2000 allegations of sexual abuse over the past 12 years
A report compiled by theAssociated Pressdetailed nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers and other personnel over the past 12 years, yet the majority of perpetrators escaped jail time due to lax enforcement by their respective governments of origin.
According to an internal UN documentobtainedby AP, at least 134 peacekeepers from Sri Lanka abused nine Haitian children in a sex ring from 2004 to 2007. While 114 peacekeepers were sent back to Sri Lanka following the report’s release, none were ever imprisoned. (more…)
The United Nations says it aims to resettle more than 450,000 Syrian refugees, about one-tenth of those now in neighbouring countries, by the end of 2018.
The UN refugee agency is urging countries worldwide to take in Syrians for resettlement as well as for humanitarian reasons of family reunification, medical treatment or scholarships to complete their studies.
More than 4.8 million Syrian refugees have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt to escape a war that has killed more than 250,000 people since 2011 and left 13.5 million inside Syria in need of aid.
An additional half a million people are estimated to have fled to Europe, especially Germany, since early 2015.
The legacy of enslavement in the United States of America remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to recognition and reparations for people of African descent, a United Nations expert panel has said today at the end of its second official visit* to the country.
From 9 to 29 January, a delegation of the UN Working Group of experts on people of African descent visited Washington D.C., Baltimore, Jackson- Mississippi, Chicago, and New York City to address current concerns, and assess progress made in the fight agains racial discrimination, Afrophobia, xenophobia, and protecting and promoting the human rights of African- Americans.
“Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights of African Americans today,” said human rights expert Mireille Fanon Mendes France, who currently heads the group of experts.
However, they expressed serious concerns about the police killings, the presence of police in schools, and violence targeting the African American community with impunity and racial bias in the criminal justice system, mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty which disproportionately affects African Americans.
During its eleven-day mission, the Working Group’s delegation heard from civil society, researchers and families of victims of police killings about racial discrimination and Afrophobia.
They also promoted the International Decade for People of African Descent, which runs from 2015 to 2024 and aims both to highlight the contribution of people of African descent tosocieties and strengthen national, regional and international cooperation to ensure the human rights of people of African descent are respected, promoted and fulfilled.
Using force will not stop the global migration crisis – UN experts call for smart mobility solutions
GENEVA (23 October 2015) – Two United Nations experts on the human rights of migrants called on the European Union to open regular and safe channels for migrants in order “to take over the mobility market from the smugglers.”
“Attempting to seal borders and the over-emphasis on the securitisation ofborders is not going to reduce irregular migration in the long run,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, and the Chair of the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, Francisco Carrión Mena.
In an open letter* released today in New York, the experts expressed deep concern at the recent UN Security Council resolution allowing the EU to inspect, possibly seize and use force against boats off the coast of Libya in cases where reasonable grounds exist to suspect that such boats are being used for the smuggling of migrants from that country.
“International cooperation is certainly needed to combat organized criminal enterprises from engaging in such activities, but the Security Council resolution and EU Operation Sophia miss the mark,” they stated. “EU Operation Sophia – which allows for EU naval vessels to board, search, seize and divert vessels suspected of being used for migrant smuggling – is an example of the States’ naivety in thinking that sealing borders can work.”
“Countries can only effectively tackle smuggling if they take over the market. They must urgently provide safe regular channels for migration and places for refugee resettlement. Without a regular alternative available to reach safety and the opportunity of building a future for themselves and their children, people will continue to pay smugglers and risk their lives through dangerous journeys.”
The human rights experts called for commitment by all EU member States – and hopefully many more countries in the Global North and in the Global South – to resettle over a certain number of years a meaningful number of refugees (most probably in the millions) directly from transit countries. “EU member States would then reclaim this mobility market from the hands of the smugglers,” they noted.
“Whether considered migrants, asylum seekers or refugees, all are entitled to a protection response based on international law, in particular the human rights law, humanitarian law, and refugee law treaty framework,” the experts stated in their open letter.
“All policies and practices aimed at effectively responding to this phenomenon of increasingly mixed migration movements, as well as at addressing the situation of migrants in transit and destination countries, must be fully in line with these norms and principles established by the international community,” they added.
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