Human Rights

General Assembly declares access to clean water and sanitation is a human right

Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the General Assembly declared today, voicing deep concern that almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water.

INDIA: Ignorance and pretence underscored in the new law

Over the past two years, India has been attempting to address problems adversely affecting its law enforcement agencies. These efforts, all of them initiated by the government, unfortunately are not capable of tackling the central issue concerning law enforcement -- the question of torture.

AFRICA: Political will can solve malnutrition

"Children don't vote," said Dr Robert Mwadime, of Uganda Action for Nutrition, at a session on the subject before the three-day African Union (AU) meeting opened in Kampala, Uganda. This means that political leaders in Africa often pay scant attention to the millions of children who die every year of malnutrition-related causes. Most of the audience nodded in agreement; many clapped.

UN: Strengthen Civilian Protection in Darfur

New Deaths, Other Abuses Underscore Need for Better Access, Improved Security

Intensified fighting between the Sudanese government and rebel forces in 2010 has caused many hundreds of deaths and mass displacements in Darfur and should prompt the United Nations to ensure that international peacekeepers strengthen protection for civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the Darfur peacekeeping mission in late July 2010.

PAKISTAN: An ISI torture victim may commit suicide if not rehabilitated and his family may join

Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Awan, who was kept in an army torture cell by Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) officials for five years, announced that he will commit suicide along with his wife and child on August 14, on Independence Day of Pakistan, if the government and Pakistan army do not rehabilitate him and his family. After the severe torture he suffered during detention, he is not able to walk or even feed himself.

Death penalty to be debated in China

China is about to debate a draft amendment to the criminal law.

Next month, the country's highest law-making body will decide whether to cut the number of crimes which attract the death penalty.

US bans animal torture videos

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to halt the distribution of so-called "crush videos" in which small animals are killed by crushing or other cruel methods.

Extension to treaty protecting UN personnel to enter into force after latest ratification

A protocol that expands an international treaty aimed at protecting United Nations staff members and other humanitarian workers will enter into force within a month after the United Kingdom became the latest country to ratify it.

UNICEF signs child protection pact with key rebel group in Darfur

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today signed a child protection agreement, which includes ending the recruitment of child soldiers, with a major rebel group in the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur.

UN sounds the alarm as dire humanitarian situation continues to grip Somalia

As Somalia remains in the grip of a humanitarian crisis, it is vital to ensure adequate funding to assist the 3.2 million people – or more than 40 per cent of the population – who rely on international aid, a senior United Nations aid official stressed today.