Belarus: “No changes in dismal human rights situation since presidential election” – UN expert warns
Published Feb 9, 2016 - 9:40:00 AM
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, today warned that opposition leaders, human rights activists, journalists, and many other citizens have been subjected to harassment, administrative procedures and fines since the October presidential election.
El Niño, Drought Blamed As Severe Food Insecurity Doubles In 6 Months In Haiti
Published Feb 9, 2016 - 9:38:40 AM
Haiti’s third consecutive year of drought, exacerbated by the global El Niño weather phenomenon, has driven people deeper into poverty and hunger, and doubled the severely food-insecure population, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today.
Upholding women’s reproductive rights essential to Zika response – UN rights chief
Published Feb 7, 2016 - 9:27:02 AM
Upholding women’s human rights is essential if the response to the Zika health emergency is to be effective, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said today, following the advice to women by some governments to delay getting pregnant due to the possible link between the virus and neurological disorders affecting newborns.
Senior UN officials urge elimination of ‘violent practice’ of female genital mutilation by 2030
Published Feb 6, 2016 - 8:48:45 PM
The most senior United Nations officials are urging the world to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, calling it a “violent practice” that scars girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their rights, and denying them the chance to reach their full potential.
Doctors Without Borders: There’s still time to stop the TPP from cutting off the critical lifeline of affordable generic medicines
Published Feb 3, 2016 - 11:41:23 AM
As representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific-Rim countries gather in New Zealand Thursday to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, the fight to protect access to medicines in TPP countries is intensifying at the national level, with legislative processes starting that will determine if the deal is finally ratified and implemented. The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling on the more than 800 million people living in TPP countries to urge their governments to reject the deal unless harmful provisions that lock in high drug prices are removed.
UN expert urges Pacific Rim countries not to sign the TPP without committing to human rights and development
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 8:51:03 AM
United Nations human rights expert Alfred de Zayas called on Governments not to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without reaffirming their human rights treaty obligations and their recent pledges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Zika virus takes hold in Colombia
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 11:54:59 AM
Since being infected with the Zika virus a month ago, Wendy Johana Castillo has been experiencing pain all over her body, a recurring fever and a skin rash. But the 23-year-old Colombian is more concerned about her unborn baby.
International community fails West Africa yet again, as pledged Ebola recovery funds prove hard to trace
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 9:42:11 AM
Global leaders are failing to honour their promises to communities devastated by Ebola in West Africa, with $5.8 billion of pledged recovery funds proving almost impossible to track, Oxfam warned today.
Luxembourg: Serious gaps exposed in banking regulations to stem reckless arms trade that fuels atrocities
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 7:07:33 AM
Inadequate and incomplete regulations and policies on financing the arms sector mean there is little to stop banks from financing and investing in the production and transfer of internationally banned weapons or arms used to commit serious human rights violations, according to an Amnesty International Luxembourg report launched today.
Urgent action is needed to stop Zika virus disease, warns IFRC
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 10:56:32 AM
Urgent action is needed to contain the Zika virus disease that is now present in 21 countries and territories in the Americas, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned today.
Libya conflict lingers leaving nearly 2 million in need of health care
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 8:53:29 AM
As Libya’s yearlong peace talks aimed at establishing a unity government stall again, the lives of millions of people needing urgent health care linger in the balance. WHO and health partners require a total of US$ 50 million in 2016 to meet the urgent life-saving needs of nearly 2 million people.
WHO statement on Zika virus
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 8:50:50 AM
WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, will convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations.
Doomsday Clock hands remain unchanged, despite Iran deal and Paris talks
Published Jan 27, 2016 - 5:54:30 PM
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board announced today that the minute hand of its closely watched Doomsday Clock will remain at three minutes to midnight, since recent progress in the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord “constitute only small bright spots in a darker world situation full of potential for catastrophe.”
Corruption Perceptions Index 2015: Corruption still rife but 2015 saw pockets of hope
Published Jan 27, 2016 - 5:46:10 PM
2015 showed that people working together can succeed in the battle against corruption. Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the 2015 edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index than declined.
World Report 2016: ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Human Rights
Published Jan 27, 2016 - 5:24:05 PM
The politics of fear led governments around the globe to roll back human rights during 2015.
In the 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of refugees spawned by repression and conflict led many governments to curtail rights in misguided efforts to protect their security. At the same time, authoritarian governments throughout the world, fearful of peaceful dissent that is often magnified by social media, embarked on the most intense crackdown on independent groups in recent times.
