News Releases 2018

Indonesia: Production increase must fulfil right to food for all, says UN expert


UNGENEVA (19 April 2018) – Indonesia's successful policies to increase rice production should be linked to fulfilling its obligation to the right to food for all, Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, has said.

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Indonesia: UN expert launches mission to assess the enjoyment of the right to food


UNGENEVA (4 April 2018) - The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, will visit Indonesia from 9 to 18 April 2018 to gather first-hand information on the country's food and agriculture policies that affects peoples' livelihoods.

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UN experts urge Thailand to show leadership on business and human rights


UN BANGKOK (4 April 2018) - A team of UN experts today presented their preliminary observations on steps that should be taken by the Royal Thai Government and businesses to improve corporate respect for human rights and to strengthen access to effective remedies.

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Human Rights Council supports UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar


UN By a vote of 32 in favour, five against and ten abstentions, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year.

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One more year to investigate and report on human rights in DPRK


UN UN Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana has one more year to investigate and report on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, after the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, without a vote, to extended his mandate.

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UN Human Rights Council extends mandates on DPRK, Myanmar and Iran


UN GENEVA (23 March 2018) - The Human Rights Council extended for one year the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran Myanmar, as well as other mandates at the end of its March's session in Geneva.

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Thailand: First official visit by UN expert group on business and human rights


UN GENEVA (22 March 2017) - The United Nations Working Group on business and human rights will undertake its first official visit to Thailand from 26 March to 4 April to examine efforts to prevent, mitigate and remedy adverse human rights impacts of business operations.

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"Unashamed bigotry": Rise in racism and xenophobia is alarming, say UN rights experts


UN GENEVA (20 March 2018) - UN and regional human rights experts* have urged States, civil society organisations and activists to step up their efforts to stem the alarming rise in racism and xenophobia worldwide, citing concerns about the impact of populist nationalism on mainstream politics.

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Vietnam: UN experts concerned by threats against factory workers and labour activists


UN GENEVA (20 March 2018) - UN human rights experts* express their concern about reports that women workers at two Samsung Electronics factories in Viet Nam, as well as labour activists, have been subjected to intimidation and harassment after they raised concerns about working conditions at the plants.

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UN Human Rights Office condemns execution for drug-related offences in Singapore


UN BANGKOK (16 March 2018) - The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia condemns the execution of Singaporean national Hishamrudin bin Mohd for a drug-related offence this morning, expressing concerns that he had not been able to file a clemency petition.

"Under international law, the death penalty may only be used for "the most serious crimes' which has been interpreted to mean only crimes involving intentional killing," said the Office's Regional Representative, Cynthia Veliko. "Drug-related offences do not fall under this threshold." Read more...

"Cambodia at a crossroads" - UN expert calls on Government to choose


UN 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. Read more...

UN women's rights experts issue findings on Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Fiji, and Marshall Islands


UNGENEVA / BANGKOK (13 March 2018) - The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has published its findings on Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Fiji and Marshall Islands, among other countries examined during its session from 19 February to 9 March in Geneva.

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Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar: concrete and overwhelming information points to international crimes


Zeid

GENEVA (12 March 2018) - Experts of the UN Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar called on Myanmar authorities Monday to stop dismissing reports that serious human rights violations have been committed in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states.

"The body of information and materials we are collecting is concrete and overwhelming," the three experts of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar noted in their interim, oral report to the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. Read more...

Myanmar: UN expert calls for accountability over violence in Rakhine State


Zeid

GENEVA (12 March 2018) - The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, told the Human Rights Council on Monday she was increasingly of the opinion that the events in Rakhine State bear the hallmarks of genocide and called in the strongest terms for accountability.

Lee, who was informed late last year that her access to the country was denied, also expressed serious concern that "the repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more" in Myanmar, describing the situation faced by civil society across the country as "increasingly perilous". Read more...

North Korea detente: UN expert urges opening for human rights


Zeid

GENEVA (8 March 2018) - Welcoming rapprochement on the Korean peninsula, including possible discussions about denuclearisation, the UN Special Rapporteur, Tomás Ojea Quintana, called on the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to take the opportunity to open up to UN human rights mechanisms.

"In looking back at the unprecedented tensions that marked the past year, the two Koreas must be commended for the efforts that led to the remarkable Olympic Truce that brought the two countries together in such a short period," he said.Read more...

Accusations against UN expert a retaliation by Philippines, say fellow rapporteurs


Zeid

GENEVA (8 March 2018) - UN human rights experts have expressed grave concerns about terrorism accusations levelled against the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a Philippine national.The legal petition listing her name is an unacceptable attack against the mandate holder by the Philippines Government, they added.

