Europe

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24 May 2024Humanitarian Aid Civilians in the northeast of Ukraine are experiencing escalated hostilities as Russian armed forces have taken control of several villages, according to testimonies received by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU). The spokesperson for the UN human rights office (OHCHR), Liz Throssell, said that people left the Kharkiv region frontline and have been forced to stay in “cold, dark basements, with no electricity” due to aerial...
“Relentless aerial attacks continue, prolonging and exacerbating an already dire situation,” said UN refugee agency (UNHCR), spokesperson Shabia Mantoo. “More than two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion, regular shelling and attacks continue to claim lives and destroy homes and critical infrastructure across the country.” Ms. Mantoo noted that in the past week, more than 10,300 people have been evacuated from their villages in Kharkiv region’s border areas by Ukrainian authorities...
The Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence requires media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other nonprofits to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20 per cent of their funding from abroad. It was adopted on Tuesday. The adoption has sparked protests in the capital, Tbilisi, and has been denounced by Georgia’s opposition as an effort to crackdown on independent media, civil society, rights activists and government critics Chilling...
7 May 2024Human Rights The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Russia to end its crackdown on journalists in a statement issued on Tuesday shortly after President Vladmir Putin began a fifth term in office. Volker Türk said he was concerned by the increasing number of journalists charged, convicted and jailed for their independent reporting, in what appears to be an intensification of a crackdown on dissenting voices. He described the continuous attacks on free speech and the...
2 May 2024Human Rights As protests continue in Georgia over a proposed draft law on curbing foreign influence, UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk on Thursday urged the authorities to shelve the controversial bill and engage in dialogue. Thousands of people have taken to the streets for days to protest the draft law on transparency of foreign influence, which would require media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving more than 20 per cent of funding from abroad to...
1 May 2024Health The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased obesity in school-aged children in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) office for the region said in a new report issued on Wednesday, sounding the alarm for action. Results from 17 countries showed that boys and girls aged seven to nine spent more time looking at screens and less time playing outside, mirroring an increase in overweight children in this same age range. More than 50,000 children were surveyed from...
Global perspective Human stories An adult and two children walk past a destroyed apartment block in Borodianka, Ukraine. 26 April 2024Peace and Security As deadly attacks in Ukraine continue, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday that the number of children killed so far this year has increased by nearly 40 per cent compared to 2023. Attacks that occurred between January and March left 25 children dead, including a two-month-old, said the agency. During the...
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a joint statement calling on the UK Government to reconsider its plan to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda. This arrangement seeks to shift responsibility for refugee protection, undermining international cooperation, Mr. Grandi added. “The new legislation marks a further step away from the UK’s long tradition of providing refuge to those in need, in breach of the...
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ian Borg briefed ambassadors during their annual meeting on cooperation between the UN and the regional body, which is comprised of 57 States spanning Europe, Central Asia and North America, representing one billion people. The Maltese Foreign Minister said OSCE countries and their societies “are confronted with an era of profound uncertainty”, given the challenging security situation in the region following more than two years of conflict in Ukraine...
Miroslav Jenča, an Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav in the UN Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, warned that the escalation is a direct threat to international security. Affected regions include Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Donetsk. Deadly trend “We are appalled by the increase in civilian casualties as a result of these relentless attacks,” Mr. Jenča said. At least 126 civilians were killed and 478 injured...