News by topic: Human Rights


A decade on, UN urges all Governments to endorse convention on enforced disappearance

17 February – Marking the tenth anniversary of an historic treaty to keep people from suffering enforced disappearance or secret detentions, the United Nations today urged all Governments that have not done so to ratify it, as the world body honoured victims separated from their loved ones.


Atrocities will end in South Sudan only when perpetrators 'face consequences' – UN rights official

17 February – A senior United Nations human rights official today called for holding accountable those committing atrocity crimes in conflict-torn South Sudan.


New UN report reveals obstacles to combat impunity for conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine

16 February – Lack of laws, capacity and professional experience to effectively investigate and prosecute conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine is not only resulting in widespread impunity, it is causing survivors of sexual violence to be "victimized twice", according to a new United Nations human rights report.


In a period of 'profound uncertainty,' stand up for human rights, urges UN rights chief in global appeal

15 February – Urging action for greater freedoms, stronger respect and more compassion, the United Nations human rights arm today launched a $253 million appeal – its largest to date – to bolster its 2017 work programme to protect and advance the rights of people around the world.


Reported killings in DR Congo town could amount to serious rights violations - UN rights arm

14 February – At least 101 people are reported to have been killed by soldiers in clashes between military forces and members of the Kamuina Nsapu militia in central Democratic Republic of the Congo over the last five days, the United Nations human rights wing has said.


UN rights expert urges Thailand to loosen restrictions around monarchy defamation law

7 February – As a student activist awaits trial in detention for posting a news article about the new monarchy on social media, an independent United Nations expert today called on Thai authorities to stop using royal defamation laws to stifle free speech.


Burundi: Measures being used to ‘criminalize’ work of human rights defenders, warn UN experts

6 February – Speaking out against a ban and provisional suspension of a number of civil society organizations in Burundi, United Nations rights experts warned today of growing repression of human rights defenders and groups amid the already difficult environment in which they.


UN renews call for protection of Afghan civilians, after casualty figures spike in 2016

6 February – Attacks in Afghanistan by the Taliban, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and pro-Government troops killed or injured more children and other civilians in 2016 than at any other time since the United Nations began keeping records, it was announced today.


Violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state could amount to crimes against humanity – UN special adviser

6 February – The scale of violence against the Rohingya community in Myanmar's Rakhine state documented in a recent United Nations human rights report is a level of dehumanization and cruelty that is “revolting and unacceptable,” the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide said today, underlining the Government's responsibility to ensure that populations are protected.


Civilians face ‘dire’ situation amid ongoing hostilities in eastern Ukraine, UN warns

3 February – An immediate pause in fighting is needed in Ukraine to prevent more people dying and repair essential services, the United Nations human rights office said today following another night of shelling in the east of the country.