"We are shocked that the Special Rapporteur is being targeted because of her work defending the rights of indigenous peoples," said Michel Forst, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures.Read more...

High Commissioner's global update of human rights concerns


Zeid

I commend the many civil society movements fighting for decency and respect for human rights, including the rights of indigenous people facing unprincipled and lawless business activities; for LGBTI people whose Governments do not ensure their equal rights or protect them adequately from violent assault; and the rights of Afrodescendants, Roma and other ethnic, religious or caste-based communities which frequently endure discrimination.

In this 70th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they are standing up for the fundamental principles which will bring a better future to all our children. I am deeply grateful for the surge of hope they bring. Read more...

Myanmar: Senior UN human rights official decries continued ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State


Andrew Gilmour

BANGKOK / GENEVA (6 March 2018) - "The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues. I don't think we can draw any other conclusion from what I have seen and heard in Cox's Bazar," said Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, at the end of a four-day visit to Bangladesh that focused on the situation of the approximately 700,000 refugees who have fled from Myanmar since last August. Read more...

UN human rights expert to visit Cambodia from 5-14 March


UNGENEVA/PHNOM PENH (1 March 2018) - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, will visit the country from 5 to 14 March 2018, at the invitation of the Royal Government.

During her 10-day visit, the expert plans to meet senior officials, representatives of civil society and members of the diplomatic community. Read more...

We want to reduce the number of executions in SE Asia - UN high-level human rights representative


UN BANGKOK (28 February 2018) - Half of the 32 countries and territories in the world where drug crime can result in the death penalty are in South East Asia, today said UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour*. Read more...

UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein - The Jakarta Conversation


ZeidBANGKOK (5 February 2018) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein started today his official visits to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, urging all governments to employ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - in its totality - as a guide to law and policy.

"The way to ensure we peacefully co-exist is greater justice..."Read more...

UN Human Rights Chief to visit Indonesia (5-7 Feb), Papua New Guinea (8 Feb) and Fiji (9-12 Feb)


Zeid BANGKOK (2 February 2018) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Monday begins official visits to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, at the invitation of the respective governments.

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Time to end leprosy stigma, says new UN human rights expert - World Leprosy Day, 28 January 2018


Philippines GENEVA (25 January 2018) - People affected by leprosy continue to suffer discrimination and lack of access to medical care, a newly appointed UN human rights expert specialising in the disease has warned, citing latest statistics that show over 200,000 new cases a year.

"No one with leprosy needs to be left with disabilities. The disease can be easily cured with multidrug therapy if it is detected and treated early enough..." Read more...

UN experts express serious alarm at effort to shut down independent media outlet in the Philippines


Philippines GENEVA (25 January 2018) - The Philippines Government must halt moves to shut down independent news website Rappler, a group of UN human rights experts have said.

"We are gravely concerned that the government is moving to revoke Rappler's licence," said the three Special Rapporteurs in a joint statement. Read more...

Who is the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee?


TimorLestF BANGKOK (25 January 2018) - In December 2017, the Government of Myanmar informed Yanhee Lee that all access to the country has been denied and cooperation withdrawn for the duration of her mandate as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar.

"I have a responsibility to speak on behalf of these victims, and I will not be deterred..." Read more...

UN human rights expert to visit Nepal to assess situation of migrants working abroad


NepalF GENEVA/KATHMANDU (24 January 2018) - The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, will visit Nepal from 29 January to 5 February 2018 to assess the human rights situation of Nepali migrant workers, including related recruitment practices and returns and reintegration programmes.

"Many migrants experience abuse and exploitation, which often begins during the recruitment process..." Read more...

UN experts: Davos should address global risks rooted in human rights abuse


ECONOMIC FORUM GENEVA (23 January 2018) - As global leaders converge in Davos for the World Economic Forum, a group of United Nations experts called attention to the critical importance of human rights to the Forum's objective of "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World".

"The inclusion of human rights objectives into political and economic decisions are crucial if economic reforms are to tackle the root causes of populism, global unrest, climate change and inequality..." Read more...

UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar to visit Bangladesh and Thailand - 18 to 30 January


Myanmar GENEVA (16 January 2018) - The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, will visit the country's neighbours Bangladesh and Thailand from January 18, vowing to fulfill her mandate despite the Government's refusal to work with her.

"I am determined to carry on - to the best of my ability - this very important task of helping the victims of human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar, as mandated to me by the United Nations system..." Read more...