How we make a difference 2020
Informing people is protecting people
"Reliable and critical information has always proven to be important. However, in this time of crisis, it has proven to be even more important,” said Gabriela Gorjón. Gabriela is a public information officer in UN Human Rights Mexico Office. She said the pandemic has led the Office to prioritise the promotion and support of trustworthy information.
Fiona Adolu, prioritizing human rights in Zimbabwe during COVID-19
“While the pandemic is primarily a public health crisis, it has impacted the entire gamut of human rights and if we do not stand together to fight to protect all human rights for everyone now, we will not be able to successfully win the war against the pandemic,” says Fiona Adolu, Human Rights Adviser in Zimbabwe.
Supporting human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico, “a privilege.”
“Human rights work is all about people and the bonds we create,” said Ricardo Neves a UN Human Rights staffer working in Mexico. During the pandemic, Ricardo’s work has centered on shedding light on the plight of human rights defenders and journalists and supporting those affected by emergency measures and the longstanding violence throughout the country.
COVID-19 and the human rights of older people
The COVID-19 pandemic is posing a particularly severe threat to the lives and health of older people, the High Commissioner said at a webinar. She called for their rights to be placed front and center in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
SG calls on strengthening immunity against “virus of hate.”
COVID 19 does not distinguish between people yet “yet the pandemic continues to unleash a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. In a powerful statement against increasing hate speech caused during the pandemic, Guterres said the virus “doesn’t care about any distinction.”
UN virtual meeting gives victims chance to be heard
The testimony from a woman whose son has been missing more than five years featured at the opening of 18th session of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. In the first of its kind, the Committee hosted a virtual meeting, which was broadcast online.
Voices from the Field: Protecting human rights in Moldova amidst COVID-19
“Our country was already suffering, and the pandemic is just worsening the situation,” says Cristina Mardari, a UN Human Rights staffer from Moldova. She shares her experience from lockdown, and how she and her colleagues are still working to protect and promote human rights in the country.
Training helps experts handle increases in gender-based violence
One side effect of emergency lockdown measures because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an increase in reports of domestic violence. In South America, where reports have increase by 70 percent in some countries, UN Human Rights has been working with judges to better help women caught in the cycle.
Justice delayed but not denied: transitional justice in El Salvador
Since 2016, the UN Human Rights Office has provided technical and legal support and assistance to State institutions and officials, civil society organizations and others in El Salvador. The work is aimed at contributing to providing justice, recognition and reparations for those affected by the 12-year civil war.
COVID-19 and its human rights dimensions
Respect for human rights is fundamental to the success of the public health response to COVID-19. Now is the time for solidarity and cooperation to tackle the virus.
COVID-19 and human rights
The UN human rights system, including UN High Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, have encouraged us to keep in mind the most vulnerable individuals and groups, and to ensure they are protected during this crisis.
Expert calls for resolution on right to healthy environment
David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and environment, called on the Human Rights Council to pass a resolution recognizing the right to a healthy environment, saying it would lead to stronger State actions on environment.
Coronavirus impact on human rights
Bachelet urges States to ensure human rights are front and centre in their response to COVID-19, protecting the most vulnerable both medically and economically.
Reflecting on 25 years of women’s rights action
Twenty-five years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, experts celebrate that document’s vision of women’s rights and discuss its continued relevance to address remaining and new challenges.
Stand up for human rights
Join us in promoting and defending human rights for everyone, everywhere. Stand up for human rights and take action for stronger respect, greater freedom and more compassion.
#IStandwithHer: It is time to change the story
Gender stereotypes lie at the heart of discriminatory attitudes, policies and laws. They are so deeply ingrained that we often replicate them unconsciously. On International Women’s Day, join us to change discriminatory narrative and demand more equal and inclusive societies.
A call to action for human rights
Calling human rights “part of the very identity of the United Nations,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined a commitment to step up action on human rights in seven key areas.
Six years after killings in Ukraine, justice remains elusive
Between January and February 2014, during Ukraine’s months-long Maidan protests, eighty-three protestors, thirteen law-enforcement officers, a journalist and one bystander were killed or died violently. Six years on, weaknesses in the justice system have prevented investigations and prosecution of perpetrators from progressing further.
Fighting hate speech and incitement to violence in the Syrian media
The prevalence of hate speech and incitement to violence in the Syrian media is driving societal divisions even deeper. A Syrian organisation promoting human rights and justice is working hard to address the issue. Yayha Fares is a Syrian refugee, in charge of the organisation’s hate speech project.
Impartial, independent rule of law is vital to sound societies
The rule of law makes institutions accountable for upholding human rights and the fair delivery of public services. And it empowers all individuals – including those who suffer entrenched discrimination -- to claim their rights. But the independence and impartiality of the judiciary is coming under threat in many countries.
Fellow: “Colourism” is a hidden human rights challenge
“There is a correlation between skin colour and social class,” said Stephanie Sewell, a UN Human Rights 2019 African Descent Fellow. Sewell says colourism, discrimination based on skin tone, impacts the human rights of the majority of Jamaicans.
Mueda Nawanat’s fight for the right to nationality
Mueda Nawanat was born without a nationality, and only became a citizen of Thailand, the country where she was born, when she was 21. Today, she is an advocate for stateless people and has helped many obtain citizenship. She is also a UN Human Rights Fellow.
Toolkit aims to link faith and human rights
A new toolkit has been launched looking at the relationship between religions, beliefs and human rights. The #Faith4Rights toolkit is a collaboration of faith-based groups and UN human rights mechanisms.
DR Congo: A “window of opportunity” after peaceful political transition
“The DRC is a huge country with huge problems – but also huge potential. It is poor but it could be rich, with an abundance of valuable minerals, and vast tracts of land that could – should -- be highly productive. Its people are resilient and hard-working,” says UN human rights chief.
From student to human rights defender: the power of human rights education
Premalatha Tamilselvan was 12 years old when she took part in a human rights education programme in her school in a small village in southern India. Nine years later, she came to Geneva, Switzerland to advocate for similar programmes to be rolled out across more schools. 24 January marks the International Day for Education.
A Syrian lawyer’s battle for justice and human rights
Eight years of devastating conflict in his home country, Syria, have not stopped Jalal Alhamad from fighting for justice. After fleeing his home to neighbouring Turkey, he established a human rights organisation.
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