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
Pacific 

Unity in Security Council essential, in face of Taliban rights violations against women and girls

Addressing a private meeting of the Council, Roza Otunbayeva reiterated to ambassadors that Taliban decisions including the ban on girls attending high school, preventing women from going to university, and barring them from doing humanitarian work, are all “grave violations of fundamental rights”, according to UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric. He told reporters at the noon briefing in New York that the… Read More
Pacific 

Iran: UN rights chief Türk warns against further ‘State-sanctioned killing’

Volker Türk’s allegation that criminal proceedings and the death penalty had been weaponized to stamp out dissent, follows the execution in the last months of four people involved in nationwide protests, that were sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, in September. “The weaponization of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic rights – such as those… Read More