August 14th, 2012

100 million people taking part in World Humanitarian Day campaign, so far – UN

Posted on 14 Aug 2012 at 10:51am

The United Nations campaign highlighting the work of the world’s humanitarian workers has reached 100 million people through social media so far, the world body announced today, describing it as its “first milestone” that gets it closer to the one billion mark, which it aims to reach by World Humanitarian Day on 19 August.

The campaign, ‘I Was Here,’ allows people to transmit messages of support from people who have registered online across the world pledging humanitarian action, however big or small. Members of the public can then share their individual acts of good through the interactive website www.whd-iwashere.org.

Organized by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),…

Awards for Rights Activists from Congo, Libya

Posted on 14 Aug 2012 at 10:46am

Winners Named for the 2012 Alison Des Forges Award

(New York) – Two courageous and tireless advocates for human rights have been selected as recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. Abbé Benoît Kinalegu from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Salah Marghani from Libya are leading voices for justice in their countries, working relentlessly to protect the rights and dignity of others. They will join four other international recipients of the award as they are honored at the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Annual Dinners in 15 cities worldwide in November 2012.

The award is named for Dr. Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to Human…

UN: Human Rights Monitors Still Needed in Syria

Posted on 14 Aug 2012 at 10:40am

Future Presence Should Include Rights Experts, Visit Prisons, Report Publicly

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should ensure the continuation of human rights monitoring in Syria after the expiration of the current mandate. The mandate of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) is set to end on August 19, 2012, and Security Council members will meet on August 16to discuss the future of the UN presence in the country.

“The intensification of the conflict only makes the need for international human rights monitors more urgent,” said Philippe Bolopion, United Nations director at Human Rights Watch. “UN rights experts would help set the record…

Nepal: Protect, Don’t Ban Young Women Migrating to Gulf

Posted on 14 Aug 2012 at 10:38am

New Ban on Young Women Migrants Discriminates, Not a Solution

(New York) – The Nepali government should revoke its new ban on women under the age of 30 from working in Arab Gulf countries and instead should improve protections so domestic workers can migrate safely – such as by ensuring full monitoring and accountability of recruitment agencies in Nepal. At the same time governments in the Gulf should adopt long overdue labor protections and immigration reforms, including ending the discriminatory treatment of domestic workers, to combat abuse of Nepali and other migrant workers.

On August 9, 2012, Nepal’s cabinet approved a ban on women under the age of 30 from traveling…

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