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United Nations: Latin American and African Countries Join International Program to Combat Drug Trafficking

(Dec. 2, 2016) In October 2016, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced that ten countries in Latin America and Africa will participate in a UNODC program aimed at combatting international drug trafficking.  (Press Release, UNODC Launches CRIMJUST Project to Address Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Across Regions (Oct. 18, 2016), UNODC […]

United Nations: Ban on Trade in African Grey Parrots

(Oct. 4, 2016) The United Nations has effectively banned trade in the African grey parrot by placing it on a priority list of endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The decision came after a two-week meeting on the Convention in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Tanisha Heiberg, Global Trade in Wild African […]

UN: Call to Include Human Rights Provisions in Trade Agreements and Dispute Resolution

(Sept. 27, 2016) On September 13, 2016, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, called for all future trade agreements to include provisions extolling the primary importance of human rights. He also said that the treaties should be aligned with the duty that states […]

United Nations: Report on Debt Bondage

(Sept. 26, 2016) On September 15, 2016, Urmila Bhoola, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, presented a report on slavery in the modern world, in particular debt bondage, to the 33rd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), being held September 13-30, 2016.  (Debt Bondage Remains the Most Prevalent […]

United Nations: Agreement on Illegal Fishing

(July 22, 2016) In a July 1, 2016, statement, the Director-General of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, lauded an agreement on illegal fishing which, although concluded on November 22, 2009, just came into force on June 5, 2016. The Director-General stated that “[g]enerations to come will recognize the importance […]

ILO/UNHCR: Agreement Signed to Benefit Refugees

(July 8, 2016) On July 1, 2016, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding designed to promote work opportunities for refugees and others who are involuntarily displaced; the new Memorandum builds on an existing one from 1983. (Press Release, ILO, UNHCR and ILO […]

United Nations: Ban Ki-moon Decries Increase in Child Soldiers

(June 10, 2016) The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, expressing shock at the marked increase in violations of children’s rights, has called for changes in law and policy to better protect young people. His concern was focused on the use of child soldiers in a number of countries, particularly Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and […]

United Nations/United States: Rights Experts Criticize Conditions in Flint

(May 12, 2016) On May 3, 2016, three human rights experts from the United Nations called the contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan a human rights issue and called for swift action to correct the situation. They mentioned the potential long-term adverse effects on the children of the city and stated, “[t]he Flint […]

United Nations: Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Arrests French Journalist

(Apr. 6, 2016) The United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) on March 24, 2016, arrested French journalist Florence Hartmann, based on a warrant issued in November 2011 by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).  (Press Release, MICT, Mechanism Arrests Contempt Convict (Mar. 24, 2016); Jacqueline Jones, […]

United Nations: Rights Expert Reports on Problems of Albinos

(Apr. 1, 2016) The United Nation’s first independent expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, who was appointed in June 2015, has submitted her initial report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. The report describes increasing violence against those with albinism, who are reportedly hunted, murdered, and dismembered for […]