Portrait of Tahere Siisiialafia

Tahere Siisiialafia has been “invested in human rights” since she was a child. She has been actively partaking in community activities, as well as conducting empowerment classes for children and junior young people in her community. Today, at age 31, she is president of the Pacific Youth Council, an organisation which works to foster and promote the interests and needs of young people in the Pacific. OHCHR spoke to Tahere about the human rights issues in the region, why young peoples’ voices are so critical, and her vision for a better future for youth.

Illustration of people: two women holding hands, two people talking and holding a rainbow flag, one person walking alone.

Every human being deserves the freedom to simply be themselves, without facing violence and discrimination. Join IOM and OHCHR to create a future free from prejudice for migrants with Free and Equal.

Beach full of trash

Water is the lifeblood of all life on Earth. And yet, over 2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water. Over 4 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation. Water shortages now affect more than 3 billion people. Three quarters of all the natural disasters are water-related, including floods, landslides, and other extreme weather events. A recent OHCHR report describes the global water crisis, focusing on the negative impacts of water pollution, water scarcity and water-related disasters on the enjoyment of several human rights.

Youth should be a time for discoveries, growth and dreams of future adventures. But it’s hard to dream about and strive for a bright future without the safety of a place to call home.

A hand holds a beaker against a periodic chart of elements.

Scientific discoveries and advances must be shared, according to the Declaration in favour of “open science”, science that is unhindered by barriers and frontiers, which was made jointly on 27 October by UNESCO, WHO and OHCHR. The COVID-19 epidemic demonstrates the urgent need to strengthen scientific cooperation and to guarantee the fundamental right of universal access to scientific progress and its applications. The open science movement aims to make science more accessible, more transparent and ultimately more effective.

A woman with down syndrome speaks while holding a microphone.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will meet virtually from 17 August to 4 September 2020. The Committee is a body of 18 independent experts which monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The agenda includes updates on reports received from the parties to the Convention. The Committee will discuss how to strengthen cooperation between United Nations bodies and other stakeholders, including organizations of persons with disabilities, in order to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

Statue of three kids sitting down looking down at their mobile phones.

OHCHR reports on human rights-centred recommendations, by a coalition of 50 cities worldwide, to guide leaders as they use digital technology in response to crises such as COVID 19.

The UN Human Rights Office researches, examines and provides visibility to the violence and discrimination experienced every day by gays, lesbian, bisexual, trans and other gender diverse persons around the wor

Men sitting on the sidewalk in Liberia.

The United Nations calls on countries to adopt a more cooperative, global and human rights-based approach to the pandemic, which Secretary-General António Guterres has called “a human crisis”. UN human rights officials stress the importance of protecting the rights of people. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for urgent and detailed action to prevent COVID-19 from creating “even wider inequalities” amid extensive suffering. OHCHR will works to integrate human rights into the UN’s economic and social programs.