Tag Archives: human rights

UN child rights experts issue findings on Nauru, Sierra Leone, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Suriname

GENEVA (7 October 2016) – The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has published its findings on the following countries which it examined during its latest session from 13 to 30 September in Geneva: Nauru, Sierra Leone, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Suriname.

The findings cover how the respective State is doing with regard to children’s rights, detailing positive developments, main areas of concern, and recommendations for action.  The findings, officially known as concluding observations, can be found here

Human Rights Defenders: UN Special Rapporteur to Probe their current situation in Australia

GENEVA / CANBERRA (30 September 2016) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Michel Forst will visit Australia from 4 to 18 October 2016 to assess the overall environment for human rights defenders and civil society in the country.

“Experience has taught us that human rights defenders are critical to sustaining a democratic society and strengthening the rule of law,” the expert said. “The visit is a fertile opportunity for me to consult the vibrant Australian civil society about their situation and to have a focused dialogue with the Government on ways and means to support the important work of rights defenders in the country.”

The independent expert, with the global mandate from the UN Human Rights Council to assess the promotion and protection of defenders, will gather first-hand evidence on potential challenges facing civil society organisations in Australia and explore possible actions that can help enable the environment for human rights defenders.

“I look forward to the dialogue with the Government and civil society organisations to identify concrete ways of empowering human rights defenders and supporting their vital and legitimate work,” Mr. Forst said.

During the two-week visit, at the invitation of the Australian Government, the Special Rapporteur will meet with both federal and state level officials, parliamentarians, various rights commissioners and ombudsman, as well as human rights defenders and a broad range of civil society representatives from various parts of the country.

The rights expert will visit Melbourne (3-4 Oct), Sydney (5-6 Oct), Hobart (7-9 Oct), Brisbane (12-13 Oct), Darwin (14-15 Oct) and Canberra (10-11 Oct and 16-18 Oct).

The Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a press conference on Tuesday, 18 October 2016, at 11.30 am, at the

UN Information Centre, Level 1, 7 National Circuit, Barton, ACT 2600 Australia.

Access to the press conference is limited to journalists. 

The Special Rapporteur’s final report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in a future session.

Race-baiting Bigots Must Be Confronted, Zeid Tells UN Summit

HC_migrant_summit

NEW YORK / GENEVA (19 September 2016)In many countries, defenders of moral values are being outflanked by race-baiting bigots, who seek to gain power by wielding prejudice and deceit at the expense of the most vulnerable, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told Monday’s UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York.

Full text of speech:
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Distinguished presidents,  Secretary-General,  Excellencies, This should not be a comfortable summit. While the leadership of the Secretary-General, and his fine report, should be acknowledged by all – as well as the admirable efforts by Ireland and Jordan to achieve political consensus – this summit cannot be reduced to speeches and feel-good interviews, a dash of self-congratulation and we move on.

Regional Representative for the Office of the High Commissioner Visits Canberra

On the 14 September the Regional Representative for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Dr Chitra Massey traveled to Canberra at the beginning of her mission to Australia.
 
During her visit to the Capital UNIC Canberra arranged a diplomatic briefing during which Dr Massey spoke about human rights challenges across the Pacific. 
 
She spoke about a recent visit to the Nauru detention centre in mid-August, describing the negative effects of incarceration on the detainees, particularly on children. Asked to elaborate further, she said her office had noted cases of rape, robbing and brutality in the centre and the systemic self- harming practices including by children as young as six.
For the Regional Representatives audio interview on Nauru please go to: http://bit.ly/2cy1KN5

Zeid sheds light on preventable calamities and worrying human rights trends around the world in speech to UN Human Rights Council

In a wide-ranging opening speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein sheds a light on “preventable calamities” and worrying trends in human rights around the world, including detailed concerns about the situation in more than 50 countries. Continue reading

UNOG: “A deadly undertaking” – UN experts urge all governments to protect Environmental Rights defenders

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, John Knox; the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, Victoria Tauli Corpuz, stress that protecting environmental rights defenders is crucial to protect the environment and the human rights that depend on it.

“Being an environmentalist can be a dangerous, even deadly undertaking. Berta Cáceres, the Goldman Prize winner who was assassinated in Honduras in March, was only one of dozens of environmentalists to be killed this year.

Every week, on average, two environmental and land rights activists are killed and the numbers are getting worse, according to the international NGO Global Witness. The situation is particularly grave in Latin America and Southeast Asia, but it affects every region of the world. It is truly a global epidemic.

On this World Environment Day, we want to underscore that environmental human rights defenders should be lauded as heroes for putting themselves at risk to protect the rights and well-being of others. Instead, they are often targeted as if they were enemies of the country.

UN’s Free and Equal Campaign Travels to Rural Australia

Students from Bilabong High School, with Amnesty International and UNIC representativesOn the 24th May, UNIC Canberra NIO, Julia Dean traveled with the Community Organiser from Amnesty International Australia, Bede Carmody to Billabong High School in southern New South Wales. The students from the school had invited both the UN and Amnesty to talk to year nine on LGBTI rights. Continue reading

Committee on the Rights of the Child reviews the report of Samoa

The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its consideration of the combined second to fourth periodic report of Samoa on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Introducing the report, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers, Minister for Women, Community and Social Development of Samoa, said that Samoa was the first Pacific island country to have submitted the instruments of ratification for the three Optional Protocols to the Convention, which was a demonstration of Samoa’s strong commitment, political will and leadership in the promotion and protection of children’s rights.  Continue reading

Samoa’s human rights record to be reviewed by Universal Periodic Review

Samoa’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the second time on Tuesday 3 May 2016 in a meeting that will be webcast live. Samoa is one of the 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 2 to 13 May.  Samoa’s first review took place on 9 May 2011. Continue reading

Australia violated rights of deaf people over jury service – UN experts

The rights of two deaf people in Australia were violated when they were called up for jury service but then told they could not have the support they needed, in the form of sign language interpretation and real-time captioning, to participate in the proceedings, UN experts have found. Continue reading