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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Children's Fund, Protection Cluster
    Country: Nigeria


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    An overlooked crisis

    The violent conflict in the Lake Chad Basin has continuously deteriorated over the last two years. Boko Haram raids and suicide bombings targeting civilians are causing widespread trauma, preventing people from accessing essential services and destroying vital infrastructure.

    Around 21 million people live in the affected areas across the four Lake Chad countries. The number of displaced people in the most affected areas has tripled in one year to 2.3 million. Most of the displaced families are sheltered by communities that count among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Food insecurity and malnutrition in the affected region have rapidly deteriorated.

    The unfolding crisis is as much a humanitarian emergency as it is a protection crisis. Many civilians are caught in the conflict. Women and children represent the majority of the displaced and bear the brunt of the violence, as Boko Haram attacks continue and military operations intensify.
    Concerted engagement of political, development and security actors is needed to help stabilize the region and create conditions for people to survive and prosper.

    Recent developments

    According to the latest Cadre Harmonisé assessment, the number of food insecure people in the worst-affected states in north-eastern Nigeria has decreased to 2.5 million from 3.9 million due to recent harvests, improved security in certain localities and relief assistance. Boko Haram violence continues to uproot families. In Cameroon’s Far North Region, some 137,000 people have been displaced, according to the latest Displacement Tracking Matrix. In Chad, verification is ongoing of tens of thousands of recently identified displaced people.


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    Source: WaterAid
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia

    Water: At What Cost? Our latest report reveals the state of the world's water

    Our new report, launched to mark World Water Day 2016, reveals that the poorest people in the world are paying the highest price for safe water – and calls on governments to act now for universal access.

    Our latest report Water: At What Cost? The State of the World’s Water 2016 launches today, to mark World Water Day 2016.

    It reveals that, while many more people now have access to clean water than in 2010, 650 million people have been left behind – and for many, the exorbitant cost of water from ‘unofficial’ water sources is undermining their human right to safe water.

    The worst affected country is Papua New Guinea, where 50 litres of water – just enough to maintain your health and hygiene each day – costs £1.84, 54% of a typical low salary there.

    The report also provides a snapshot of life in countries including India, Mozambique, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Zambia.

    It is the first annual report examining the world’s progress towards universal access to clean, safe water, and follows on from our It's No Joke: State of the World’s Toilet report, released in 2015.

    Progress – but not for everyone

    Since the Millennium Development Goal to halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water, huge progress has been made in many countries like Cambodia, where 33.9% more people now have access than in 2000.

    But progress hasn’t reached everyone: while Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh now enjoys almost universal access, 80% of Cambodians live in the countryside, where there is still extreme poverty.

    This kind of inequality is replicated in many of the ‘improving’ countries, where a lack of access to safe, affordable water has huge knock on effects for other areas of development, including health, education and productivity.


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    Source: WaterAid
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia

    Introduction

    Presque tous les jours, l’eau fait les gros titres quelque part dans le monde. Sécheresses, inondations et pollution sont en manchette à mesure que l’eau devient la ressource essentielle la plus précieuse et la plus âprement contestée.

    Aujourd’hui, toutefois, ce qui fait la une, c’est que plus de 650 millions des plus pauvres du monde vivent sans accès à une source « améliorée » d’eau de boisson (voir l’encadré). Le prix à payer par ces communautés – en revenu gaspillé, en problèmes de santé et en productivité perdue – est extrêmement élevé et cela exerce un impact dévastateur à tous les niveaux, depuis la famille jusqu’à l’échelle nationale.

    Il est souvent présumé que les plus pauvres du monde n’ont pas d’approvisionnements en eau formels parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas se permettre de payer leurs factures d’eau. En réalité, comme il ressort des témoignages de ce rapport, les plus pauvres paient déjà, et souvent bien plus que leurs concitoyens qui ont assez de chance ou d’argent pour avoir un point d’eau « officiel ».

    Dans 16 pays, plus de 40 % de la population n’a même pas accès ne serait-ce qu’à une installation d’eau de base, telle qu’un puits protégé. Les personnes issues de communautés démunies et marginalisées n’ont pas d’autre choix que de puiser de l’eau sale dans des mares et des cours d’eau ou de consacrer une large part de leur revenu à l’achat d’eau auprès de marchands.

    Cette eau constitue toujours un risque sanitaire ; dans bien des cas, elle peut se révéler mortelle. À l’échelle mondiale, les maladies diarrhéiques causées par l’eau insalubre et un mauvais assainissement constituent le deuxième tueur d’enfants au monde, derrière la pneumonie, et fauchent 315.000 jeunes vies chaque année.

    De surcroît, les ressources en eau deviennent de plus en plus fragiles au fil de l’essor démographique, des changements d’affectation des sols et de la poursuite de la déforestation. Ces menaces seront exacerbées par les effets du changement climatique et auront un impact disproportionné sur les personnes pauvres qui sont sans approvisionnement en eau sûr et fiable.

    Il nous est interdit d’ignorer cette réalité. L’accès à une eau abordable est un droit humain : « Le fait de payer pour des services d’approvisionnement en eau et d’assainissement ne doit pas limiter la capacité d’accès de l’individu à d’autres biens et services de base. » La réalisation des objectifs de développement durable de portée mondiale sera impossible dans un monde où une personne sur dix est coincée dans un cycle de pauvreté et de maladie parce qu’elle n’a pas son propre accès à une eau salubre et abordable.

    Dans L’eau : à quel prix ? nous brossons un instantané de l’accès à l’eau à travers le globe en 2016, en nous servant de témoignages issus de certains des pays les plus touchés au monde pour illustrer les problèmes auxquels ils sont confrontés.

    Nous vivons une époque de progrès sans précédent en termes de propagation de l’accès à l’eau salubre – 2,6 milliards de gens en ont bénéficié depuis 1990 – mais beaucoup trop sont encore laissés de côté.

    Alors que le monde commence à œuvrer à la réalisation des Objectifs de développement durable de portée mondiale, nous dénonçons le besoin et nous o rons des solutions pour donner un accès à l’eau salubre partout et pour tous.


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    Snapshot 16 – 22 March

    Somalia: On 15 March Al Shabaab moved into Puntland and seized control of Garad, a port town. In the following days Al Shabaab captured another coastal town in Nugaal region and attacked a security checkpoint near Bosaso. Most of the residents are reported to have fled the area. Al Shabaab has previously been active in Puntland, but generally around its base of the Galgala Mountains, west of Bosaso, and it has not attempted to take territory.

    Turkey: Humanitarian organisations have major protection concerns for migrants and refugees after the controversial deal between Turkey and the EU. Under the agreement, all refugees arriving irregularly in Greece from 20 March will be returned to Turkey. Thousands of people may be returned, and the risk of refoulement is high. 

    Syria: Fighting between Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State since mid-February has displaced nearly 20,000 people in Al Hasakeh governorate

    See the Crisis Overview 2015: Humanitarian Trends and Risks 2016, ACAPS' overview of long-term trends in humanitarian needs for major crises, and scenarios outlining their potential evolution in 2016.

    Go to www.geo.acaps.org for analysis of more than 40 humanitarian crises.

    Updated: 22/03/2016. Due to Easter break, next week's GEO will be published on Wednesday 30/03/2016

    Global Emergency Overview Web Interface


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    CABO VERDE

    FIRST CASE OF MICROCEPHALY REPORTED

    On 15 March, the national health director reported the first case of microcephaly in a new-born with probable relationship to Zika virus. The case was identified on 14 March in the capital city, Praia. WHO was immediately notified in compliance with the International Health Regulations. On 11 February, the Ministry of Health announced that 40 pregnant women suspected of Zika virus infection are being closely monitored. Zika epidemic in Cabo Verde was officially declared on 22 October 2015. As of 6 March, 7,500 suspected cases had been registered.

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    MENINGITIS OUTBREAK KILLS 24

    An outbreak of meningitis since January in the northern Ouham Province has killed 24 people and infected 90 others, the Health Ministry announced on 16 March. MSF will lead an investigation mission to identify the extent of the epidemic and consider vaccination.

