How we make a difference 2019
Working to eradicate torture in Afghanistan
Rates of torture and ill treatment for conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan have declined since 2016, according to a new report from UN Human Rights. However, there is still a long way to go to fully eradicate the practice.
Experts recognise sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture
Recognising that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) may amount to torture empowers victims to seek redress and rehabilitation as well as holds States accountable for better provision for victims, said Gaby Oré Aguillar, a member of the Board of Trustees the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
I fight for the rights of the most vulnerable
Aneta Genova Mircheva doesn’t think of herself as a human rights defender. Yet as a member of Validity, an international NGO that uses the law to secure equality, inclusion and justice, she fights for the rights of those with mental disabilities in Bulgaria.
"Because your voice is valid"
Law student and UN Human Rights Fellow, Mary Consolata Namagambe, has decided to challenge the exclusion she and other people of African descent endure in a majority-white Danish society.
Brazilian environmental defenders fight for recognition and justice
Moises Borges and Leticia Oliveira are environmental human rights defenders with the Movement of those Affected by Dams (MAB), a Brazil-based grassroots movement that fights for the rights of communities affected by dams. They were recently in Geneva highlighting the plight of those dealing with a recent dam collapse.
"Housing is a human right, not just a commodity."
"What we are trying to do is build a multi-stakeholder global movement of people who know that housing is a human right and who want to reclaim it," said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. Farha was talking about The Shift, an initiative to move away from treating housing as a commodity to housing as a place to live in peace, security and dignity.
Breaking taboos to better human rights
Oyungerel Tsedevdamba is a human rights defender and leads an NGO called Local Solutions, which provides sanitation solutions for local communities in Mongolia. Her aim, to stop toilet from being a dirty word in Mongolia.
"Racism is the opposite of everything we stand for"
All of us need to call out and openly condemn all messages – especially political messages or discourses – which disseminate ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, or which incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Poetry to inspire the fight against racism
21 March is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To mark that day, UN Human Rights associates itself with poets, musicians and lyricists to inspire us all to fight racism.
Attacked because of who they are and what they do
“In the current political climate there is a backlash against human rights. Women defenders are often the first to come under attack,” Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders told members of the Human Rights Council.
On International Women’s Day, Stand With Her
Generations of courageous women and feminist movements have together stood up for social change by fighting for human rights. On International Women’s Day, they are being recognised and honoured. The #IStandWithHer campaign will tell some of their stories.
20 years of the Mine Ban Treaty
The Treaty’s focus on the protection, dignity and rights of individuals makes it an outstanding example of multilateralism
High Commissioner condemns Venezuela violence
Michelle Bachelet condemns the “disgraceful” violence in Venezuela, urging the Government to stop its forces from using excessive force and to rein in armed pro-Government elements that are attacking protestors.
"I will bring back hope to people."
A Sudanese refugee activist is the 2019 Martin Ennals Award Laureate. Abudul Aziz Muhamat highlights the situation of refugees in offshore detention by the Australian government. Two other finalists included an Afro-Colombian rights campaigner and a human rights lawyer from Turkey.
Bachelet tells "good human rights stories."
"Human rights are useful. Respect for human rights generates practical benefits in everyday life," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told an audience recently. She made her comments at the Geneva launch of the “Good Human Rights Stories” initiative, a partnership of 13 organizations and countries dedicated to showing that human rights matter.
When you stand up for girls, you stand up for everyone
Francis Oko Armah is a student who stands up for the right for young people to have access to and be educated about reproductive and sexual health. He works for the Young Leaders for Change Foundation in Accra, Ghana.
Benjamin Orenstein, Holocaust survivor
Benjamin Orenstein, 93, is one of the last witnesses of the Holocaust and the only surviving member of his family who were all executed in the camps. He tells us his story.
"Anyone can use their voice. Believe in yourself."
At 14 years old, water rights activist Autumn Peltier, of the Wikwemikong First Nations community in Ontario, Canada, says helping the environment is something anyone can do at any age. Her activism has earned her a nomination for the 2019 International Children’s Peace Prize.
Missing persons receive attention and help healing in Kosovo*
The Multi-Ethnic Resource Centre on Missing Persons in Kosovo* provides a place for families and representatives from associations across all ethnic lines to cooperate and gather information those missing as a result of the 1998-1999 conflict. The centre was opened with the help of the UN Human Rights Office of UN Mission in Kosovo*
Showcasing human rights success in daily lives
Defending cultural rights of indigenous weavers in Guatemala; challenging discrimination against minorities in Moldova; supporting families of missing persons in South Korea and Kosovo*. As the UN Human Rights Annual Appeal kicks off for 2019, witness the difference our everyday work in human rights makes in people’s lives.
Stories by year