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Ensure Humanitarian Access, End Ping-Pong Pushbacks

“Die here or go to Poland.” This was the “choice” that a Kurdish man from Syria told me a Belarusian border guard had given him, as he described his horrific experiences on the Poland-Belarus border, pleading with the guard to be allowed go back to…
A group of men seated on the ground
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Saudi Arabia and UAE Fight for Impunity in Yemen Conflict

Last month, the Netherlands’ ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva said the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had “failed the people of Yemen” by rejecting the renewal of an investigation into alleged human rights abuses and war crimes…
People stand in front of a damaged building
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UN Review a Chance to Address Abysmal Rights Record

Tajikistan has made the news recently for its opposition toward the Taliban in Afghanistan, with which the mountainous Central Asian country shares more than 1300 kilometers of border. What’s been less in the spotlight, however, is the Tajik…
A man on two video screens in the UN general assembly hall
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Just Four Out of 109 Judges Have Been Female

What’s 76 years old, and 3.7 percent female? Sounds like a joke, right? But it’s not funny at all, especially when it refers to a global judicial body. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial arm of the United Nations, has…
Judges are pictured during the second day of hearings in the case brought by Gambia against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, December 11, 2019.
News

43 Countries Join Unprecedented UN Declaration

A broad group of 43 countries at the United Nations has strongly condemned the Chinese government’s widespread human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. The declaration also calls on the UN high commissioner for…
Chinese security personnel patrol near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in China's Xinjiang region, November 4, 2017.
News

Governments at COP26 Should Follow Suit

Less than three weeks ahead of the global COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow, two key United Nations human rights bodies in Geneva have taken action to strengthen the human rights framework around the climate crisis. The decisions are a clear…
Dry climate and wildfires create a residual layer of thick pollutants that cover the city of São Paulo, Brazil on September 17, 2020.
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Governments Should Prioritize Addressing Global Environmental Crisis

When the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke to the UN Human Rights Council at the beginning of its current session, three weeks ago, she told governments: “Addressing the world's triple environmental crisis is a…
A woman walks through a flooded street during heavy rains in Mumbai, India on June 12, 2021.
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Renewing Vital Mandate Essential to Support Victims, Stem Abuse

The latest report by the United Nations Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) on Yemen details “over six years of unnecessary suffering” by people in the country. First established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2017, the group is the only international,…
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Challenge Chokehold on Desperately Needed Humanitarian Aid, Call for Independent Inquiry

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to consider its response to yesterday’s decision by Ethiopia’s federal government to declare seven senior UN officials as “persona non grata,” unwelcome in the country. The…
An organizer asks displaced Tigrayans to queue as they wait to receive food at a school in Mekele, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, May 5, 2021.
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Sudan and the UN Human Rights Council Should Work Together to Deliver Reforms

Next week Sudan’s human rights record will be discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The session comes at a critical time for Sudan, which is still in a difficult transition period following the ousting of ex-president Omer al-Bashir in…
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok chairs a cabinet meeting in the capital Khartoum, Sudan on September 21, 2021. 
News

For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Donors Shouldn’t Engage in Whitewashing Horrendous Rights Record

The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Egypt office issued a press release last week lavishing praise on President al-Sisi’s government’s supposed “good governance and accountability.” This is a very different Egypt from the one Human Rights…
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on September 14, 2021.
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Listing Achievements at UN Won’t Hide Failures to Protect Rights

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week, to address global issues and list his government’s “achievements on the domestic front.” But back home, authorities are targeting…
Farmers participate in a protest against farm laws in Haryana, India on September 7, 2021. 
News

Major Step Could Be Beginning of End for Beijing’s Reign of Impunity

In just two sentences, the United Nations human rights chief signaled this week that time is up on the Chinese government’s attempts to evade international scrutiny for its sweeping human rights abuses. After noting possible areas of cooperation, High…
Police officers stand at the outer entrance of the Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China's Xinjiang region on April 23, 2021.
News

Investigate Abuses, Hold Violators to Account

Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of women in exchange for humanitarian aid have reemerged in Mozambique, this time among people displaced by armed Islamist groups in the northern Cabo Delgado province. Last month, while interviewing…
A woman walks through the Internally Displaced Person camp "25 de junho," in Metuge, Mozambique on May 20, 2021. 
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Human Rights Council’s Credibility Hinges on Taking Strong Action at Emergency Session

As reports mount of grave human rights abuses by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an emergency session this week. It should immediately mandate the strongest possible monitoring mechanism. Before their…
22 اگست، 2021 کو کابل، کے نواحی علاقے وزیر اکبر خان میں ایک چیک پوسٹ پر طالبان جنگجو ڈیوٹی دے رہے ہیں۔
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Government Should Prioritize Prevention, Eradication, and Services for Survivors

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who…
Judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hear the case Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s mother brought against Ecuador in San José, Costa Rica on January 28, 2020.
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Authorities Should Address Sexual Violence, Ensure Justice

Protests over sexual assault have renewed in India’s capital, Delhi, after a 9-year-old Dalit girl was killed on Sunday. Her family alleges that she was raped and murdered while fetching water from a crematorium in southwest Delhi. The crematorium’s…
Activists hold a candlelight march protesting the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in New Delhi, India on August 4, 2021. 
News

National Assembly Passes Law to Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention

Update: On October 28, the Senate adopted the bill to ratify the ILO violence and harassment Convention (C190). (Paris, July 23) “The world of work must not be a source of anxiety or insecurity for women.” ”France now intends to be a model in the…
Protestors marching to demand the end of femicide and violence against women in Paris, France, November 23, 2019. 
News

Pyongyang Blames Problems on Everything but Own Abusive Policies

  Hypocrisy is commonplace at the United Nations. Delegates routinely stand at UN podiums and blame everyone and everything but their own governments for their countries’ problems. North Korea took this practice to new level on Tuesday at a…
Visitors pay homage to the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il ahead of the 27th anniversary of the death of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea, on July 7, 2021.