    GUINEA

    EMERGENCY RESPONSE ASSESSMENT COMPLETED

    On 18 March, a 23-member team completed a ten-day assessment of national capacity on Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Preparedness and Response. The multi- disciplinary team was composed of Government officials from key entities, UN agencies, UNDAC and EU civil Protection experts, Red Cross and NGOs. Over 80 structures or services were visited in the capital Conakry as well as N’zérékoré, Kankan and Mamou regions.

    NIGER

    ATTACKS TARGET SECURITY FORCES

    Armed men on 16 March shot dead three gendarmes and injured a civilian near the border with Mali. The following day, four suicide bombers hit a military convoy in the southern Bosso region, killing the local military commander and injuring two others. Separately, run-off presidential election was held on 20 March. President Mahamadou Issoufou is expected to be re-elected after the opposition boycotted the vote.

    NIGERIA

    IDP RELOCATION BUDGET APPROVED

    The Senate on 15 March approved US$50 million for the relocation, rehabilitation and resettlement of internally displaced persons in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states - the worst-affected by Boko Haram violence.

    EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE

    NEW CASES EMERGE IN GUINEA

    Ebola has re-emerged in Guinea. As of 21 March, three confirmed, three probable and one suspected cases were reported in the south-eastern N’zérékoré Prefecture. Five patients have since died. So far 961 contacts from 181 households have been identified. Among them 120 are high-risk. Guinea’s latest flare-up was confirmed on 17 March, just hours after Sierra Leone was declared free of the virus. Liberia has closed its border with Guinea.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    CABO VERDE

    PREMIER CAS DE MICROCÉPHALIE SIGNALÉ

    Le 15 mars, le Sénat a approuvé 50 millions $ pour la relocalisation, la réhabilitation et la réinstallation des personnes déplacées dans les états de l’Adamaoua, Borno et Yobe - les plus touchés par la violence de Boko Haram.

    RÉPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE

    L’ÉPIDÉMIE DE MÉNINGITE TUE 24 PERSONNES

    Le ministère de la Santé a annoncé le 16 mars que l’épidémie de méningite qui sévit dans le nord de la province d’Ouham depuis janvier a tué 24 personnes et infecté 90 autres. MSF va mener une mission d'enquête pour déterminer l'étendue de l'épidémie et envisager la vaccination.

    GUINÉE

    L’ÉVALUATION DE L'INTERVENTION D'URGENCE TERMINÉE

    Le 18 mars, une équipe de 23 membres a effectué une évaluation de dix jours des capacités nationales en matière de réduction des risques de catastrophe et de préparation et réponse aux situations d'urgence. L'équipe multidisciplinaire était composée de représentants du gouvernement, des organismes des Nations Unies, d’experts en protection civile de l'Union Européenne et de l’UNDAC, la Croix-Rouge et des ONG. Plus de 80 structures ou services ont été visités dans la capitale Conakry, ainsi que les régions de N'zérékoré, Kankan et Matou.

    NIGER

    DES ATTAQUES CIBLENT LES FORCES DE SÉCURITÉ

    Des hommes armés ont abattu le 16 mars trois gendarmes et blessé un civil près de la frontière avec le Mali. Le lendemain, quatre kamikazes ont attaqué un convoi militaire dans la région sud de Bosso, tuant le commandant militaire local et en blessant deux autres. Par ailleurs, le second tour de l'élection présidentielle a eu lieu le 20 mars. Le Président Mahamadou Issoufou devrait être réélu après que l'opposition ait boycotté le vote.

    NIGERIA

    LE BUDGET DE RELOCALISATION DES DÉPLACÉS INTERNES APPROUVÉ

    Le 15 mars, le Sénat a approuvé 50 millions $ pour la relocalisation, la réhabilitation et la réinstallation des personnes déplacées dans les états de l’Adamaoua, Borno et Yobe - les plus touchés par la violence de Boko Haram.

    MALADIE À VIRUS EBOLA (MVE)

    NOUVEAUX CAS EN GUINÉE

    Ebola est réapparu en Guinée. Au 21 mars, trois cas confirmés, trois probables et un suspect ont été signalés dans le sud-est de la préfecture de N'zérékoré. Cinq patients sont décédés. Jusqu'à présent, 961 contacts issus de 181 ménages ont été identifiés. Parmi eux, 120 sont à haut risque. La dernière flambée en Guinée a été confirmée le 17 mars, quelques heures seulement après que la Sierra Leone ai été déclarée exempte du virus. Le Liberia a fermé sa frontière avec la Guinée.


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    Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
    Country: Mali

    The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) strongly condemns the attack against the headquarters of the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) which took place last night around 18:30. The attack by unidentified armed men was successfully repelled and no casualties nor injuries were reported among EUTM staff.

    “This criminal and despicable act is even more deplorable as it targeted one of Mali’s main partners, working here to give support and assistance to the country in strengthening its armed forces capacity to ensure the restoration of State authority throughout Malian territory. The enemies of peace are behind this act and those responsible must be identified and brought to justice,” said Mr. Mahamat Salah Annadif, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Mali and Chief of MINUSMA.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Il fait chaud et c’est poussiéreux en Diépergou, un village situé à environ 15 kilomètres de Bogandé dans la région orientale du Burkina Faso.

    Habibata Thiombiano allaite Youmanli, sa fille âgée de 10 mois, dans la cour intérieur. «J’ai 45 ans et Youmanli est mon huitième enfant. Si vous étiez venu ici il y a cinq mois, vous auriez vu ma fille dans un état différent. Elle tétait la nuit, mais quand elle n'avait pas eu assez de lait, elle pleurait et pleurait, et je ne pouvais plus dormir. Elle a commencé à avoir la diarrhée et à perdre tellement de poids que nous avons commencé à perdre espoir », raconte Habibata.

    «Vous voyez, je n'ai pas été capable de produire suffisamment de lait pour elle depuis sa naissance. Nous n’avons pas assez de nourriture. J’étais examiné dans la clinique de mon village à trois reprises et ils ont découvert que j'étais malnutrie», explique Habibata.

    Quelques mois avant notre rencontre, une équipe du PAM et des ONG locales, ainsi que l'infirmière en chef à Fada sont partis à Diépergou pour identifier les enfants âgés de 6 à 23 mois dans la région. Ils cherchaient des enfants pour le programme Blanket Feeding, qui fournit des aliments fortifiés, nutritifs à tous les enfants âgés de 6 à 23 mois ainsi que les femmes enceintes et allaitantes afin de lutter contre la malnutrition.

    A l'époque, Youmanli était âgé de huit mois et a pu entrer dans le programme. Habibata a également suivi un programme dirigé par une ONG locale qui vise à fournir une formation à la nutrition et l'hygiène. Habibata a reçu trois rations de 12 kilogrammes de Super Cereal Plus pour Youmanli. Elle a également participé à des séances de sensibilisations pour en apprendre de meilleures habitudes alimentaires, non seulement pour ses enfants, mais pour toute sa famille. Les sessions ont montré aux participants comment utiliser les aliments locaux disponibles à différents moments de l'année pour augmenter la valeur nutritive de leurs repas.

    « Depuis que nous avons commencé à participer au programme, j’ai amélioré mon régime alimentaire. J'ai maintenant assez de lait pour ma fille. En plus des repas réguliers de la famille, je fais de la bouillie du Super Cereal que j’ai reçu; ma fille en mange trois fois par jour. Peu de temps après, tout le monde a remarqué que ma fille et moi avons changé », confie joyeusement Habibata (photo ci-dessous avec son bébé).

    A 10 mois, Youmanli est débordante d'énergie. C’est un bébé souriant et heureux. « Elle a presque doublé son poids en trois mois et elle n’est plus malade tout le temps. J’ai remarqué qu'elle a commencé à grandir normalement. Je n’ai plus besoin d’être avec elle tout le temps, et je suis en mesure de se concentrer sur d'autres choses. Mon seul espoir est que ma fille puisse célébrer son premier anniversaire en bonne santé. »

    Habibata et sa fille font partie des milliers de mamans qui ont bénéficié de ce programme, grâce au soutien de l'USAID Food for Peace aux activités du PAM au Burkina Faso.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    By Islamane Abdou

    ABOUNGA, Niger, 22 March 2016 – When we meet Gambo Ali at the Abounga spontaneous site for displaced people, she can’t tell us her age. But she tells us about how she sold food in the streets of her village, Tam, for a year, to help support the family.

