GENEVA – “Women and girls who are forced to marry find themselves in servile marriages for the rest of their lives,” warned United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, in a statement to commemorate the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, which is celebrated on 2 December. “They are deprived of their genuine right to make their own choice for their future.”
“Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights, eliminating discrimination and achieving gender equality lie at the heart of the international human rights system, starting with article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states unequivocally: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…’
Pakistan’s second review under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) took place on the 30 October 2012, and was attended by a large delegation led by Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and including the Advisor on Human Rights and the Advisor on Minorities.
SARAJEVO / GENEVA (5 November 2012) – United Nations human rights expert Rashida Manjoo said that heightened domestic violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina is linked in many cases to the legacy of the war, and women and men suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and other war-related mental health problems as well as unemployment, poverty or addiction.
Realizing women’s cultural rights can play a key role in ensuring that women’s rights are respected more widely. Farida Shaheed, UN expert in the field of cultural rights, proposed to shift the paradigm from one that views culture merely as an obstacle to women’s rights to one that seeks to ensure women’s equal enjoyment of cultural rights.
“This occupation is the cruelest one that the Malian people have had to undergo, nowadays women are deprived of all liberties and even the choice of a husband is dictated to them by the occupying forces,” says a displaced woman* living in Bamako and originally from Timbuktu – a city occupied by armed groups today. “Even worse, the woman is married to several men against her will. Nowadays our children can no longer go to school,” she added.
LONDON (TrustLaw) – African member states of the United Nations have submitted a draft resolution on ending female genital mutilation (FGM) to the U.N. General Assembly, in what campaigners have hailed as a landmark step to end a practice that has been inflicted on up to 140 million women and girls.
NEW YORK (25 October 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, today urged States to consistently respect, protect and promote the human right to freedom of religion or belief in the area of conversion.