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Posted inWorld

Failure to adhere to commitments to re-open schools for all girls deeply disappointing and damaging for Afghanistan, Bachelet warns

I share the profound frustration and disappointment of Afghan high school girls and women, who after six months of anticipation were prevented from returning to school today. The de facto authorities’ failure to adhere to commitments to reopen schools for girls above the sixth grade – in spite of repeated commitments towards girls’ education, including […]

Posted inWorld

Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: 49th Session of the Human Rights Council (VIDEO)

Distinguished President, Excellencies, Colleagues and friends, The United Nations, and this Council, stand for the human rights of the world’s peoples: their rights to participate in decisions, to voice their views, and to live in dignity, free from fear and want. We stand for peace and for the right to development: development that is sustainable, […]

Posted inWorld

UN Human Rights Chief urges an immediate halt to the Russian Federation’s military action against Ukraine

GENEVA (24 February 2022) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said she was deeply alarmed about the Russian Federation’s military attack against Ukraine. “Civilians in various parts of Ukraine were awoken by sounds of heavy bombardment and are terrified of further escalation, with many fleeing their homes,” Bachelet said. “This […]

Posted inUS

Evictions of indigenous Nooksack must stop – UN experts

GENEVA, February 2021 – UN human rights experts* today called on the United States of America to halt the planned and imminent forced evictions of 63 people who self-identify as belonging to the Nooksack indigenous tribe in northern Washington State. Twenty-one families face eviction from their homes by the Nooksack Tribal Council, which earlier took […]

Posted inWorld

Memory, dignity and justice – Bachelet on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today we commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, a crime of shocking inhumanity that brutally murdered six million Jews, as well as Roma and Sinti people, Slavs, people with disabilities, LGBT people, prisoners of war and members of anti-Nazi networks from all over Europe. The UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were […]

Posted inWorld

Kazakhstan unrest: Bachelet urges peaceful resolution of grievances

GENEVA (6 January 2022) – Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances. A police spokesperson in the main city, Almaty, said that security forces […]

Posted inWorld

Mexico: 95,000 disappeared persons and 52,000 unidentified bodies

GENEVA, September 29, 2021 – The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) expressed serious concerns over the gravity of the situation of enforced disappearance in Mexico. As of 26 November 2021, the last day of CED visit to Mexico, 95,000 people were officially registered as disappeared in Mexico. Out of these, more than 100 disappearances […]

Posted inUS

USA: ‘New deal’ needed to end hate, exclusion, discrimination against minorities, says UN expert

GENEVA (22 November 2021) – A UN human rights expert today urged the United States of America to overhaul legislation to prevent increasing exclusion, discrimination and hate speech and crimes against minorities, saying the legal landscape for the protection of human rights is far from comprehensive or even at times coherent. “What you have now […]

Posted inLife

World Contraception Day, September 26, 2021

GENEVA (23 September 2021) – Under international human rights law, States must ensure sexual and reproductive health services, including modern forms of contraception, and information and education on family planning. Ahead of the World Contraception Day on 26 September, the experts* issued the following statement: “Access to family planning and contraception services, free of coercion […]

Posted inWorld

Afghanistan: Journalists at risk of persecution need urgent protection – UN experts

A group of UN human rights experts* today called on all States to provide urgent protection to Afghan journalists and media workers who fear for their lives and are seeking safety abroad. “Journalists and media workers, in particular women, are facing heightened risks since the Taliban’s political takeover of Afghanistan,” the experts said. “All governments must take […]

Posted inWorld

Afghanistan: UN expert warns of “cultural disaster”, urges visas for the vulnerable

GENEVA (17 August 2021) – A UN human rights expert today warned of a “cultural disaster” in Afghanistan after Kabul fell to Taliban forces, and urged States to provide urgent assistance to human rights defenders, including those working on women’s and cultural rights, as well as artists, trying to flee the country. “It is deplorable […]

Posted inWorld

UN experts condemn raid on West Bank NGO, urge Israel meaningfully probe child deaths

GENEVA, August 13, 2021 – UN human rights experts* have called on the Government of Israel to immediately return confidential documents and office equipment that its military seized from the offices of Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) in Al-Bireh, in the occupied West Bank. “We are deeply concerned by the Israeli military’s interference with the […]

Posted inWorld

Brazil: UN experts deplore attacks by illegal miners on indigenous peoples; alarmed by mercury levels

GENEVA (2 June 2021) – UN human rights experts* today expressed concerns about a series of attacks, resulting in the deaths of at least two children, by illegal miners in the Munduruku and Yanomami indigenous lands, and called on the Brazilian authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible. Miners are intensifying attacks that threaten and […]

Posted inWorld

Occupied Palestinian Territory: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet addresses UN Human Rights Council Special Session

Madam President, Appalling events in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territory have once again called this Council into Special Session. We have recently witnessed the most significant escalation in hostilities since 2014. According to figures verified by my Office, 242 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli Security Forces (the ISF) in strikes on Gaza, including […]

Posted inWorld

Intensifying widespread, systematic slaughter by Myanmar military must be halted – Bachelet

GENEVA (13 April 2021) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday urged States to take immediate, decisive and impactful measures to push Myanmar’s military leadership into halting its campaign of repression and slaughter of its people. “We have witnessed yet another weekend of coordinated bloodshed in many parts of the country, […]

Posted inUS

“Systemic racism needs a systemic response”, says UN Human Rights Chief Bachelet on meeting about police violence

Distinguished Vice-President,Excellencies,Colleagues,Friends, Thank you for this opportunity to discuss our work to implement Resolution 43/1, which mandates us to look at systemic racism and human rights violations by law enforcement agencies against Africans and people of African descent, to contribute to accountability and redress for victims. In implementing this mandate, broad consultations have been held […]

Posted inWorld

Tsunami of hate and xenophobia targeting minorities must be tackled, says UN expert

GENEVA, March 15, 2021 – Social media have become platforms for the spread of hate, prejudice and incitement to violence and atrocities against minorities, a UN expert told the Human Rights Council today, calling for an international treaty to address the growing scourge of hate speech against minorities.  “Today’s digital context means minorities are too […]

Posted inWorld

Governments’ commitment to torture ban lacks credibility worldwide: UN expert

GENEVA (8 March 2021) – A UN expert said today governments worldwide lacked credible commitment to the absolute and universal prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and most are defensive, dismissive or evasive over allegations of such abuse. “While the reactions of governments to allegations and requests transmitted to them range from complete silence to aggressive […]

Posted inWorld

States must find political will to prevent murders of human rights defenders: UN expert

GENEVA (5 March 2021) – UN expert Mary Lawlor* said today hundreds of human rights defenders are killed for their peaceful work every year, and States must find the political will to protect them and prevent the killings. “It is shocking that between 2015 and 2019, at least 1,323 defenders were killed in 64 countries,” […]

Posted inWorld

Debt crises: UN expert faults credit rating agencies, urges reform

GENEVA (3 March 2021) – A UN human rights expert today called for urgent reforms to the international debt architecture, saying the ‘big three’ credit rating agencies had excessive influence over lending decisions, and conditions and interest rates of sovereign debts. In her first report to the Human Rights Council, the UN Independent Expert on […]