Human Rights News

Cameroon: Migrants Deported From UAE Face Conflict or Exile
[Thomson Reuters Foundation] Rounded up in mass raids in Abu Dhabi, Cameroonian expatriate workers were deported home - only to face fighting and the prospect of exile
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Rwanda: 'Hotel Rwanda' Hero Awaits Verdict On Terrorism Charges
[DW] A Rwandan court is expected to issue a verdict on Paul Rusesabagina. His story, in which he saved scores of people during the Rwandan genocide, inspired the film 'Hotel Rwanda,' but now Kigali accuses him of terrorism.
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Kenya: Kenya to Get a Cut From Nurses in Deal With UK
[Nation] The government will get a percentage of the cash that Kenyan nurses will make in the UK following the deal made by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July.
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Cameroon: Migrants Deported From UAE Face Conflict or Exile
[Thomson Reuters Foundation] Rounded up in mass raids in Abu Dhabi, Cameroonian expatriate workers were deported home - only to face fighting and the prospect of exile
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Namibia: Face to Face With the LGBTQIA+ Activists of Namibia
[New Frame] The personal stakes are high for the activists - some willing, others reluctant - behind the historic reckoning for LGBTQIA+ rights in the country.
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Kenya: Judy Kihumba - From Househelp to Top Sign Language Interpreter
[Nation] Judy Kihumba is a sign language interpreter and an advocate of maternal mental health and wellness of deaf nursing mums. She is also the founder of Talking Hands, Listening Eyes on PPD (THLEP), which focuses on walking the motherhood journey with deaf mums and breaking the silence on postpartum depression (PPD).
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South Africa: Komape Family Wins Court Battle Seven Years After Their Son Drowned in a Pit Toilet
[GroundUp] State must provide court with reports every six months with details of steps taken to eradicate pit toilets
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Ethiopia: U.S. Authorizes Sanctions in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict
[HRW] UN Security Council, Regional Bodies, Other Countries Should Also Target Rights Abusers
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Zimbabwe: Red Flag Over Tinashe Mugabe's DNA Tests
[The Herald] Global DNA Diagnostic Centre principal consultant Mr Tinashe Mugabe is not professionally qualified to issue DNA test results, the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council of Zimbabwe (MLCSCZ) has said, urging the public not to be coerced into receiving paternity results in an unprofessional manner.
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First Person: A life dedicated to indigenous rights in Brazil
For almost 30 years, Brazilian activist Joenia Wapixana, has been fighting for indigenous land rights and against “institutionalized discrimination” in Brazil. In a special interview with UN News, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, she says it’s time to dedicate more resources to this fight.
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UNICEF stresses Afghan girls must not be excluded from school
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday welcomed the news that secondary schools are due to reopen in Afghanistan on Saturday, after months of closure due to COVID-19, but stressed that girls must not be kept from the classroom.
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Bachelet calls for major re-think over impact of sanctions on human rights
Unilateral and coercive sanctions imposed by governments can create severe and undue suffering for innocent people who bear no responsibility for alleged misconduct, the UN rights chief warned the Human Rights Council on Thursday.
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Venezuela's justice system aiding repression: Human rights probe
The independence of Venezuela’s justice system has been “deeply eroded”, to such an extent that it plays a significant role in the State’s repression of government opponents, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Thursday.
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Torture, killings, lawlessness, still blight Burundi’s rights record
The people of Burundi continue to endure serious human rights violations including possible crimes against humanity, the majority committed by those with links to the ruling party, UN-appointed independent investigators said on Thursday.
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Nigeria: Immigration - We Seized Odili's Passport for Being On EFCC's Watch List
[This Day] Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has revealed that the reason it seized the passport of a former Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili was because he was on the watch list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
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Urgent action needed over artificial intelligence risks to human rights
States should place moratoriums on the sale and use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems until adequate safeguards are put in place, UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday.
