Media Coverage

11/1/2018

A recent Facebook post by Lauraleigh Paul, the daughter of Vancouver artist Lawrence Paul, alleging an Indigenous actor had sexually assaulted her has spurred other indigenous women in British Columbia, Canada to do the same. Over the past week, scores of indigenous people have shared their personal stories of sexual assault, harassment and abuse on Facebook. They have also contacted journalists and victim services.

11/1/2018

A week after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed filled half of his new cabinet with women in a radical overhaul, the country’s Parliament took another step toward gender parity on by appointing the country’s first female president. Sahle-Work Zewde, 68, a seasoned diplomat who has held positions in the UN and worked in peacekeeping operations in Africa, accepted the position following the unprecedented appointments of women to lead the Defense Ministry and the secret intelligence agency, a long-feared state organ.

11/1/2018

Half the population of war-torn Yemen - 14 million people - are facing "pre-famine conditions", the UN has warned. UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs coordinator Mark Lowcock said survey work showed the number entirely reliant on aid for survival was three million higher than thought. There was a clear danger of a famine "much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives", he added.

11/1/2018

South Korea’s top court stirred decades-old resentments that threaten to inflame relations with Japan, ordering a leading Japanese steel maker to compensate four South Korean men forced to work as slave laborers during World War II. The ruling, which the Japanese government quickly denounced, laid bare the lasting bitterness over Imperial Japan’s occupation of Asian neighbors 73 years after the surrender to allied powers.

10/29/2018

A UN rights expert said that Sierra Leone’s decision to de facto remove all three members of its Human Rights Commission was an attack on the rule of law and must be reversed. In April 2017, three human rights commissioners were appointed to the commission for a five-year term. However, in June 2018, the President of Sierra Leone ordered the commission’s dissolution, without citing a reason. “The Government’s decision to de facto dissolve the Commission’s current membership undermines the rule of law in Sierra Leone and distracts from efforts to promote and protect human rights.

10/29/2018

France plans to bring back children of suspected French Islamist militants from Syria. Like other European nations, France has been debating how to handle suspected militants and their families returning from combat zones in Iraq and Syria. The policy so far has been to refuse to take back fighters and their spouses, but special consideration is being given to the situation of minors. Reportedly, there are about 60 women, including 40 mothers with around 150 minors, the majority of whom are under the age of 6, in Syria.

10/29/2018

With the help of local women’s rights organizations, UN Women, and other UN partners, the women from Sepur Zarco, in the east of Guatemala, succeeded in securing the conviction of two former military officers on charges of crimes against humanity, back in 2016. It was a groundbreaking legal decision, the first time anywhere in the world that a national court had prosecuted sexual slavery during conflict using national legislation and international criminal law.

10/29/2018

Thousands of protesters gathered outside the Almudena Roman Catholic Cathedral in central Madrid on Thursday to demonstrate against plans to bury the remains of former dictator Francisco Franco at such an emblematic site. Spanish lawmakers voted in September to remove the remains of Franco from a mausoleum, where tens of thousands of victims of the 1936-1939 civil war that brought Franco to power are also laid to rest. It is still not known to where his remains will be transferred. But the Franco family has a crypt at the cathedral and Franco’s daughter is buried there.

10/29/2018

The former head of Sri Lanka’s army, Sarath Fonseka, has spoken out against paying reparations to persons “who worked to divide the nation,” indicating that those who supported the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), otherwise known as the Tamil Tigers, would not receive any compensation. Civil society groups have criticized the Office of Reparations Bill, passed in Sri Lanka’s parliament earlier this month over concerns about red tape, independence, and the limited authority of the office.

10/26/2018

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has named his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the country's new prime minister after the collapse of the governing coalition. Opponents say the move is unconstitutional, and the Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, called his leader's sacking "an anti-democratic coup." Rajapaksa ended the civil war between the government and Tamil separatists in 2009, but faced criticism for the means by which he achieved victory—many thousands of Tamil civilians are thought to have been killed by government forces in the final months of the fighting.

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