Timor-Leste’s Commitment to Customary Justice and Conservation Sets Examples For Other Countries
DILI/GENEVA (16 April 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, says Timor-Leste’s drive to promote indigenous customary practices has contributed to the progress in building the nation since the restoration of independence less than 20 years ago.
“I am impressed by the pride the Timorese take in their cultural heritage and how indigenous practices have translated into important gains in environmental protection and biodiversity,” she said. “These can serve as inspiring examples for other countries.”
For most Timorese, customary practices are an integral part of everyday life and play a central role in resolving disputes between individuals and communities, such as land disputes, conflict between communities and natural resources management. These practices focus on maintaining community and environmental harmony, in contrast to the formal justice system, which is perpetrator focused.
“Ensuring justice for all is a key objective of Sustainable Development Goal 16 and Timor-Leste could provide important lessons for other countries,” Tauli-Corpuz said.
As the UN’s top human rights official, the High Commissioner is mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the Charter of the United Nations and under international human rights laws and treaties.
The mandate also includes preventing human rights violations, promoting international cooperation to protect human rights, being the coordinator of action across the UN, and strengthening and streamlining the whole UN system in the field of human rights.
GENEVA (3 October 2018) — People with disabilities and their representative organizations must participate in public decision-making processes about their own human rights, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said today as it issued new legal guidance on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The new guidance, issued as general comment No. 7, upholds the right of all persons with disabilities to participate and be involved in all issues relating to them. It also clarifies States parties’ obligations to ensure the participation of persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in the implementation and monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in line with articles 4 (3) and 33 (3) of this international treaty.
As part of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, students from Gooloogong Public School located in rural New South Wales in Australia, learnt about human rights and then put together this video on what they learned and why they thought human rights are important. The project is part of our overall campaign to talk about human rights in rural Australia. More student videos and audio interviews to come.
For more about the 70th Anniversary Campaign and about the Declaration please click here
Reacting to a recent upsurge in violent attacks affecting children, Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, called for those responsible to be held fully accountable.
The last two weeks have seen a suicide attack on an education centre in Afghanistan which killed and injured young students in class, 21 children killed in Yemen when their school bus was hit by an airstrike, and ongoing child casualties in Syria – particularly in the conflict zones of Idlib and Western Aleppo in the North of the country. More.
GENEVA (4 May 2018) – Tuvalu’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 in a meeting that will be webcast live.
Tuvalu is one of the 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 7 to 18 May. Tuvalu’s first and second UPR reviews took place in December 2008 and April 2013, respectively.
PHNOM PENH (14 March 2018) – The UN expert on the human rights situation in Cambodia has expressed serious concerns about restrictions on the media, freedom of expression and political participation ahead of a national election in July, calling on the Government to choose the path of human rights.
“Cambodia is at an important crossroads and must embrace human rights as they are indispensable in sustaining hard-earned peace and development,” said Rhona Smith at the end of her fifth visit* to the country.
“Restricting Cambodians’ voices could ultimately threaten the very stability that the Government and the people have worked hard to build. Freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly should be protected and developed, not restricted, in a liberal multi-party democracy as guaranteed by the Constitution of Cambodia.” Continue reading →
12 February (Suva) Climate change has a profound impact on a wide variety of human rights including rights to life, self-determination, development, food, health, water and sanitation and housing. More
Listen to the UN High Commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
“I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you. When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will STAND UP. I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.”