World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Minorities Face Rising Tide of Human Rights Intolerance

Minorities Face Rising Tide of Intolerance in Human Rights “Gap”, UN Expert Warns


NEW YORK (30 October 2017) - A glaring gap remains in addressing and protecting the human rights of minorities, who represent some of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised segments of society but are suffering growing intolerance, the recently appointed Special Rapporteur on minorities issues, has warned.

“We are witnessing a clear and present danger, which is the increase of intolerance and hate speech in various parts of the world,” said Fernand de Varennes.

“Against this backdrop, tensions caused by continued marginalisation of minorities in conflict are directly contributing to creating environments which in some cases risk spilling over into violence.

“Ensuring respect for the rights of minorities and their political and social inclusion remain key for stability,” he added.

Mr. de Varennes said special attention had to be given to minority women and children, as they were the “most vulnerable of the vulnerable” in many cases.

The Special Rapporteur, who addressed the UN General Assembly in New York, said it was high time for States and other groups to renew their commitment to the UN Declaration on the rights of persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, 25 years after its adoption.

“Diversity and the existence of minorities are facts, but decisions to be inclusive are matters of choices made through policies and practices,” he said.

“It is essential to overcome the difficulties and uncertainties that stand in the way of the effective protection of the human rights of minorities.

“Commitment to the UN declaration and its effectiveness are weakened by ambiguities and diverging positions, even in relation to the concept of minorities. In a few cases this has had debilitating consequences on understanding the impact of the declaration and other human rights instruments affecting minorities, even within the United Nations itself.”

The Special Rapporteur said many minorities around the world were living in increasingly precarious conditions. Some had no legal status, even in their countries of birth, while others were suffering from the rise of intolerance and hate speech.

“Statelessness affects an estimated 12 million people in the world, a significant majority of whom belong to minorities. We need to mobilize all relevant groups and authorities to address this issue and find solutions for these communities which are affected by the double scourge of discrimination and statelessness,” said Mr. de Varennes, who will focus on the issue of statelessness in a report to the Human Rights Council session in March 2018.

He also stressed the importance of preventing conflict by including minorities, and of education for minorities, particularly in relation to their identities and languages.

“When it comes to conflict prevention, ensuring inclusiveness and non-discrimination for minorities remain key state obligations, especially considering that minorities have been very negatively impacted by an increasing number of conflicts in the world,” he said.

ENDS

Dr. Fernand de Varennes was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues by the Human Rights Council and assumed his functions on 1 August 2017. He is Dean of the Faculté de droit at the Université de Moncton in Canada and Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>