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ODIHR: three decades and ready for the future Democracy, human rights and security in the OSCE
WARSAW, 15 September 2021 – Thirty years ago, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) was established to support all countries of the OSCE region in strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, and increasing respect for human rights. In this anniversary year, how much has been achieved – and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead? What: A press conference on ODIHR’s contribution to strengthening democracy and human rights over the last 30 years and its role in seeking solutions to current and future challengesWho: Matteo Mecacci, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human RightsAnn Linde, Swedish Foreign Minister and head of Sweden’s 2021 OSCE ChairpersonshipWhen: 10:00 on 14 October 2021Where: Warsaw and…
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After 10 years of war in Syria, siege tactics still threaten civilians
The future for Syria’s people is “increasingly bleak”, UN-appointed rights experts said on Tuesday, highlighting escalating conflict in several areas of the war-ravaged country, a return to siege tactics and popular demonstrations linked to the plummeting economy.
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Monitoring of rights of persons with disabilities in Kazakhstan focus of the OSCE-supported online seminar
A two-day online training seminar on facilitation of independent monitoring respecting the rights of persons with disabilities, concluded on 14 September 2021. The training seminar was organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan in partnership with the Association of Women with Disabilities “Shyrak” and the Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsperson). Some 15 human rights defenders from across Kazakhstan attended. Participants learned from national experts about basic human rights concepts, including the right to personal dignity and non-discrimination, and national legislation and related mechanisms for on the observance of the rights of people with disabilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The seminar is part of the Programme Office’s efforts in assisting the host country to…
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Namibia: Migrant Children to Get Birth Certificates
[New Era] Children born in Namibia by Angolan migrants at Etunda in the Omusati region will be issued without non-Namibian birth certificates, governor Erginus Endjala revealed.
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Malawi: Malawi Immigration Deports 123 Ethiopians
[Nyasa Times] The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services has deported 123 Ethiopian nationals to their country. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supported the return of the illegal immigrants back to their native country.
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South Africa: Bruce and Leonard - a Sad African Immigrant Tale of Injustice
[Daily Maverick] One paid for his crime; the other fled from his crimes. One is in deportation quarantine; the other is in the pub.
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Ethiopia: Nearly 5,000 Ethiopian Migrants Stuck in Yemen Need Extra Support to Return Home: IOM
[Addis Standard] Addis Abeba -- As the dangers for migrants in Yemen intensify against a backdrop of conflict and the COVID-19 crisis, nearly 5,000 Ethiopians stranded in Yemen are waiting for their chance to safely return home.
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England: Amendment to Health and Care Bill Would Create Offense of Testing for Virginity
On July 16, 2021, members of the United Kingdom’s (U.K.’s) Parliament proposed an amendment to the current Health and Care Bill, which aims to reduce bureaucracy within the National Health Service, increase accountability, and help integrate health services across England. The amendment adds a clause to the bill to create a new offense of testing … Continue reading “England: Amendment to Health and Care Bill Would Create Offense of Testing for Virginity”
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Lithuania: New Immigration Legislation Adopted Amid Influx of Asylum Seekers from Belarus
On July 13, 2021, the Seimas (parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a law containing multiple amendments (Amending Law) to the country’s Law on the Legal Status of Aliens (Law on Aliens), which Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda signed into law on the same day.The amending law changed the rules and procedures for seeking asylum … Continue reading “Lithuania: New Immigration Legislation Adopted Amid Influx of Asylum Seekers from Belarus”
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OSCE leaders condemn violence in Afghanistan and destabilization of region, call for respect for human rights and rule of law
VIENNA/STOCKHOLM/WARSAW, 25 August 2021 — OSCE leaders today condemned the violence in Afghanistan, expressed their deep worry about the ongoing developments and reaffirmed the OSCE’s support towards ensuring safety and security throughout the region. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid, and Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Matteo Mecacci expressed serious concerns over the treatment of Afghan people, particularly women and girls, following reports of increasing violence and a breakdown of law and order in Afghanistan. “I am deeply worried about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular for women and girls,” Chairperson-in-Office Linde said. “The international community needs to follow up on reports about…
