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World closer to ending modern slavery as UN-backed protocol on forced labour comes into force

Forced labour often means unpaid wages, excessively long work hours without rest days, confiscation of ID documents, little freedom of movement, deception, intimidation and physical or sexual violence. Photo: ILO/A. Khemka

10 November 2016 – An international protocol on forced labour has entered into force, a major milestone in the fight to end the practice, which the United Nations labour agency estimates victimizes 21 million people worldwide. The International Labour Organization Forced Labour Protocol “requires countries to take effective measures to prevent and eliminate forced labour, […]

UN agency responding to severe health risks women and girls face amid Mosul military operation

UNFPA distributes dignity kits, containing hygiene items, to preserve the dignity of women and girls fleeing Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNFPA Iraq

The United Nations estimates that 1.2 to 1.5 million people are currently being affected by the military operations underway to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS or Da’esh), some quarter million of which are women who potentially need reproductive health services and care for gender-based violence. Since 17 October, […]

MARRAKECH: UN conference spotlights water, the ‘first victim’ of climate change, as part of the solution

A water tap in Rwanda. Photo: World Bank/A'Melody Lee

In a first for United Nations climate change conferences, a special day was devoted to action on water issues, providing stakeholders gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, for the so-called ‘COP 22’ an opportunity spotlight water as a way of providing solutions to help implement the Paris Agreement. “Water is one of the most impacted resources, but […]

International conference urges alternative online narratives to extremist propaganda on the internet


Participants at the international conference, Internet and the Radicalization of Youth: Preventing, Acting and Living Together, organized by UNESCO and the Government of Quebec in Quebec City, Canada, from 30 October to 1 November, have reaffirmed the positive potential of information technologies to build bridges among people and convey narratives that counter hate speech and […]

UN-backed cholera vaccination campaign kicks off today in Haiti


A vaccination campaign against cholera began today in the areas of Haiti hit hard by Hurricane Matthew, with support from the United Nations and other institutions. “Today in Haiti marks the first day of a vaccination campaign against cholera in areas ravaged by Hurricane Matthew,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters […]

Iraq: As anti-ISIL operation intensifies, civilians increasingly at risk, UN official warns

Families displaced by fighting in the village of Shora, 25 kilometres south of Mosul, gather at an army checkpoint on the outskirts of Qayyarah. Photo: UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

Amid the intensification of the military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) in northern Iraq and its impact on civilians, a senior United Nations humanitarian official in the country has raised alarm their safety and called on all sides to ensure that they are protected. “We are deeply disturbed by […]

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