    Tam is in Diffa region, in the south-east of the Niger, close to Nigeria. Like many other families at the Abounga site, Gambo and her family fled their home to escape violence and threats from the group Boko Haram.

    That was some months ago. Here, the family are among thousands of people making this informal site along the Route Nationale 1 home, along this main road that crosses the region from West to East. Abounga is one of the 135 official sites that have cropped up along this road, hosting hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced, who are returnees, who are refugees.

    Most of them are women and children.

    A dramatic displacement

    The flight and resettlement of families like Gambo’s is part of a series of simultaneous crises affecting the country. Official figures report more than 310,000 people in the Niger affected in 2015. A massive movement of more than 100,000 people in only two months caused dramatic humanitarian consequences not only for the displaced population, but also for host communities, overwhelmed by the massive arrivals and with an unsustainable pressure on already limited resources.

    • Learn more about the humanitarian situation in the Niger

    Life in Abounga is relatively peaceful, but not easy. Gambo’s home is a small cluster of straw and coloured fabric that she shares with seven relatives, including her mother. Her father stayed behind in Tam. There is no toilet and no water, and food is always in short supply.

    But UNICEF partner COOPI is working to improve the prospects for children in the informal sites by helping them get an education.

    Gambo misses her friends, but she approves. “When my mother heard about the opening of a school in Abounga, she decided to resettle us here. She did well.”

    Carrying the school to Abounga

    Moustapha Diri was the director of the Tam school. Today, here in Abounga, he is inside one of the 10 tents that serve as classrooms for the site’s children. The tents have been provided by UNICEF, but the tables and benches were carried to Abounga by the villagers. He stands at the front, lecturing the young students sitting on the benches. Most can’t read or write.

    “We had to leave behind all of our possessions,” Mr. Diri tells us, later on. “The only thing we could bring with us is what we have in our heads, what we have been taught – our education.

    “Education is the only thing that cannot be taken from us.”

    Keeping children learning

    Mr. Diri recognizes that the students have “lost a lot of knowledge”, and that it’s critical that they restart their education immediately. “If they stay out of school,” he says, “they are at risk of never coming back.”

    After one year out of school, children like Gambo can catch up, he insists – “They can learn back what they forgot.”

    And this learning is pivotal to their futures, and the future of the country, says Mr. Diri. For these children, the right track means education, a pen and a book, which will help both build their future and arm them against pressure to join the violence around them.

    The role of education

    Mr. Diri and the other villagers of Tam know the value of an education. Oumarou Boka, Education Officer for COOPI, has been setting up the temporary schools at the various sites. He explains the immediate benefit. Emergency education programmes have demonstrated a measurable decrease in the number of displaced and refugee minors who are conscripted into the fighting forces that develop in times of conflict. “Experience shows that education has a preventive effect on recruitment, abduction and gender-based violence, and thereby serves as an important protection tool,” he says.

    The partnership with COOPI has already benefitted 1,444 children in 31 temporary schools. Thanks to donors and implementing partners, UNICEF has guaranteed 5,492 children in Diffa region access to school. The partners have constructed 60 temporary classrooms and 10 new permanent classrooms, and provided manuals, school kits and training to teachers.

    Additionally, UNICEF has provided support to the Government of the Niger to set up 42 temporary classrooms for 2,100 children. Through this same strategy, the government has reached 2,492 children. The goal is to educate displaced children so they can be integrated into the regular school system.

    In Abounga alone, 170 children, including Gambo, are back to learning. The World Food Programme is helping to build an energetic student body by providing food three times a day to the students.

    Gambo’s future

    Away from labour and back to the books, Gambo says she now dreams of becoming a teacher. “I am not afraid anymore,” she says. “I can play with my friends and go to school. I want to acquire knowledge because knowledge is key, it’s very important. It can help you become a teacher or a doctor.”

    Gambo’s mother, Fatima, also has high hopes for the future, despite the challenges the family face. “Parents now understand the importance of school. Before, in Tam, they didn’t [always] send our children to school, but here they do, because they understand it is crucial to evolve,” she says.

    “A child who is lucky enough to go to school will avoid taking a wrong path and will help his or her parents.”

    UNICEF believes that, including during emergencies, children are entitled to the safe environment that school can help provide. Access to school allows them to engage with peers, re-establish a sense of normalcy and purpose and escape from the losses and deprivations surrounding their displacement.

    Basic supplies for primary education are urgently needed to realize the right to education for children who have been displaced, and host communities. UNICEF plans to provide education to 20,000 school-aged girls and boys (aged 7 to 14 years) in Diffa region this year, compared to 6,446 in 2015. In line with the country’s inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$39,516,271 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in the Niger in 2016. This figure includes US$3 million beyond the Humanitarian Response Plan to cover education.

    Learn more about the humanitarian needs of children in the Niger

    Learn more about the humanitarian needs of children affected by the Nigerian regional crisis


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    Source: Caritas
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    Caritas says that people fleeing attacks by Boko Haram fighters in southeast Niger are in desperate need of aid.

    Around 100,000 people were driven from their homes in Niger in December and January by cross-border terrorist fighters as 170 villages had been emptied. 100,000 refugees from Nigeria have also fled to Niger.

    Caritas Internationalis is launching an appeal for Euro 790,000 to provide food, shelter, basic aid, clean water and sanitation to 15,000 people, including those displaced and host communities. Caritas will also train 500 young boys and girls on peace building activities.

    “People fleeing the atrocities of Boko Haram are crammed into makeshift camps, living in abject poverty. They’re sleeping in the open or under trees. The conditions are inhumane. They’re without shelter, clean water and food,” said Raymond Yoro, national executive secretary of Caritas Niger (CADEV-Niger).

    “They’re haunted by the same atrocities. They say for Boko Haram ‘to kill is just a game’. Many have no news of kidnapped relatives, husbands, women and children,” he said.

    Most of those displaced from their homes are women (60 percent), children (25 percent) and the elderly (15 percent). There is no school system in place for the children and the housing is not adequate for many as more people arrive each day escaping hostilities.

    “We came here 9 months ago after Boko Haram burnt down our village during the night and we fled into the bush. They killed more than ten people,” said Fatima Brah, 16 years old, speaking from the village of Guidan Kaji near the border with Nigeria on the outskirts of Diffa in Niger.

    “We left with nothing, not even clothes or food. We threw the children in the car and the rest of us came here on foot. All the clothes we are wearing were given to us by the people in a nearby village,” she said.

    Host communities cannot to provide help to the displaced and to the refugees without outside assistance. Niger is struggling to manage its own food crisis, with 1.3 million children and 300,000 new mothers threatened by hunger.

    In Diffa, there is a cereal deficit of over 80 percent and almost the entire population of the region is in need of food aid.

    Boko Haram attacks have left at least 17,000 dead and forced more than 2.6 million from their homes since 2009. They are ranked as the world’s deadliest terror organisation. “The people’s ultimate hope is that peace and security can be re-established,” said Raymond Yoro of Caritas.


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    Source: Caritas
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    Selon Caritas, les personnes fuyant les attaques des combattants de Boko Haram au sud-est du Niger ont un besoin extrême de secours.

    Environ 100 000 personnes ont été poussées à partir de chez elles au Niger entre décembre et janvier à cause de ces combattants terroristes. Ce sont ainsi 170 villages qui ont été complètement vidés. 100 000 réfugiés du Nigeria ont eux aussi fui vers le Niger.

    Caritas Internationalis lance un appel de 790 000 euros pour fournir de la nourriture, des abris, une aide de base, de l’eau potable et des systèmes sanitaires à 15 000 personnes, aussi bien des communautés déplacées qu’hôtes. Caritas va aussi former 500 jeunes garçons et filles à des activités de consolidation de la paix.

