UK GOVERNMENT: ' Philip Hammond Comments on UN Human Rights Council Resolution Saying it Will Not Achieve Ceasefire and is Fundamentally Unbalanced '

#AceWorldNews – BRITAIN (London) – Philip Hammond says UN Human Rights Council resolution will not help achieve ceasefire and is fundamentally unbalanced.

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Commenting on the resolution on Gaza adopted today by the UN Human Rights Council, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The UK is deeply concerned by the continuing bloodshed in Gaza. It is tragic that so many innocent civilians, including women and children, have been killed and injured. The urgent priority is to stop the bloodshed, restore a ceasefire and work for a longer term solution. All our efforts will be concentrated on that objective.

Today’s UN Human Rights Council resolution will not help achieve a lasting ceasefire. It is fundamentally unbalanced and will complicate the process by introducing unnecessary new mechanisms.

The UK could not support this resolution, but recognising the strength of feeling about the loss of life and the desire by a large number of members of the Council to express that feeling in a resolution, the UK joined other EU nations in abstaining in the vote.

UK GOV Press Release

#ANS2014

#britain, #london, #philip-hammond, #un-human-rights-council

`Saudi Human Rights are Changing with Acceptance of Male Guardianship Though Still not Equal Rights for Women ‘

#AceNewsServices – GENEVA – (UNHRC) – Saudi Arabia has accepted, either totally or partially, the vast majority of recommendations made to it by the UN Human Rights Council, but Amnesty International has warned that many of the reforms were vaguely worded promises to “consider” changes.

The kingdom was handed 225 recommendations at the 17th session of the Working Group of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in October 2013 http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/SASession17.aspx

At the meeting of the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia fully accepted 145, partially accepted 36, gave no answer to six, and rejected 38.

The accepted recommendations included taking steps to phase out male guardianship for women.

In a statement on March 19 2014 – Amnesty International welcomes Saudi Arabia’s engagement with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its acceptance of a number of recommendations, including to dismantle or abolish the system of male guardianship and to allow women to freely travel, work, study, marry and access health care and other public services.

Amnesty International said despite Saudi Arabia’s action, the kingdom had “rejected crucial recommendations to ratify core international treaties including those that would safeguard the rights of women and grant victims access to justice” http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE23/006/2014/en/271b327f-5d37-4c4b-9b27-713f39061c53/mde230062014en.html

“Until Saudi Arabia’s actions match its words the kingdom’s dire reputation as a grave violator of human rights is unlikely to change,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

“Saudi Arabia must prove that its acceptance of these recommendations is more than a mere public relations exercise designed to deflect criticism of its human rights record.”

Welcomed changes

A source travelling with the Saudi delegation, who wished to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera that significant advances had been accepted by the kingdom, most particularly those regarding male guardianship.

However, Amnesty International said that despite accepting this recommendation, the Kingdom refused to acknowledge the existence of such a guardianship system and claimed that laws in Saudi Arabia already guarantee equal rights to women and men.

Courtesy of Al Jazeera – Amnesty International – United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) – OHCHR

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#di, #geneva, #saudi-arabia, #un-human-rights-council, #un-human-rights-council-unhrc

` Number of children ` Tasered’ by ` London’s Metropolitan Police’ has risen almost `Six-Fold ‘in the last four years’

#AceGuestNews and Views – Scott Craig – VOR

The number of children tasered by London’s Metropolitan Police has risen almost six-fold in the last four years. The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) says the stun guns were used on children 53 times in 2012 – up from just eight in 2008. VoR’s Scott Craig spoke to Paola Uccellari, Director at the CRAE.

Tasers deliver a 50,000-volt electrical charge into targets to incapacitate them.

Paola Uccellari, told VoR: “The use of Tasers on children in London has increased almost six-fold, between 2008 and 2012. Children were tasered 131 times in that period. In our view children should not be tasered at all.

So we are really concerned that there’s been an increase during this period.

“We can see that it’s particularly in the south London boroughs, children [there] are being tasered a lot more than in other areas of London. For us that shows that it is possible to police effectively without using tasers on children.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concern at their use on children.

“The UN human rights bodies recognise that children should be treated differently. Because these weapons are dangerous when they’re used on children they should not be used at all.

“I think it shows that when there’s a determination to improve things with children, when there’s a concerted effort, things can change. We need to see a resolve to improve things for children in other areas.”
(VoR)

#AceGuestViews of Scott Craig

Audio 07032014_CHILDRENTASERTX_scottcraig.mp3

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#the-childrens-rights-alliance-england-crae, #un-human-rights-council

#AceWorldNews says according to the UN the Brazilian…

#AceWorldNews says according to the UN the Brazilian authorities need to give further priority to the poorest and most marginalized, to ensure that inequalities in the country are progressively eliminated and all receive access to sanitation and water, an independent United Nations human rights expert today urged.

Wrapping up her first official mission to Brazil, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, said that Brazil was a “country of contrasts.”

“I was shocked by the misery I saw and by the lack of access to sanitation and water by significant portions of the population. These are fundamentally people living in favelas or in rural areas,” said Ms. De Albuquerque.

“Even though I acknowledge progress in this regard, the truth is that still millions of Brazilians live in deplorable conditions where access to sanitation and water is still only a distant dream,” she added.

Brazil recently adopted ‘Plan Sab’, a National Water and Sanitation Plan with $150 billion allocated from the federal budget to the sector in the coming two decades.

The Special Rapporteur called the document “excellent” and said she was “very positively impressed” by the allocation.

“Despite the positive examples of social participation in some social programmes, and government institutions, I was especially touched by my interaction with many Brazilians, who repeatedly – in the different regions I visited – told me that they still felt invisible and forgotten by public powers.”

