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The UN Human Rights Council adopts the new Optional Protocol to the CRC

Geneva, 25 June 2011 - After two years of discussions and negotiations at the international level, the final draft Optional Protocol establishing a communications procedure for children's rights violations has been adopted by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Thirteen additional States co-sponsored the resolution, including Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Japan, Jordan, Senegal and Zambia, making it a total of 49 States from all regions (see the original 36 co-sponsors in the resolution adopted). The final text will now be transmitted to the UN General Assembly (GA) to be discussed by its Third Committee this Autumn and endorsed and adopted by the GA in December 2...

UN official appeals for resources to help millions facing hunger in Horn of Africa

1 July 2011 – The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today voiced concern over the plight of nearly 10 million people facing severe food shortages as a result of a prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa, adding that resources for the relief effort in the region are dwindling at a time when assistance needs to be stepped up.“The World Food Programme is aiming to feed more than 6 million of the most vulnerable, but resources are thin and at the very moment that we should be ramping up operations, we have been scaling back some programmes in Ethiopia and Somalia,” said Josette Sheeran, the WFP Executive Director.She said delivery of emergency food assistance is a vital...

UN urges Europe and Central Asia to stop sending children to state-run homes

New York, Jun 29 2011 - Two United Nations entities have urged governments in Europe and Central Asia to immediately end the practice of placing young children in State-run homes for infants because of the risk of neglect and abuse.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) yesterday <"http://www.unicef.org/media/media_59030.html">launched a campaign against sending children to State-managed homes after two new reports documented abuses of children in such institutions.The reports showed that across Europe and Central Asia, including in States that are members of the European Union (EU), more than a million children and adults ...

UN OFFICIAL CONDEMNS USE OF YOUNG CHILD AS UNWITTING SUICIDE BOMBER

New York, Jun 27 2011 -  A top United Nations official today condemned as unconscionable the use of an unwitting child as a suicide bomber in Afghanistan and a separate attack on a hospital in the strife-torn country. The office of Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said she “was appalled to learn today of the use of a young girl as an unwitting suicide bomber” yesterday in Afghanistan.According to media reports, an eight-year-old girl was tricked into carrying a bomb close to a police vehicle in Oruzgan province in southern Afghanistan, unaware that it was a bomb, and was killed when it was remotely detonated....

UN chief urges societies to empower widows to play meaningful role in society

23 June 2011 –Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged societies to ease the hardship that widows endure when their husbands die by respecting their rights to such social entitlements as access to inheritance, land tenure, employment and other means of livelihood. “All widows should be protected by the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international human rights treaties,” said Mr. Ban in a message to mark the first International Widows Day, which will be observed on 23 June every year. “But in reality, interpretations of customary codes, as well as traditional mourning and burial rites, often deny wid...

G-20 food summit falls short

NEW YORK - JOHANNESBURG, 24 June 2011- The agriculture ministers of major economies, rich as well as emerging, meeting for the first time as the world verges on another food crisis in only four years, have disappointed. Their decisions, summed up in a 24-page Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture, lacked the teeth to bite the neck of the crisis, according to food experts and NGOs.That the agreement was reached at all was a tribute to French agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire, who chaired the meeting, said Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. The action plan dealt with the symptoms and not the causes of the current crisis. “There is much more ...
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