    « Les personnes fuyant les atrocités de Boko Haram sont entassées dans des camps de fortune et vivent dans une pauvreté abjecte. Elles dorment à la belle étoile ou sous des arbres. Leur condition est inhumaine. Elles sont sans abri, sans eau et sans nourriture », dit Raymond Yoro, secrétaire exécutif national de Caritas Niger (CADEV-Niger).

    « Ils sont hantés par ces mêmes atrocités. Ils disent que pour Boko Haram, ‘tuer n’est qu’un jeu’. Beaucoup n’ont aucune nouvelle de parents, maris, femmes et enfants kidnappés », dit-il.

    La plupart des personnes déplacées de chez elles sont des femmes (60 pourcents), des enfants (25 pourcents) et des personnes âgées (15 pourcents).

    « Nous sommes arrivés ici il y a neuf mois, après que Boko Haram a entièrement incendié notre village en une nuit et que nous avons fui dans le bush. Ils ont tué plus de dix personnes », dit Fatima Brah, 16 ans, parlant de son village de Guidan Kaji, près de la frontière avec le Nigeria, dans les environs de Diffa, au Niger.

    « Nous sommes partis sans rien sur nous, même pas des habits ou de la nourriture. Nous avons jeté les enfants dans la voiture et les autres sont venus ici à pied. Tous les habits que nous portons nous ont été donnés par des personnes d’un village voisin », dit-elle.

    Les communautés hôtes ont du mal à fournir une aide appropriée aux personnes déplacées et aux réfugiés. Le Niger a grand besoin d’une aide extérieure. Le pays lutte contre sa propre crise alimentaire, avec 1.3 million d’enfants et 300 000 jeunes mères menacées par la faim. À Diffa, il y a un déficit de céréales de 80 pourcents, et c’est quasiment l’ensemble de la population de Diffa qui a besoin d’une aide alimentaire.

    Les attaques de Boko Haram ont provoqué la mort de 17 000 personnes et en ont forcé plus de 2.6 millions à partir de chez elles depuis 2009. Ce groupe est classé parmi les organisations terroristes les plus meurtrières du monde. « Le dernier espoir des gens, c’est que la paix et la sécurité puissent être rétablis », dit Raymond Yoro de Caritas.


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    Source: International Food Policy Research Institute
    Country: Burkina Faso

    March 22, 2016, Washington, D.C.—A recent study out of Burkina Faso shows that integrating nutrition and health education and women’s empowerment interventions into an agriculture program, if well-designed and run, can improve child and maternal undernutrition in a relatively short time period. The rigorous study—the first of its kind—could lead to substantive changes in how countries, organizations, and individuals harness the potential of agricultural programs to improve people’s nutrition and health.

    Researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) were the first to use the gold-standard in evaluation—a cluster randomized controlled trial—to see if a well-designed integrated nutrition and agriculture program could improve mother’s and children’s health and nutrition. And it did.

    The program was the Enhanced-Homestead Food Production (EHFP) program, developed by Helen Keller International (HKI) over 25 years ago to combat malnutrition in women and young children. In Burkina Faso, the program established community gardens and provided seeds, tools, and knowledge about good agricultural, health, hygiene and nutrition practices to mothers with young children (3-12 months old).

    The need for a program like this in Burkina Faso is enormous. A shocking 90 percent of children under five are anemic—the highest rate in the world. Wasting among children and underweight among women are also common problems in the country. While nutrition and health programs do exist in Burkina Faso, they have yet to demonstrate a sustainable impact on the most undernourished populations. Given the multiple causes of child and maternal undernutrition, multisectoral programs that address as many causes as possible, like HKI’s EHFP, are critical.

    “Almost all children in Burkina Faso are anemic and many are also stunted and/or wasted. Too many programs are unable to provide the substantive, sustainable change that this population so desperately needs,” said Deanna Olney, senior research fellow at IFPRI and one of the authors of the studies.

    Recognizing the need to rigorously evaluate their programs, HKI turned to IFPRI to conduct an independent evaluation of their EHFP program in Burkina Faso. A grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development provided an opportunity, for the first time, to assess program impact using the most rigorous evaluation design, and to adapt the program model to the challenges of the West African Sahel.

    In just two years, the program reduced underweight in mothers and increased their ownership of productive assets, their social status, and their role in household decisionmaking compared to women who were not enrolled in the program. Their infants also benefited: the prevalence of anemia in infants aged 3-6 months decreased by 15 percentage points. Among children 3-12 months, the prevalence of wasting (being too thin) decreased by 9 percentage points; and diarrhea (which can lead to wasting and death in extreme cases) reduced by up to 16 percentage points. These results are important because up until now, there has been no convincing evidence that integrated agriculture and nutrition programs like this one benefited the health and nutritional status of women or children. This study provides that evidence.

    These results demonstrate that mothers and their children can become healthier and better nourished from well-designed programs like this one, and it is entirely possible to see results like this replicated in other countries with similarly alarming undernutrition rates.

    “HKI is committed to contributing to the evidence base of what program approaches really do make a difference for the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged,” said Tom van Mourik, regional coordinator for Creating Homestead Agriculture for Nutrition and Gender Equity (CHANGE) at Helen Keller International. “Implementing such a complex program as a randomized controlled trial is enormously challenging, but necessary if we want to advance in the fight against malnutrition. In this effort we consider IFPRI a lead organization for quality impact evaluation research and an essential partner.”

    The good news is, this work has continued since the initial program. Building on this platform, HKI and IFPRI received funding from Global Affairs Canada to further improve the program in Burkina Faso and evaluated whether including additional health and nutrition interventions increases the EHFP program’s impact on health and nutrition outcomes and to adapt the model for other settings in Africa. The Creating Homestead Agriculture for Nutrition and Gender Equity (CHANGE) project which ends in 2016 will generate even more evidence about how HKI’s EHFP program impacts the well-being of smallholder farmers in one of the world’s poorest continents.

    For more information, please contact:

    Daniel Burnett, d.burnett@cgiar.org, +1 (202) 627-4311


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mali, South Sudan

    Concludes Interactive Dialogue on South Sudan

    GENEVA (23 March 2016) - The Human Rights Council this morning held separate interactive dialogues with Gustavo Gallón, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, and with Suliman Baldo, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali. It also concluded its interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan.

    Presenting his report on Haiti, Mr. Gallón focused on the following issues: illiteracy, prolonged arbitrary detention, absence of elections, impunity for past crimes, and the situation of victims of natural disasters. He noted that the current governance difficulties in Haiti had to be addressed in a persistent manner and with concrete solutions. The rights of Haitian women had to be given priority since they were particularly vulnerable in the country.

    Haiti, speaking as the concerned country, stated that a number of measures had been initiated to hold elections, and to deal with pre-trial detention through the modification of laws. Regarding illiteracy, measures had been undertaken but the process was ongoing and it required resources. Other measures had been undertaken on strengthening the credibility of the judiciary and countering the problem of statelessness and registration of children.

    In the ensuing discussion speakers urged Haiti to work closely with the Independent Expert to implement recommendations, and emphasised the necessity of combatting pre-trial detention and impunity. There was a need to advance the rule of law and security in Haiti as better access to justice and strengthening of the prison system were key to bringing about progress. Haiti’s efforts to promote sustainable development and to eradicate cholera deserved greater support.

    Speaking were European Union, Dominican Republic on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries, Brazil on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti, Spain, United States, Chile, Cuba, France, United Kingdom, Morocco, Brazil, China, and Venezuela.

    Also taking the floor were the following civil society organizations: United Nations Watch, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and Human Rights Watch.

    Presenting his report on Mali, Mr. Baldo underlined the great challenges faced by Mali in the fields of governance, security, and reform of the judiciary to combat impunity. He shared his preoccupation about the intensification of attacks against civilians, the Malian armed forces, and forces of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in the centre and south of the country. Increased inter-community violence, drug trafficking and other organized crime were also of concern and that situation prevented refugees and displaced persons from safe returns.

    Mali, speaking as the concerned country, stated that the country had made progress, notably by having signed in May and June 2015 the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, as a result of the Algiers Process. The Government of Mali was currently taking measures to fight impunity through a systematic opening of judiciary information in all cases of violations.

