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United Nations: Draft Resolutions on Humanitarian Assistance, Draft Decisions on Two International Tribunals

(Jan. 2, 2015) On December 23, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, without a vote, three draft resolutions aimed at enhancing the international body’s emergency humanitarian responses. The draft resolution on international cooperation on humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters, from relief to development, according to Bolivia’s U.N. representative, not only “recognized […]

United Nations: Joint Committee Call to End Harmful Practices Against Women and Children

(Nov. 13, 2014) On November 4, 2014, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child released a joint recommendation/comment on the obligation of states “to prevent, respond to and eliminate harmful practices, wherever and in whichever form they occur,” that affect “women and […]

United Nations: Arms Trade Treaty Scheduled to Become Effective

(Sept. 30, 2014) The United Nations announced on September 25, 2014, that the Arms Trade Treaty adopted by the General Assembly in 2013 will enter into force in 90 days. It reached the necessary number of 50 ratifications on that date with the deposit of instruments of ratification by eight countries: Argentina, the Bahamas, Bosnia […]

United Nations: Protection for Manta Rays and Sharks in Effect

(Sept. 16, 2014) United Nations-sponsored restrictions on trade in sharks and manta rays became effective on September 14, 2014. Permits and certificates establishing that sustainable, legal methods have been used to harvest five kinds of sharks and all manta rays now are needed for the sale of meat, gills, and fins. The shark species involved […]

Tanzania; United Nations: Protection Needed for Albinos

(Sept. 8, 2014) On August 25, 2014, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) questioned the method adopted by the Government of Tanzania to protect children with albinism. The government has placed children with the condition in state-run care centers, to protect them from being targeted by those who believe […]

United Nations: Global Strategy to End Detention of Refugees Includes Suggested Legal Reforms

(July 10, 2014) On July 3, 2014, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued a global strategy designed to encourage countries to end the detention of asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons who arrive at their borders. The strategy is in response to the fact that, as the UNHCR observed, many […]

Burma; United Nations: Experts Oppose Draft Law on Religious Conversion

(June 26, 2014) On June 20, 2014, independent human rights experts from the United Nations asked Burma not to go ahead with a proposed law that would restrict religious conversion in the predominantly Buddhist country. The proposal would make conversions difficult by creating a process of application and approval for those wanting to change faiths. […]

United Nations: Agreement Signed with Olympic Committee

(Apr. 30, 2014) On April 28, 2014, the United Nations and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the role of sports in development and peace. The pact was signed at U.N. headquarters by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the chief of the Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach. Ban stated “[s]port has great […]

United Nations: Treaty Will Allow Children to File Rights Complaints

(Apr. 22, 2014) On April 14, 2014, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure came into force, three months after the date on which the tenth country, Costa Rica, deposited an instrument of ratification of the Protocol. (New Treaty Enables Children to Lodge Complaints with UN […]

Sri Lanka; United Nations: Human Rights Council to Investigate Alleged War Crimes Committed During Civil War

(Apr. 4, 2014) On March 27, 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to start an investigation into war crimes that may have occurred during Sri Lanka’s 25-year civil war, which ended in 2009. (UN Rights Council Approves Inquiry into Alleged Abuses in Sri Lanka War, UN NEWS CENTRE (Mar. 27, 2014).) The inquiry […]