World Meteorological Organization: 2015 is hottest year on record
Published Jan 26, 2016 - 9:32:52 AM
The global average surface temperature in 2015 broke all previous records by a strikingly wide margin, at 0.76±0.1° Celsius above the 1961-1990 average. For the first time on record, temperatures in 2015 were about 1°C above the pre-industrial era, according to a consolidated analysis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Canada: Environmental groups urge the NEB to reject Kinder Morgan pipeline
Published Jan 25, 2016 - 10:41:49 AM
The National Energy Board (NEB) must reject Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project because of gaps and deficiencies found in its application, environmental groups say.
Yemen: Health facilities under attack
Published Jan 25, 2016 - 9:35:29 AM
The conflict in Yemen is being waged with total disregard for the rules of war, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) declared today, following the latest attack on one of its health facilities.
Record warm years almost certainly due to human-made climate change
Published Jan 25, 2016 - 8:58:12 AM
Recent record warm years are with extremely high likelihood caused by human-made climate change. Without greenhouse-gas emissions from burning coal and oil, the odds are vanishingly small that 13 out of the 15 warmest years ever measured would all have happened in the current, still young century. These odds are between 1 in 5000 and 1 in 170.000, a new study by an international team of scientists now shows. Including the data for 2015, which came in after the study was completed, makes the odds even slimmer.
UN experts urge Pakistan to halt forced evictions and demolitions for new metro line in Lahore
Published Jan 22, 2016 - 12:45:33 PM
Two United Nations experts today called on the Government of Pakistan to halt the ongoing construction work of the Orange metro line in Lahore, which has resulted in numerous forced evictions and threatens a large number of protected heritage sites and historic buildings.
In appeal to end suffering in Syria, UN agencies and 120 humanitarian organizations call for action now
Published Jan 22, 2016 - 12:18:18 PM
Outlining a series of immediate, practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria, more than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal today urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis.
UN chief calls on Israel to change policy after reported take-over of West Bank land
Published Jan 22, 2016 - 11:27:09 AM
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for “substantial policy changes on the ground” by Israel, voicing deep concern at reports that the Government has declared of 370 acres in the occupied West Bank south of Jericho as so-called “state land.”
Exposed: Child labour in DRC behind smart phone and electric car batteries
Published Jan 22, 2016 - 11:25:15 AM
Major electronics brands, including Apple, Samsung and Sony, are failing to do basic checks to ensure that cobalt mined by child labourers has not been used in their products, said Amnesty International and Afrewatch in a report published today.
Factbox: Trump seen from Davos: 'unbelievable', 'embarrassing' but candor 'hit a vein'
Full story: Reuters
62 people own the same as half the world, reveals Oxfam Davos report
Published Jan 19, 2016 - 12:18:45 PM
The Oxfam report An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 41 percent. This has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile, the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. The report also shows how women are disproportionately affected by inequality – of the current ‘62’, 53 are men and just nine are women.
UN announces that Peru will compensate woman in historic human rights abortion case
Published Jan 19, 2016 - 6:47:17 AM
Nearly a decade after the UN Human Rights Committee agreed that a Peruvian woman’s rights were violated for having been denied an abortion – and recommended that the Government compensate her – the UN human rights office announced today that Peru has said it will pay compensation for having refused her access to a legal medical procedure.
Growing Concern About El Nino’s Impact On Southern Africa As Planting Window Closes
Published Jan 18, 2016 - 9:58:35 AM
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is increasingly concerned about food security in southern Africa where an estimated 14 million people are facing hunger following prolonged dry spells that led to a poor harvest last year.
Counter-terrorism measures threaten money sent home by Somali diaspora, UN rights experts warn
Published Jan 18, 2016 - 9:57:49 AM
The vital flow of remittances from diaspora countries into Somalia is under threat as a result of necessary, but inadequately thought-through counter-terrorism measures. United Nations human rights experts have warned that the measures risk severely affecting the human rights of the people of Somalia, and have urged the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Somalia to ensure that such remittances continue to flow.
New Ebola Case in Sierra Leone; WHO continues to stress risk of more flare-ups
Published Jan 15, 2016 - 9:51:07 AM
A new case of Ebola has been confirmed in Sierra Leone, reflecting the ongoing risk of new flare-ups of the virus in affected countries.
FAO presents $50 million emergency plan as Ethiopia faces worst drought in 30 years
Published Jan 15, 2016 - 9:40:20 AM
The strongest El Niño weather episode in the last several decades has caused repeated crop failure, decimated livestock herds and driven some 10.2 million people across Ethiopia into food insecurity, FAO said today, as it presented its emergency response plan to urgently protect livestock and rebuild crop production in the Horn of Africa nation.