    In the ensuing discussion speakers welcomed Mali’s progress in favour of peace, including the release of some political prisoners and the signing of a Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. Speakers, however, noted with concern that the security situation had deteriorated in some parts of the country, affecting civilians and international peacekeepers and preventing refugees from returning safely. Mali was encouraged to engage in security and justice sector reforms in order to ensure accountability for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed since the beginning of the crisis, including sexual violence by security forces.

    Speaking were South Africa on behalf of the African Group, European Union, Estonia, Spain, Norway, Belgium, United States, Togo, France, New Zealand, Denmark, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Gabon, Djibouti, Algeria, Benin, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Chad, United Kingdom, Congo, Botswana, Egypt, and China.

    Also speaking were International Catholic Child Bureau, FIDH, United Nations Watch, and Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme.

    At the beginning of the meeting the Council concluded the interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan, which started on Tuesday, 22 March. A summary can be read here.

    During the dialogue speakers regretted the relapse of South Sudan into civil strife as the process of consolidating State institutions had just begun, and appealed to the international community to extend its full support to the country, including in the implementation of transitional justice.

    In his concluding remarks, Ivan Šimonović, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, noted that it was extremely important to note the commitment of the Human Rights Council to be involved in the prevention of continued violations in South Sudan, the issue of accountability to help break the vicious cycle, and ensuring a democratic space that would help the establishment and functioning of the transitional government.

    Speaking were Mozambique, China, France, Ghana, Albania, Angola, Switzerland, United States, and New Zealand.

    Also taking the floor were the following civil society organizations: International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, Human Rights Watch, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Projects, International Service for Human Rights, and Arab Commission for Human Rights.

    The Council will next meet at 1.30 p.m. to hold a general debate on technical assistance and capacity building, and to hear the presentation of country reports of the Secretary-General and High Commissioner for Human Rights, followed by a general debate.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    FAITS SAILLANTS

    • Des cas de méningite et de rougeole sont enregistrés dans presque toutes les régions du Niger.

    • Le déficit fourrager est estimé à plus de 9 millions de tonnes de matière sèche.

    • Les mouvements de plus de 16 000 migrants sont enregistrés aux frontières avec la Libye et l’Algérie.

    Evolution de la méningite et de la rougeole

    739 cas de méningite notifiés depuis le début de l’année Au 13 mars, un cumul de 739 cas de méningite dont 61 décès, soit un taux de létalité de 8,3 pour cent a été enregistré dans le pays contre 149 cas dont 14 décès l’année dernière à la même période. On constate que le taux de létalité a baissé et est passé de 9,4 pour cent en 2015 à 8,3 pour cent cette année. Aucun district n’était en épidémie selon les seuils définis par l’OMS à la semaine 10 (6 au 13 mars) mais sept districts avaient atteint le seuil d’alerte dans les régions d’Agadez, de Dosso, de Niamey et de Tillabéry. Les enfants de 0 à 5 ans représentent 30 pour cent des personnes affectées tandis que ceux âgés de 5 à 14 ans en représentent 35 pour cent. Le Ministère de la Santé Publique, avec l’appui diversifié des partenaires humanitaires (OMS, UNICEF, HCR, MSF), coordonne la prise en charge des cas et les activités de prévention.

    Des campagnes de vaccination toujours en cours dans les aires de santé affectées ont permis de vacciner 141 235 personnes. Pour maintenir ses capacités de réponse, le gouvernement a déjà obtenu de l’ICG 198 406 doses de vaccins contre le méningocoque C identifié comme la souche à l’origine des cas enregistrés au Niger. Une autre commande de 126 000 doses a été lancée et devrait être livrée en avril. Toutefois, il est à noter que l’insuffisance de stocks de vaccins au niveau mondial reste un défi.

    Rougeole 639 cas notifiés depuis le début de l’année

    Au 13 mars, 639 cas de rougeole dont 3 décès ont été enregistrés dans le pays contre 1 577 cas dont 2 décès l’année dernière à la même période. Sur les 44 districts sanitaires du pays, 14 répartis dans 6 régions ont enregistré au moins 5 cas suspects de rougeole au cours de la semaine 10. Au total 51 pour cent des personnes affectées sont des enfants de 0 à 4 ans.

    La rougeole touche deux districts abritant des refugiés maliens à savoir le district sanitaire de Ouallam (avec 23 cas notifiés au camp de réfugiés de Mangaizé) et le district sanitaire de Tchintabaraden (avec 5 cas notifiés dans la zone d’accueil de réfugiés de Intekan). Les cas enregistrés sont des refugiés nouvellement arrivés de Ménaka et Kidal au Mali.


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Mali, Myanmar, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    Human Rights Council adopts 12 texts, including on effects of terrorism on human rights, extends mandates on Myanmar and Mali

    MORNING
     
    GENEVA (24 March 2016) - The Human Rights Council this morning adopted 12 texts, including a resolution on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights, and extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for one year, and the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for one year.  
     
    Other resolutions related to human rights education and training; the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, and the importance of improving international cooperation; promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal; human rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan; combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief; strengthening technical assistance, cooperation and advisory services for Guinea and for Libya; the situation of human rights in Haiti; and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - safeguards to prevent torture during police custody and pre-trial detention
     
    Concerning the resolution on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights, adopted by a vote of 28 in favour, 14 against, and five abstentions, the Council urged States, while countering terrorism, to respect and protect all human rights, and to take appropriate measures to duly investigate the incitement, preparation or commission of acts of terrorism, and to bring to justice those engaged in such acts.  The Council also urged States to adopt rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for returning foreign terrorist fighters.
     
    In the resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, adopted without a vote, the Council called upon the Government of Myanmar to take further steps to consolidate the progress made to end all remaining human rights violations, and extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year.
     
    With regard to the resolution on technical assistance and capacity building for Mali in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council extended the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for a period of one year, and decided to hold an interactive dialogue at its thirty-fourth session in the presence of the Independent Expert and the Government of Mali, in order to assess the evolution of the situation of human rights in the country, with a particular focus on justice and reconciliation.
     
    In the resolution on human rights education and training, the Council decided to convene during its thirty-third session a high-level panel discussion to mark the fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training focusing on the theme: "The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training: good practices and challenges".
     
    Concerning the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, and the importance of improving international cooperation, the Council adopted a resolution by a vote of 32 in favour, none against, and 15 abstentions, in which it called upon States to continue considering the establishment of an intergovernmental working group on the negative impact of illicit financial flows on the enjoyment of human rights.  It requested the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council to conduct a comprehensive research-based study on the impact of flow of funds of illicit origin, and the non-repatriation thereof to the countries of origin, on the enjoyment of human rights.
     
    On promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal, the Council decided to convene a panel discussion, at its thirty-second session, on the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all including persons with disabilities.
     
    In the resolution on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, none against, and 16 abstentions, the Council called upon Israel, the Occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, and to desist from its continuous building of settlements. 
     
    On combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief, the Council adopted a resolution without a vote in which it requested the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fourth session a comprehensive follow-up report with elaborated conclusions based upon information provided by States on the efforts and measures taken in this regard.
     
    In a Presidential Statement on the situation of human rights in Haiti, the Council urged the Government to continue working on strengthening the rule of law, notably in the fight against impunity, corruption and crime; and requested the Independent Expert to present to the Council at its thirty-fourth session his report on the situation of human rights in Haiti. 
     
    On technical assistance and capacity building to improve human rights in Libya, the Council requested the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Council at its thirty-third session during an interactive dialogue, with the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General For Libya, on the human rights situation in Libya; and requested the High Commissioner to present a written report to the Council at its thirty-fourth session, during an interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Libya.
     
    Concerning strengthening technical cooperation and advisory services for Guinea, the Council strongly reiterated its call on the international community to provide the Government of Guinea with appropriate assistance to promote respect for human rights, the fight against impunity and reform of the security and justice sector, as well as ongoing initiatives to promote truth, justice and national reconciliation. 
     
    In the resolution torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - safeguards to prevent torture during police custody and pre-trial detention, the Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene, in 2017, an intersessional, full-day open-ended seminar aimed at exchanging national experiences and practices on the implementation of effective safeguards to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment during police custody and pre-trial detention.
     
