Media reports have revealed that cases of sexual harassment and assault, apart from being common at UN offices across the world, are routinely silenced because of a flawed grievance system. Since the media reports surfaced, a large number of current and former employees and consultants have gone public with incidents of sexual harassment that they faced at the organization. The UN Secretary General has vowed to address sexual harassment and related issues, including under-reporting. The UN has since launched a staff helpline, staffed by persons trained in human resources work, to respond to sexual harassment complaints.
The World Health Organisation has released comprehensive and up to-date guidelines on essential intrapartum care to ensure good-quality and evidence-based care irrespective of the setting or level of health care in the region. These recommendations are not country or region specific, although they acknowledge the variations that exist globally in the availability of health services. They highlight the importance of woman-centred care to optimize the experience of labour and childbirth through a human rights-based approach. The target audience includes national and local public health policy-makers, implementers and managers of maternal and child health programmes, health care facility managers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), professional societies involved in the planning and management of maternal and child health services, health care professionals (including nurses, midwives, general medical practitioners and obstetricians) and academic staff involved in training health care professionals.
In pursuance of fulfilling the obligations under decision 18/117 and resolution 22/11 of the Human Rights Council, the OHCHR has called for submissions on the any relevant information on developments since 1 April 2016 with regard to the question of the death penalty, so as to enable the Secretary General to report to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session. The last date for the submissions is 15 April 2018.
In its resolution A/HRC/res/35/16 adopted in 2017, the Human Rights Council had called upon all States, humanitarian actors, men and boys, and youth organizations to develop and implement responses, strategies and policies to prevent, respond to and eliminate child, early and forced marriage, including in humanitarian settings. Accordingly, the OHCHR has called for submissions stating any relevant information for the preparation of its oral update. The submissions may pertain to the nature and scope of child marriage in humanitarian settings, causes of CEFM in humanitarian settings, impact of CEFM on girls, individuals, and community, challenges, research, and data collection.
The Prosecutor of International Criminal Court (ICC) appointed Patricia V. Sellers as the Special Advisor on Gender. The newly appointed Special Advisor is a human rights practitioner and an international criminal lawyer who has been working in the field of international criminal justice. The Special Advisor will be required to further strengthen the approach to a range of gender issues and support wide, strategic responses to sexual and gender-based crimes under the Rome Statute (under article 42.9 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor may appoint Special Advisors with legal expertise on specific issues, including, but not limited to, sexual and gender violence.)
In her third report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur addresses how actions in the field of arts and culture can make significant contributions towards creating, developing and maintaining societies in which all human rights are increasingly realized. The increased social interactions, mutual understanding and trust that can be built or rebuilt through these initiatives are essential to achieve a range of human rights goals and to respect cultural diversity. Specifically, the report raised the issue of a global gender gap in cultural activities, and calls upon states to take effective steps, in accordance with international standards, to combat discrimination, including against women, and promote diversity in the cultural and artistic fields, including by urgently tackling sexual harassment in these fields
The UN Women has released a report titled ‘Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ which takes stock of the global status of key aspects of the gender equality as a part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that were set by the UN.
The report looks at both the ends (goals and targets) and the means (policies and processes) that are needed to achieve gender equality and sustainable development. With respect to women in India, the report highlights the compounding effect of wealth and location in widening gender gap. It states that in India, a 20-24 year old woman from a poor rural household is over five times as likely to be married before 18 and 5.8 times as likely to become an adolescent mother as one from a rich urban household. As for education, she is over 20 times as likely to have never attended school as compared to her rich urban counterpart. The report also mentions multiple marginalisations that contribute to widening the gender gap, including caste, religion, and class.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women has emphasized on the intensification of international, regional and national efforts to prevent femicide (murder of a woman or girl on the grounds of her sex and/or gender) and gender related killings of women and other forms of gender-based violence. The statement by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences marked “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence”, the international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The SR urged the establishment of a femicide watch to collect, analyze, and review data at the national, regional and global level in order to prevent and eradicate femicide and gender-based violence against women and girls worldwide.
UNESCO has published an updated report titled International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education for advocating quality comprehensive sexuality education to promote health and well-being, respect for human rights and gender equality, and empower children and young people to lead healthy, safe and productive lives. The Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education is intended to assist education policy makers in all countries, for creating age-appropriate curriculum for children and adolescents. The guide further aims to assist health and other relevant authorities in the development and implementation of school-based and out-of-school comprehensive sexuality education programmes and materials.
The United Nations’ Yugoslav war crimes tribunal convicted military chief Ratko Mladic of genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to life imprisonment for the atrocities committed during the 1992-1995 war.
Mladic, 75, was found guilty of commanding forces responsible for barbaric crimes including, but not limited to the fatal three-year siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of approximately 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica, which was Europe’s worst mass killing since the second World War. A three-judge panel convicted him of 10 of 11 counts in a powerful culmination of a monumental search for justice in the Balkans. Although the decision comes 22 years after Mladic’s egregious crimes at Srebrenica, he was arrested only in 2011 with his trial beginning in 2012.
Source: http://bit.ly/2EIJblZ; http://bit.ly/2BeC1os