Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2017
GENEVA (20 March 2017) – The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an annual reminder to us all to do more to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, hate speech and hate crimes.
But 21 March needs to be more than a reminder. People of African descent continue to be victims of racist hate crimes and racism in all areas of life. Anti-Semitism continues to rear its ugly head from the US to Europe to the Middle East and beyond. Muslim women wearing headscarves face increasing verbal, and even physical, abuse in a number of countries. In Latin America, indigenous peoples continue to endure stigmatization, including in the media.
The dangers of demonising particular groups are evident across the world. Xenophobic riots and violence targeting immigrants have recently flared again in South Africa. In South Sudan, polarised ethnic identities – stoked by hate speech – have brought the country to the brink of all-out ethnic war. In Myanmar, the Rohingya Muslim community, long denigrated as “illegal immigrants,” have suffered appalling violations.
GENEVA / CANBERRA (9 February 2017) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Dubravka Šimonović will visit Australia from 13 to 27 February to assess the overall situation of violence against women, and gather first-hand information from a wide range of stakeholders, including women survivors of violence.
“Violence against women continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations globally, affecting every woman worldwide and Australia is no exception,” said the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the situation of violence against women, its causes and consequences in every country.
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms Dubravka šimonović is seeking information in preparation of her country visit to Australia scheduled to take place from 13 to 24 February 2017.
The Special Rapporteur will address violence against women broadly, focusing on both its causes and consequences.
GENEVA (20 December 2016) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday urged the Philippines judicial authorities to launch investigative processes following last week’s admission by the President of the Philippines that as Mayor of Davao he had killed people, and encouraged others to do the same.
SUVA (9 December) – The United Nations Human Rights Office for the Pacific welcomes Samoa’s
and Micronesia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
On 2 December, Samoa ratified the Convention which was adopted by the General Assembly on 13 December 2006 and on 7 December, Micronesia became the 171th State party to the Convention.
“By ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the governments of Samoa and Micronesia have committed to improving the lives of persons with disabilities which is a very encouraging step forward.” said Ms Chitralekha Massey, Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Pacific Regional Office.
Let’s mark Mandela Day by Adopting a Minimum Set of Human Rights for Millions of Detainees
GENEVA / KAMPALA / STRASBOURG / WASHINGTON DC (15 July 2016) – Speaking ahead of Nelson Mandela International Day, a group of leading human rights experts have called on all States around the world to implement without delay the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners: the Nelson Mandela Rules.
The Rules represent a universally accepted minimum standard for the treatment of prisoners, conditions of detention and prison management, and offer essential practical guidance to prison administrations.
“Speedy and decisive steps towards implementation would truly honour the legacy of the great Statesman and inspirational leader Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez; the Special Rapporteur on prisons, conditions of detention and policing in Africa, Med Kaggwa; the Rapporteur on the rights of persons deprived of liberty of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, James Cavallaro; and the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, in an open statement* issued today.
“Their implementation in prisons around the world would significantly improve the treatment of millions of detainees,” the experts stated. “At the same time, it is useful guidance to help prison staff deliver their important and difficult task in a professional and effective way, benefiting society at large.”
On 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
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 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