    Introducing draft texts were Morocco, South Africa on behalf of the African Group, Greece, Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Egypt, and Denmark. 
     
    Speaking in general comments were South Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, Viet Nam, China, Cuba, Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, Morocco, Switzerland, and Algeria. 
     
    Speaking in explanation of the vote before or after the vote were Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, Switzerland, Mexico, India, Russian Federation, Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia on behalf of a group of countries. 
     
    Myanmar, Syria, Libya, Mali, and Guinea spoke as concerned countries. 
     
    The Council will reconvene at 1 p.m., to continue taking action on remaining draft decisions and resolutions before closing its thirty-first session.
     
    Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development
     
    Action on Resolution on Human Rights Education and Training

    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.12) on **human rights education and training**, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council calls upon States to take appropriate measures to ensure the effective implementation of and follow-up to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training; encourages States and all other stakeholders to strengthen the implementation of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, including its third phase; and decides to convene during its thirty-third session a High-Level panel discussion to mark the fifth anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training focusing on the theme: "The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training: good practices and challenges".
     
    Morocco, introducing draft resolution L.12, said that the text paid tribute to the vital role of human rights education and training for the protection and promotion of human rights.  It focused on extremists’ violence and education, and underlined the role of the media, and stressed the need for equality, non-discrimination and non-violence.  The Sustainable Development Goals had recognized the importance of education, Morocco recalled.    
     
    South Africa, in a general comment, said that draft resolution L.12 raised pertinent issues, and agreed that education was key to ensure equality and human rights protection.  South Africa had taken initiatives to raise awareness on its Constitution and human rights.  It had translated its Constitution in all national languages, including braille.  
     
    Action on Resolution on the Negative Impact of the Non-Repatriation of Funds of Illicit Origin to the Countries of Origin on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, and the Importance of Improving International Cooperation
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.24/Rev.1) on the **negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, and the importance of improving international cooperation**, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, none against, and 15 abstentions, the Council calls upon all States that have not yet acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption to consider doing so as a matter of priority; calls upon all States to seek to reduce opportunities for tax avoidance, to consider inserting anti-abuse clauses in all tax treaties and to enhance disclosure practices and transparency in both source and destination countries; and  invites the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption to consider ways of adopting a human rights-based approach in the implementation of the Convention.  The Council also calls upon States to continue considering the establishment of an intergovernmental working group on the negative impact of illicit financial flows on the enjoyment of human rights; and requests the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council to conduct a comprehensive research-based study on the impact of flow of funds of illicit origin, and the non-repatriation thereof to the countries of origin, on the enjoyment of human rights.

    The results of the vote were as follows: 
     
    In favour (32):Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.  
     
    Abstentions (15):Albania, Belgium, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
     
    Against (0):  
     
    South Africa, introducing L.24/ Rev.1 on the negative impact of non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin, said the development process of many countries had been hampered by fraudulent practices that led to the generation of billions worth of funds of illicit origin, which had been transferred from developing countries in particular.  It was estimated that financial flows in Africa ranged from $ 50 billion to $ 60 billion a year.  This phenomenon, if it continued, could threaten the stability and sustainable development of States, undermine the values of democracy, rule of law and morality, and jeopardize social, economic and political development.  The draft resolution invited the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt to continue to study the impact of illicit financial flows on the enjoyment of human rights, and requested the Advisory Committee to conduct a comprehensive research-based study on the impact of the flow of funds of illicit origin.  The gravity of the phenomenon necessitated that the Council consider it from all its issues. 
     
    Netherlands, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the European Union, acknowledged the constructive negotiation process led by Tunisia and Egypt, and appreciated their efforts to take concerns into account.  However, the resolution continued to address this issue in a way at odds with the mandate of the Human Rights Council.  The European Union could not support the creation of an intergovernmental mechanism, which would create unnecessary duplication and which would not be efficient.  The European Union would have preferred a resolution focusing on the root causes, including transnational crime.  For these reasons, the European Union Member States that were Members of the Council would call for a vote and abstain.  
     
    Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that strong partnership was necessary for the repatriation of funds of illicit origin, and regretted that this aspect had not been considered in the draft.  Switzerland would abstain.  
     
    Mexico, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that it would abstain on this draft resolution because of its concerns regarding the duplication of work.  Mexico nevertheless reaffirmed its full commitment to international efforts for the repatriation of funds of illicit origin to help developing countries.  It urged co-sponsors to find a better way to address this issue within the Council.  
     
    Action on Resolution on Promoting Human Rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.29) on **promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal**, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to cooperate with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee in their efforts to use sport as a tool to promote human rights, development, peace, dialogue and reconciliation; encourages States to promote sport as a means to combat all forms of discrimination; calls upon States to take effective measures to address vandalism and violence during and around sport events; and decides to convene a panel discussion, at its thirty-second session, on the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all including persons with disabilities.
     
    Greece, introducing L.29 on promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal, said the resolution took into account the report of the Advisory Committee on the same topic.  It called for a panel discussion to be held during the next Council session in June on using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all, including persons with disabilities.  
     
    Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention
     
    Action on Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.30/Rev.1) on the **situation of human rights in Myanmar**, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon the Government of Myanmar to take further steps to consolidate the progress made to end all remaining human rights violations, to protect the human rights of all; encourages the Government of Myanmar to take further steps to strengthen democratic institutions, good governance and the rule of law; stresses the need for review and reform of legislation, including the Constitution, to ensure adherence with international norms and standards, and the need for a more independent, impartial and effective judiciary; and calls upon the international community to support the national efforts made by Myanmar and its institutions to strengthen the rule of law in the country.  The Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year. 
     
    Netherlands, introducing on behalf of the European Union draft resolution L.30/Rev1 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said the resolution was proposed at an historic juncture for Myanmar and the transfer of power to the next democratic government.  The text gave due recognition to the progress made since this process began some years ago.  The draft resolution extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one more year, which would enhance the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as strengthen the cooperation between the Government of Myanmar and the Human Rights Council.  It invited the Special Rapporteur to identify areas for technical assistance and capacity building and called for the home states of business companies to fully implement their duty to protect human rights in line with the principles of business and human rights.
     
    Philippines, in a general comment, noted advances made in Myanmar, such as the free and fair elections, adding that at the current point in time, the international community should continue to constructively engage Myanmar.  In Myanmar, as in many countries, the challenge was the lack of capacity.  
     
    Indonesia, in a general comment, said that Myanmar’s democracy was fully owned by Myanmar itself.  Indonesia had been with Myanmar in its democratic transition from the beginning.  The international community had to lend constructive cooperation according to Myanmar’s own needs, including in the field of human rights.  The text before the Council reflected the progress and development on the ground.  Indonesia was willing to join the consensus but some elements were too prescriptive. 
     
    Viet Nam congratulated Myanmar on the recent successfully held elections as well as reform toward stability and prosperity.  With new leadership, Viet Nam believed Myanmar would stay committed to ensuring sustainable achievements.  In further promoting development and peace in the region and beyond, progress could only be further secured through genuine dialogue among all stakeholders according to the principles set out in the United Nations Charter.  Viet Nam urged all parties to engage more constructively which should be adequately reflected in the review of the issue by the Human Rights Council. 
     
    China, in a general comment, recognized progress achieved in Myanmar for the protection and protection of human rights, and noted the positive attitude of the country.  China stressed that the work of the Human Rights Council should be based on the principles of the United Nations Charter and the sovereignty of States should be respected.  Human rights should be addressed through cooperation, without politicization or double standards.  China would therefore disassociate itself from the consensus on this text.  
     
    Myanmar, speaking as the concerned country, reiterated its principled position against country-specific resolutions.  Myanmar rejected operational paragraphs 2 and 5, and had strong reservations about operational paragraphs 7 and 8, as there were no political prisoners in Myanmar.  The text failed to duly recognize genuine progress achieved on the ground.  For these reasons, Myanmar would disassociate itself from the resolution as a whole.  
     