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International: UNESCO Calls for Preservation of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage, Unhindered Right to Education
On August 19, 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made a statement that “calls for the preservation of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage in its diversity, in full respect of international law, and for taking all necessary precautions to spare and protect cultural heritage from damage and looting.” In addition, the director general … Continue reading “International: UNESCO Calls for Preservation of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage, Unhindered Right to Education”
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Joint Message of OSCE CiO’s Personal Representatives on the International Day Commemorating Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief
VIENNA, 20 August 2021 - Throughout this past year we have witnessed acts of violence and hate-motivated attacks based on religion or belief across the OSCE region. Jews, Muslims, minority Christian communities, and others were targeted and endured physical and verbal abuse and even murder, solely because of their religious identification. Despite the strength and resilience many participating States have demonstrated in managing the COVID-19 crisis, the pandemic and its physical distancing restrictions have led to the proliferation of online intolerance. This includes racist discourse and incitement against members of religious and belief communities, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and hate speech against Muslims. These developments should alarm us all. OSCE participating States are obliged to respect the freedom of thought, conscience,…
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Countering religious hatred is critical to restore COVID-worn democracy and security, says OSCE human rights head
WARSAW, 20 August 2021 – Governments need to work harder to protect victims of religious hate crimes, and consistently condemn and prosecute all bias-motivated crimes, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said ahead of the third anniversary of the United Nations International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion. “Covid-19 has caused untold suffering throughout our societies, but we have been seeing intolerance and hatred increasing specifically against people belonging to religious or belief groups since the outbreak of the pandemic,” said ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci. “Not only does this have a hugely negative impact on individuals and communities, but it also erodes democracy, respect for human rights, and security more broadly.…
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Germany: New Law Obligates Companies to Establish Due Diligence Procedures in Global Supply Chains to Safeguard Human Rights and the Environment
On July 22, 2021, the Act on Corporate Due Diligence in Supply Chains (Supply Chain Due Diligence Act) was published in the German Federal Law Gazette. The act will enter into force on January 1, 2023. The Supply Chain Due Diligence Act’s objective is to safeguard human rights and the environment in the global economy … Continue reading “Germany: New Law Obligates Companies to Establish Due Diligence Procedures in Global Supply Chains to Safeguard Human Rights and the Environment”
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Pakistan: Domestic Violence Bill Referred to Council of Islamic Ideology
In a letter to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser dated July 5, 2021, the adviser on parliamentary affairs to Pakistan’s prime minister, Babar Awan, recommended that the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2021 be referred for review to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII)—a constitutional advisory body on Shari‘a law issues. In providing his … Continue reading “Pakistan: Domestic Violence Bill Referred to Council of Islamic Ideology”
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Civil society:  Building trust and peace during the COVID-19 pandemic
Article During the COVID-19 pandemic, hidden behind the closed doors of the lockdown domestic violence has increased. For a domestic abuse victim support organization like Vialex, reaching and helping vulnerable people during these unprecedented times has required a new strategy, which has come in the form of an OSCE mentorship programme. Wed, 2021-08-04 15:15 OSCE Mission to Moldova Human rights Gender equality 494461 During the COVID-19 pandemic, hidden behind the closed doors of the lockdown domestic violence has increased. For a domestic abuse victim support organization like Vialex, reaching and helping vulnerable people during these unprecedented times has required a new strategy, which has come in the form of an OSCE mentorship programme. “The pandemic and related restrictions have made…
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Ukraine: New Law Determines Legal Status of Indigenous People
On July 1, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine adopted the Law on Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine.The text of the draft Law on Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine, initiated by President Volodymyr Zelensky, had been submitted to the Vertkhovna Rada and published on its website on May 18, 2021.Provisions of the New LawThe new law … Continue reading “Ukraine: New Law Determines Legal Status of Indigenous People”
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Israel: Supreme Court Authorizes Surrogacy Arrangements for Gay Men
On July 11, 2021, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice in an extended bench of five justices, unanimously accepted a petition to issue an operative remedy in accordance with an earlier decision by the court rendered on February 27, 2020. The 2020 decision recognized that the surrogacy arrangement provided under the … Continue reading “Israel: Supreme Court Authorizes Surrogacy Arrangements for Gay Men”
