U.N.

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

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The U.N. human rights chief on June 14 called for a major investigation into abuses in Kashmir, as his office released its first-ever report on violations committed by both India and Pakistan in the… GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry [COI] to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into… A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for ... Read More »

U.S. expected to retreat from main U.N. rights forum: activists, diplomats

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GENEVA (Reuters) – Talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body have failed to meet Washington’s demands, activists and diplomats say, suggesting that the Trump administration will quit the… Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details. Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats ... Read More »

Young refugees share what it’s like trying to finish school, find work and get married

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In 2012, at 10 years of age, Daahir sat in his school classroom in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sounds of gun shots piercing the air interrupted the lesson. Laura Prazeres The Conversation As Daahir ran back home, he overheard that fighting had erupted between government forces and the militant group Al-Shabab. Daahir arrived home to find his father dead from gunshot wounds. Faced with further threats and imminent violence, Daahir and his family, along with many others, fled their… According to ... Read More »

It’s time to stop giving more rights to global corporations

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The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published new research that shows that increased market power of global corporations is driving global income inequality. Dr Patricia Ranald Brisbane Times It notes that “in 2009–2015, the surplus profits of the top 1 per cent of publicly listed firms in a new UNCTAD firm-level database represented 55 per cent of recorded operating profits,” and recommends a… This research supports the case against giving corporations greater legal powers to sue governments over changes to domestic ... Read More »

I visited the Rohingya camps in Myanmar and here is what I saw

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Myanmar recently claimed to have repatriated its first Rohingya refugee family. Cresa Pugh The Conversation But, as an official from the United Nations noted, the country is still not safe for the return of its estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape an ongoing state-sponsored military campaign and… Indeed, in recent times, the Myanmar military has been building a fence along the 170-mile border and fortifying it with landmines, to prevent the Rohingya from ... Read More »

Yemen: Averting a Destructive Battle for Hodeida

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More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. ICG International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s new? Three years into Yemen’s destructive war, a battle is shaping up for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the bulk of Yemen’s population. Forces backed by ... Read More »

Deep Freeze and Beyond: Making the Trump-Kim Summit a Success

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The greatest risk to the 12 June summit between the U.S. and North Korea is mismatched expectations. ICG To avoid a return to escalatory rhetoric, both parties should keep hopes modest and adopt an action-for-action approach as part of a four-step plan for denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. What’s new? The on-again, off-again summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is upon us. The parties are in the throes of preparation for the historic 12 ... Read More »

Bangladesh body count mounts; group urges U.N. action to stop drug war

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DHAKA/MUMBAI (Reuters) – The death toll in a Bangladeshi “zero tolerance” crackdown on drugs has risen to 140, with about 18,000 people arrested, the government said on Thursday, as a group of activists urged the United Nations to step in to stop the… Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to tackle the spread of methamphetamines but the killings have raised fears among rights groups of a bloody Philippine-style campaign to wipe out… “In a manner… ... Read More »

Dr Anwar Gargash: solving the Qatar crisis must involve tackling the ‘trust deficit’

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In an exclusive interview, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says a solution to the Yemen war must be UN-led Naser Al Wasmi and Arthur MacMillan The National The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash has said there will be no backing down over a year-long boycott of Qatar, saying the onus is on Doha to change its policies. In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with The National addressing regional affairs, he said a “deficit of trust” ... Read More »

UK’s Labour Party Leader Vows to Return Parthenon Marbles to Greece

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The leader of the UK’s labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is the latest public figure to declare that colonial-era objects that were taken unlawfully should be returned to their country of origin. ArtForum If elected prime minister in the next general election, which will take place in 2022, Corbyn has pledged to return the famous Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Also known as the Elgin Marbles, the fifth-century sculptures—made under the sculptor Phidias—were taken from the Parthenon, an ancient temple dedicated to ... Read More »

Rising Global Support for Safe Schools

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Declaration to Protect Students and Schools in Wartime Turns Three Bede Sheppard HRW Three years ago today, representatives from countries from around the globe came together in Oslo to declare their support for the protection of students, teachers, schools, and universities during times of war. Three years later, an incredible 75 countries have joined the… Support for the declaration has come from the highest levels of the United Nations, notably the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres; the human rights chief, Zeid ... Read More »

Making the Best of France’s Libya Summit

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Four main Libyan leaders meet in Paris on 29 May to sign a roadmap to peace, including 2018 elections with united international backing. ICG But with Libya’s UN-backed peace process at risk from the meeting’s format and the accord that France has brokered, the sides should instead commit to a broader declaration of principles. What’s new? On 29 May France will host a summit on Libya bringing together the country’s four principal competing leaders to sign an agreement on a ... Read More »

Australia’s deal with Timor-Leste in peril again over oil and gas

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In April, Australia and Timor-Leste reached agreement on their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. Rebecca Strating and Clive Schofield The Conversation This resolved a longstanding source of contention between them. The potential benefits of this historic breakthrough are now in peril, because the critical issue of how the shared oil and gas of the Timor Sea are to be developed remains in dispute. Breakthrough on maritime boundaries Australia and Timor-Leste’s boundary agreement was achieved thanks to a… Australia’s deal ... Read More »

Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing a Huge Loss

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Giant of Rights Movement Leaves Formidable Legacy (Bishkek) – Vasila Inoyatova, an Uzbek human rights activist who died of medical complications on May 19, 2018, at age 62, made an unassailable contribution to Uzbekistan’s human rights movement and nascent democracy, Human Rights Watch said today. She was the founder and chairwoman of Ezgulik (Compassion)¸ one of Uzbekistan’s most prominent independent human rights organizations. “Vasila Inoyatova fiercely defended human rights and spoke truth to power even during the… Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing… Read More »

Burundi: Killings, Abuse Ahead of Referendum

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UN, EU, US Should Expand Targeted Sanctions HRW (Nairobi) – Burundi’s security services and ruling party youth league members killed, raped, abducted, beat, and intimidated suspected opponents in the months leading up to a constitutional referendum on May 17, 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The country has faced a political, human rights, and humanitarian crisis since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a disputed third term. The 32-page report, “‘We Will ... Read More »

I teach refugees to map their world

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I first visited the Zaatari refugee camp in early 2015. Located in northern Jordan, the camp is home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. Brian Tomaszewski The Conversation I was there as part of a research study on refugee camp wireless and information infrastructure. It’s one thing to read about refugees in the news. It’s a whole different thing to actually go visit a camp. I saw people living in metal caravans, mixed with tents and other materials to create ... Read More »