afghanistan: Top UN delegation tells Taliban to end confinement, deprivation, abuse of women’s rights

Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, the Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, and the Assistant Secretary-General for UN political, peacebuilding and peace operations, Khaled Khiari, spend four days on a fact-finding mission in Afghanistan, to engage with Taliban leaders, and “underscore UN solidarity with the Afghan people”, according to a press release issued to correspondents on Friday.  Call to reverse course In… Read More
Pacific 

Afghan girls and women made focus of International Education Day: UNESCO

The agency announced on Thursday that it was dedicating the International Day of Education on 24 January, to the country’s women and girls.  “No country in the world should bar women and girls from receiving an education. Education is a universal human right that must be respected,” said Director-General Audrey Azoulay.   “The international community has the responsibility to ensure… Read More
Pacific 

Sri Lanka must ensure compensation for victims of 2019 terrorist attacks

Last week, the Supreme Court ordered the former President and three other senior officials to compensate the families of the victims because they had failed to prevent the tragedy.  More than 270 people were killed in the series of explosions at churches and hotels across the island nation.  A step forward  OHCHR urged Sri Lanka to provide full reparations to… Read More
Pacific 

Steep increase in deadly boat journeys reflects Rohingyas’ desperation: UNHCR

More than 3,500 desperate Rohingya attempted deadly sea crossings in 39 boats in 2022 – mainly from Myanmar and Bangladesh – UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo told journalists in Geneva. “This represents a 360 per cent increase on the year before, when some 700 people made these journeys.” The UN agency’s latest warning about the situation comes amid an ongoing military… Read More
Pacific 

Pakistan still an ‘ongoing nightmare’ for millions of children, following major flooding

While “the rains have ended…to a great degree, so has media attention,” UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, Abdullah Fadil, told reporters in Geneva adding that, with homes destroyed, children are facing a “bitter winter, without decent shelter”. Deadly floods hit Pakistan last summer, and have now only partly receded. 33 million people were affected in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, in what… Read More
Pacific 

Pakistan: rights experts urge action on coerced religious conversions, child marriage

In their appeal to the authorities to stop the alleged abuse, the experts warned that teenagers had been “kidnapped from their families, trafficked … far from their homes (and) made to marry men sometimes twice their age”. The rights experts – who report to the Human Rights Council – cited reports suggesting the involvement of religious authorities and the complicity… Read More
Pacific 

Indonesia: President’s apology for past rights violations a ‘step on the long road to justice’

President Joko Widodo reportedly acknowledged “gross human rights violations” during his country’s past, and expressed regret for a dozen past incidents, stretching back more than 50 years. These included the 1965-1966 anti-Communist crackdown, the 1982-1985 protester shootings, enforced disappearances in 1997 and 1998, and the Wamena Incident in Papua in 2003. “I strongly regret that those violations occurred”, he said… Read More