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Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities celebrated in Uzbekistan
493921 On 28 July 2021, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan (PCUz) co-organized the official ceremony dedicated to the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the Republic of Uzbekistan attended by 150 participants. This high-level event was organized in partnership with the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Country Team. Opening remarks were delivered by Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber and Director of the National Human Rights Centre; Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairperson of the Senate; Gairat Fazilov, Deputy Foreign Minister; Jorge Araya, Secretary of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Ryszard Komenda, Head of the United Nations Regional Office for OHCHR…
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Obama to Meet with Mexican President Peña Nieto as State Department Evaluates Mexico’s Human Rights Situation
The meeting takes place at a moment when the State Department is assessing whether the Mexican government has met the human rights conditions in the Merida Initiative. Washington, DC—Tomorrow the presidents of the United States and Mexico will meet at the White House. This meeting takes place at a moment when the State Department is assessing whether the Mexican government has met the human rights conditions in the Merida Initiative—a U.S. security assistance package. Under the Merida Initiative, 15 percent of select funds are conditioned on the State Department reporting to Congress that Mexico is making substantive progress in its respect for human rights within the framework of security operations. read more
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WOLA Report: Mexico's New Criminal Justice System
There’s Much Left to do Before Celebrating The Mexican government has called its transition to the new adversarial, oral-based criminal justice system a “mission accomplished.” However, much remains to be done for Mexico to enjoy a system that holds perpetrators accountable for crimes while ensuring respect for human rights. Washington, DC­–The Mexican government has called its transition to the new adversarial, oral-based criminal justice system a “mission accomplished.” However, according to a new WOLA report, much remains to be done for Mexico to enjoy a system that holds perpetrators accountable for crimes while ensuring respect for human rights. read more
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Ayotzinapa Case: Negotiations between Mexico and the Inter-American Commission Continue
WOLA and 11 organizations demand a strong mechanism to follow-up on the case In a public letter to Mexican President Peña Nieto, the human rights organizations requested that a mechanism with the terms proposed by the IACHR is established. In a public letter to Mexican President Peña Nieto, WOLA and eleven international and regional human rights organizations urged the Mexican government to create an effective mechanism to follow up on the investigation of the enforced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students. read more
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Third Member of Honduran Environmental Organization COPINH Murdered Since March
Brutal killing of Lesbia Janeth Urquía underscores the deeply troubling pattern of violence against human rights defenders in Honduras Honduran authorities must take meaningful and serious steps to address what appears to be a pattern of repression against human rights defenders. Press Release read more
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Republican House Leadership Signals Shift on Cuba
Broad and bi-partisan support for measures to ease trade and travel restrictions on Cuba led to controversy in the House of Representatives on Wednesday night, and ended with an agreement that signals a shift in the House leadership’s attitude toward Cuba policy change. read more
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Cuba Votes in House of Representatives Expected Tonight
Republicans Take Lead on Cuba Trade and Travel When the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill comes to the House floor, likely on Wednesday, July 6, Republican Members of Congress will take the lead in offering two amendments that would ease travel and trade with Cuba. Debate on the amendments is expected Wednesday evening, with votes on Wednesday or Thursday. Washington, D.C.—When the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill comes to the House floor, likely on Wednesday, July 6, Republican Members of Congress will take the lead in offering two amendments that would ease travel and trade with Cuba. Debate on the amendments is expected Wednesday evening, with votes on Wednesday or Thursday. read more
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WOLA Announces Recipients of its 2016 Human Rights Awards
Honorees Show Unwavering Commitment to Human Rights in the Americas Press Release Washington, D.C.—WOLA (the Washington Office on Latin America) is proud to announce the recipients of its prestigious Human Rights Awards for 2016. Each year, WOLA presents this award to organizations or individuals who exemplify a commitment to WOLA's vision for the future, where human rights and social justice are the foundation for public policy. The 2016 Human Rights Awards recipients have shown unwavering dedication to advancing human rights in the Americas. read more
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