In the area of sanitation, the expert explained, “the low coverage does not match the advances of modern Brazil, where 52 per cent of the Brazilian population still does not have sewage collection, and only 38 per cent of the sewage generated is treated.”

“The fact that Brazil still has almost 8 million people defecating daily in the open is unacceptable and an affront to human dignity,” Ms. de Albuquerque stressed. This lack of access to sanitation is particularly serious in the North, where less than 10 per cent of the population has sewage collection.

During her fact-finding mission to Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Fortaleza and Belém do Pará, the Special Rapporteur also received numerous complaints of people suffering from diarrhoea and other water and sanitation-borne diseases due to the bad quality of water.

She will present a comprehensive report to a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will include her final findings and recommendations to the Government of Brazil.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work.

#a-national-water-and-sanitation-plan-brazil, #plan-sab, #brasillia, #catarina-de-albuquerque, #rio-de-janeiro, #sao-paulo, #special-rapporteur, #un-human-rights-council, #un-special-rapporteur, #united-nations

Independent Experts Recently Voiced Serious Concern Over Reports That Chinese Activists Have Been Intimidated and Prevented From Taking Part in a Major Assessment of the Human Rights Situation in the Country

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

United Nations Human Rights Council logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews says United Nations independent experts recently voiced serious concern over reports that Chinese activists have been intimidated and prevented from taking part in a major assessment of the human rights situation in the country.

“Intimidating civil society members who seek to contribute to such an important international dialogue is completely unacceptable,” said the Geneva-based experts in a <“http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13860&LangID=E“>news release. “Ensuring the free participation of civil society actors, including human rights defenders, and other national stakeholders, in this process is crucial.”

Activists have reportedly been threatened, arrested or banned from leaving China in the run-up to the second assessment of the country’s record by the UN Human Rights Council through its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. The review will take place on 22 October 2013 in Geneva.

“These cases seem part of a pattern of increased harassment by China of those calling for greater accountability of public officials, transparency and political and legal reforms,” the experts said.

The experts received information that rights defenders Cao Shunli and Chen Jianfang were allegedly prevented from boarding flights to Geneva where they were due to participate in activities organized on the margins of a Human Rights Council session in September.

Chen Jianfang was reportedly told that she was barred from travelling abroad for life, while Cao Shunli was detained by Chinese security authorities on 14 September. Cao Shunli’s family has allegedly not received any formal notification of her detention.

It was also reported that Chinese civil society activists, who have demonstrated since June to defend their right to participate and receive information on China’s report to the UPR, have been threatened by local authorities on various occasions.

Znak graficzny UPR Eurowybory 2009

Znak graficzny UPR Eurowybory 2009 (Photo credit: Unia Polityki Realnej)

“These reports suggest there have been acts of reprisals against people who seek to cooperate with the UN,” said Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders Margaret Sekaggya.

“Defenders play a key role in holding States to account for the implementation of their human rights obligations, including at the international level. Their legitimate work should be fully respected.”

China accepted recommendations made during its first review in 2009 to strengthen its engagement with civil society to promote and protect human rights. The Government informed the UN experts that non-governmental organizations were consulted ahead of the UPR session and that the draft of the national report was available on its official website for comments.

Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, said that even if some organizations had participated in the UPR preparations, “nothing can justify excluding legitimate voices through intimidation.”

“Access to information and an open space for the free exchange of opinions and ideas are essential to ensure a proper review of the human rights record of any country,” Mr. La Rue stressed.

Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kai said preventing people to participate in the UPR and from demonstrating peacefully constitutes a breach of China’s international obligations to respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

“This obligation includes facilitating peaceful protests by providing protestors with access to public space, and protecting them, where necessary, against any threats,” he said.

Regarding the situation of Ms. Cao, the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances underlined that information on her detention, including the reasons and place of detention, should be made ready to avail to her family members and counsel.

The experts have also asked the Chinese authorities for further information regarding these allegations and called for the immediate release of all those detained after peacefully protesting for more civil society participation in the UPR process and advocating for human rights and good governance.

“These serious allegations must be investigated thoroughly and impartially by the Chinese authorities,” the experts concluded.

Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.

 

#china, #frank-william-la-rue, #geneva, #human-right, #special-rapporteur, #un-human-rights-council, #united-nations, #united-nations-human-rights-council, #united-nations-special-rapporteur, #universal-periodic-review, #upr

The UK has today been successful in its bid for election to the UN Human Rights Council for the term January 2014 – December 2016.

Following the announcement of the election results in New York today, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

I am delighted that the UK is back on the Human Rights Council. We will use our voice to help strengthen the Council, to support countries working to improve their human rights record, and to call to account nations that commit serious and systematic violations against their citizens.

We will work tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable people from discrimination and to champion global causes – including ending sexual violence in conflict, the need for the full participation of women in peace-building, and the universal right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion and belief.

I thank the countries that supported Britain’s candidacy and look forward to working closely with the other members of the Council.

#acenewsservices, #government, #new-york, #un-human-rights-council, #william-hague

Ace News Services Press Release Speaking shortly after…

Ace News Services – Press Release – Speaking shortly after the meeting Baroness Warsi said:
The freedom to practice, change or share your faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a fundamental human right that all people should enjoy. Sadly too often around the world that right is denied to people of different religions or beliefs. I believe that societies which aim to guarantee freedom of religion or belief are stronger, fairer and more confident. Alongside the other Governments and International Organisations meeting here today the UK is committed to promoting awareness and action on UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 and the Istanbul Process.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/combating-religious-intolerance-and-supporting-freedom-of-religion-and-belief

#acenewsservices, #baroness-warsi, #istanbul-process, #press-report, #resolution-1618, #un-human-rights-council