    India, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on L.30/Rev.1, said it acknowledged the initiatives by the Government of Myanmar, and the positive developments in the country.  India believed that the international community needed to continue to engage constructively with the people of Myanmar, especially in the wake of the successful general elections of November 2015.  A genuine request for assistance had been requested at a prime time for need.   Myanmar reflected strong political will and reforms.  Consequently, the international community had to engage more constructively to support these processes.  India therefore disassociated itself from the draft resolution.
     
    Russian Federation, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, noted that the co-sponsors had recognized the achievements of Myanmar and that in comparison to previous texts this text was much better.  However some things were still unclear in the draft resolution, such as the full mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Namely, the opening of the country office and the way it would operate was a bilateral affair and a third party should not interfere.  Furthermore, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur had been created under completely different conditions and was now outdated.  Against the background of visible achievements, this resolution could have been introduced under agenda item 10 on technical assistance.  Since it was not introduced as such, Russia disassociated itself from this draft resolution. 
     
    Cuba, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it had always been opposed to selective approaches.  Therefore it did not support either the spirit or the content of the draft resolution, even though it contained new developments.  Despite the call by many countries to move the debate to the agenda item on technical cooperation and capacity building, this had not been done.  Cuba reiterated its determination to depoliticise the Human Rights Council’s work.  The Universal Periodic Review was the ideal platform for true exchange and dialogue.  Selective approaches were unwarranted. 
     
    Venezuela, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the Special Rapporteur had had every support in conducting tasks in the country and that Myanmar had offered its full cooperation to the Council.  Constructive dialogue was the appropriate avenue for the promotion and protection of human rights, and Venezuela reiterated its position of principle on draft resolutions with political motivations and dissociated itself from the resolution. 
     
    Ecuador, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that several countries had requested that the debate on Myanmar be moved to item 10 on the agenda, and Ecuador supported that.  The efforts of Myanmar to improve the human rights situation there continued to be discussed under the current agenda item, despite the suggestion to move it to item 10, and therefore Ecuador would dissociate itself from the resolution. 
     
    Action on Resolution under the Agenda Item on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories
     
    Action on Resolution on Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.31) on **human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan**, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, none against, and 16 abstentions, the Council calls upon Israel, the Occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council; also calls upon Israel to desist from its continuous building of settlements; and further calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.  The Council determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, including the Knesset’s decision of 22 November 2010 to hold a referendum before any withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan and East Jerusalem, that seek to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, are null and void; and requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Governments, the competent United Nations organs, specialized agencies, international and regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations.
     
    The results of the vote were as follows:
     
    In favour (31): Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.
     
    Abstentions (16): Albania, Belgium, Botswana, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
     
    Against (0):
     
     
    Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.31 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that since the occupation of the Syrian Golan in 1967, grave and systematic human rights violations including the imposition of illegal Israeli citizenship on Syrian citizens, and the prohibition of visits of Syrian citizens to their families in the motherland, continued.  The operative paragraphs focused on the dire human rights situation emanating from occupation, and called upon Israel to allow delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Syrian prisoners of conscience and detainees in prisons accompanied by specialized physicians to assess their physical and mental health.  
     
    Cuba, in a general comment on draft resolution L.31, said Israel continued to attack the human rights of citizens in the Syrian Golan despite the resolution.  The only solution was Israel’s withdrawal from the territories.  This was why Cuba fully supported the draft resolution.
     
    Syria, speaking as the concerned country, thanked Pakistan for introducing the draft resolution, which urged Israel to put a stop to its systematic and continuous violations to international humanitarian law in the Syrian Golan.  There was a need to protect citizens and put an end to the Israeli policy which aimed to change the geographic makeup of the Syrian Golan through colonial settlements.  There was an attempt to impose Israeli citizenship, grab natural resources and prevent any building on the land.  Citizens were deprived of their right to freedom of expression and movement.  Israel continued to violate resolutions of the United Nations by taking other peoples’ land by force and tried to present to the international community with a “fait accompli”.  This was why Syria called on the Human Rights Council to vote in favour of the resolution and called on Israel to free detainees and to respect international law by withdrawal from all occupied territories, including the Syrian Golan.
     
    Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, reaffirmed the European Union’s commitment to the protection of human rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan.  The Council was presented today with a text which had not changed since it was last presented and which the European Union could not support, as any text should be negotiated in a more constructive manner.  The European Union therefore called for a vote and European Union Member States which were members of the Human Rights Council would abstain.

    Action on Resolution under the Agenda Item on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance, Follow-up to and Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
     
    Action on Resolution on Combatting Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.34) on **combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief**, adopted without a vote, the Council condemns deeply any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence; calls upon all States to take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries, in the conduct of their public duties, do not discriminate against an individual on the basis of religion or belief, and to foster religious freedom and pluralism by promoting the ability of members of all religious communities to manifest their religion, and to contribute openly and on an equal footing to society. The Council calls upon States to adopt measures and policies to promote full respect for and protection of places of worship and religious sites, cemeteries and shrines; and requests the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fourth session a comprehensive follow-up report with elaborated conclusions based upon information provided by States on the efforts and measures taken in this regard. 
     
    Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.34 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that it had conducted open and inclusive negotiations, and dealt with the issues in the resolution in a consensual manner.  The Organization of Islamic Cooperation remained concerned about stigmatization and legislation targeting Muslim minorities, and called on States to take all measures to combat these.  All leaders should speak out against discrimination, stigmatization and violence against persons on the ground of their religion.  
     
    Netherlands, speaking on  behalf of the European Union in a general comment on L.34, said it supported the adoption of the resolution.  The European Union was repelled by repeated reports of lynching, persecutions and other abhorrent practices, all linked with religion or belief.  It was because of this that all had to unite behind this resolution.  Addressing intolerance had to go beyond the resolution, and all had to take action to promote implementation.  The Action Plan in the resolution provided useful information in that regard.  States had to take the lead to take action at home. 
     
    Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
     
    Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building to Improve Human Rights in Libya
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.20) on the **technical assistance and capacity building to improve human rights in Libya**, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon the Government of  National Accord to fully implement the Libyan Political Agreement, including the security arrangements; strongly urges all parties to immediately cease violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law and to engage fully in support of a Government of National Accord; calls upon the Government of Libya to increase efforts to end impunity; calls upon all Libyans to unite in combatting terrorism in the country, and urges all Member States to actively cooperate in this regard with the Government of Libya and to provide support as requested.  The Council also urges the Libyan authorities to expedite the voluntary, safe and dignified return of all persons displaced by the conflict since 2011; urges the Libyan Constitutional Assembly to intensify its efforts to complete a draft constitution that protects the human rights of all; requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue its close  engagement with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya in order to provide coordinated human rights technical assistance to the Government of Libya; requests the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Council at its thirty-third session during an interactive dialogue, with the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General For Libya, on the human rights situation in Libya; and requests the High Commissioner to present a written report to the Council at its thirty-fourth session during an interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Libya.
     
    South Africa, introducing draft resolution L.20 entitled ‘technical assistance and capacity building to improve human rights in Libya’ on behalf of the African Group, said that the draft arrived at a crucial moment when Libya needed the international community’s support to address the human rights situation in the country.  Updates to the draft resolution since the preceding year were described.  The resolution among other measures requested the High Commissioner to present an oral update during an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council with the participation of the Special Representative for the Secretary-General for Libya, as well as a written report.     
     
    Libya, speaking as the concerned country, expressed its appreciation for the debate on draft resolution L.20 and thanked the African Group and other co-sponsors.  It reminded that the draft resolution had been submitted at the time of a precarious security situation in the country, which had paralysed economic activity with a very negative impact on human rights.  Some 40 per cent of hospitals in Libya were not functioning properly and did not have enough medicines and vaccinations.  Many children required psychological help.  There was not enough training for demining.  
     
    Ecuador, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that the efforts of the Government of Libya to fight terrorists ought to be supported by peaceful means.  States were urged to continue to apply the global strategy of the United Nations against terrorism.  Ecuador joined the consensus on the resolution and asked Libya to continue its efforts to promote and protect human rights.
     
    Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, was seriously concerned by violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Libya, which was why it was co-sponsoring the draft resolution.  It was hoped that it would be adopted on the basis of consensus.
     
    Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for Mali in the Field of Human Rights
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.22) on **technical assistance and capacity building for Mali in the field of human rights**, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon the Government of Mali to continue and to increase its efforts to protect human rights and to promote national reconciliation;  calls on all signatories of the Peace Agreement and national reconciliation to maintain a constructive dialogue and to fully implement all provisions; and requests all parties to ensure their strict observance of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.  The Council decides to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for a period of one year; calls upon all parties in Mali to cooperate fully with the Independent Expert and to assist him to carry out his mandate; and decides to hold an interactive dialogue at its thirty-fourth session in the presence of the Independent Expert and the Government of Mali, in order to assess the evolution of the situation of human rights in the country, with a particular focus on justice and reconciliation.
     
    South Africa, introducing resolution L.22 on behalf of the African Group, said the resolution was an update of resolutions adopted by the Council since the crisis in the country began in 2012.  The resolution aimed to reinforce the capacities of Malian authorities in the management of post-conflict human rights situations and to renew the mandate of the relevant Independent Expert.  The draft reflected the latest evolutions on the ground, which were enumerated, and which included actions to fight impunity. 

    Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, stated that some positive steps had been seen in Mali recently, but the security situation was still  a matter of concern and violations of human rights continued.  Netherlands urged the authorities of Mali to ensure the protection of human rights and national reconciliation.  It was necessary to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert.  
     
    Mali, speaking as the concerned country, said that the draft resolution under discussion was an update of previous resolutions.  Mali paid tribute to the Human Rights Council, which had supported Mali from the beginning of the crisis there.  The Government of Mali expressed its gratitude to all members of the Council for having renewed the mandate of the Independent Expert.  The Malian authorities fully understood the challenges ahead and were hoping that they would manage to overcome them, with the help of the international community.  
     
    Action on Resolution on Strengthening Technical Cooperation and Advisory Services for Guinea
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.23) on **strengthening technical cooperation and advisory services for Guinea**, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council  encourages the Guinean authorities to continue their efforts to mainstream human rights into all government policies and to bring national legislation fully in line with international commitments of Guinea; calls on the Guinean authorities to continue their efforts to consolidate  freedoms of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of expression; and urges all political actors to continue to engage actively and in good faith in the political dialogue.  The Council also urges the Government of Guinea to take additional measures to support the work of the panel of judges appointed to investigate the events of 28 September 2009; and strongly reiterates its call on the international community to provide the Government of Guinea with appropriate assistance to promote respect for human rights, the fight against impunity and reform of security and justice sector, as well as ongoing initiatives to promote truth, justice and national reconciliation. 
     
    South Africa, speaking on behalf of the African Group, introduced resolution L.23 on strengthening technical cooperation and advisory services in Guinea.  The current draft was an update of the resolution adopted during the twenty-eighth session in March 2015.  It recognised significant progress made in the last year by the country in the field of the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which remained the main concern of the Council.  Some positive achievements registered by Guinea were listed, which included progress in the fight against impunity.   
     
    Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, said that some positive developments had been noted in Guinea recently, including strengthening the judiciary and the rule of law.  The country still faced some challenges, such as fighting impunity.  The resolution would provide support to the Government in dealing with the issue of impunity.
     
    Guinea, speaking as the concerned country, expressed gratitude to the African Group for the work on the draft resolution.  It would help Guinea move in the right direction.  The Council had always helped Guinea.
     
    Action on Presidential Statement on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti
     
    In a Presidential Statement (A/HRC/31/L.40) on the **situation of human rights in Haiti**, adopted without a vote, the Council encourages Haiti to continue to fully cooperate with the human rights treaty bodies; also encourages the State to ratify the pending conventions; and encourages Haitian political actors to respect the terms of the Political Agreement of 6 February 2016.  The Council urges the Government to continue working on strengthening the rule of law, notably in the fight against impunity, corruption and crime; and encourages the Government to reinforce national institutions working on the protection of human rights.  The Council also encourages the international community to strengthen cooperation and coordination with the Haitian authorities with the view of a full realization of all human rights in Haiti; and requests the Independent Expert to present to the Council at its thirty-fourth session his report on the situation of human rights in Haiti. 
     
    The concerned country, Haiti, did not have any comments on resolution L.40. 
     
    Russian Federation, in an explanation of the vote after the vote on L.22, stated that experts ought to adhere to resolution 5.2 of the Council on the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures.   
     
    Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development
     
    Action on Resolution on the Effects of Terrorism on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.13/Rev.1) on the **effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights**, adopted by a vote of 28 in favour, 14 against, and five abstentions, the Council strongly condemns all terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable, and expresses grave concern at their detrimental effects on the enjoyment of human rights; urges States, while countering terrorism, to respect and protect all human rights, bearing in mind that certain counter-terrorism measures may have an impact on the enjoyment of those rights; and also urges States to take appropriate measures to duly investigate the incitement, preparation or commission of acts of terrorism, and to bring to justice those engaged in such acts.  The Council urges States to adopt rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for returning foreign terrorist fighters, in line with the good practices set out in the Hague – Marrakech Memorandum of the Global Counterterrorism Forum; and urges States and the international community to take measures, including through education, awareness-raising, the media and human rights education and training, to effectively address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.  
     
    The results of the vote were as follows:
     
    In favour (28): Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.
     
    Against (14): Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
     
    Abstentions (5): Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Namibia, and Panama.  
     
    Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.13/Rev.1, on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights, said the world had witnessed barbarities affecting peoples and individuals in Africa, Asia and Europe, the last of which were Belgium and Turkey in an endless chain of miserable and deplorable incidents.  The recent terrorist acts put a demand on the Council to consider the issue from all approaches.  Terrorism clearly had a real and direct impact on human rights.  Terrorism also aimed at destabilising governments and jeopardized peace.  The resolution in no way attempted to set a hierarchy among human rights.  Last year, the Council had adopted an historic resolution, 28/17, in which it reacted to the wave of terrorism, which was adopted by a vote.  The resolution mentioned no region or religion and named no specific group.  Eleven of the resolution’s aims were enumerated, which included that all States had to ensure that any measures taken to counter terrorism should be in line with national legislation and in conformity with international human rights law and international humanitarian law. 

    Morocco, in a general comment, condemned recent terrorist attacks  and stressed the need to send out a strong message that terrorists would never win.  Morocco underlined the importance of fighting terrorism while respecting international human rights law.  It was important to deconstruct the jihadist discourse, Morocco said, recalling that the Rabat Plan contained recommendations for the fight against violent extremism with the involvement of all stakeholders.  
     
    Ecuador, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, condemned all terrorist acts and said that it would vote in favour of the resolution.  Counter-terrorism measures had to fully respect human rights.  Ecuador disassociated itself from preambular paragraph 8 because human rights protection had to prevail over anything else.  Also, Ecuador disassociated itself from operative paragraph 8 because this paragraph acknowledged that collateral damage could happen.  
     
    Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the European Union had paid a heavy price to terrorism.  Victims should be provided with proper support.  All acts of terrorism were unequivocally condemned, but efforts against terrorism needed to pay full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  A resolution to that effect had been adopted at the June 2015 session of the Council.  Distinction should be made between individual terrorist attacks and the responsibility of States to protect human rights.  Terrorists were criminals and should be treated as such.  The current text did not strike an appropriate balance between legitimate security concerns of States and the need to protect human rights.  The European Union could thus not support the draft resolution, but was ready to work on building a consensus in the future.
     
    South Africa, in an explanation of the vote before the vote,  cautioned against extreme measures of the so-called war against terror, which included deplorable forms of torture and illegal detention.  South Africa was concerned that no distinction was made in the draft between terrorists and national liberation fighters.  South Africa reiterated its support to the peoples of Palestine and Western Sahara in their legitimate struggle.  South Africa would vote against the draft resolution.  
     
    Mexico, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that Mexico vehemently condemned terrorist attacks and deplored the suffering caused by terrorism.  Adopting appropriate measures to fight terrorism was a joint responsibility, but Mexico did not share the spirit of the text as the initiative did not reflect the remit of the Human Rights Council, which was the promotion and protection of human rights, including in the most difficult situations States faced.  Mexico would vote against the draft resolution. 
     
    Belgium, in explanation of the vote before the vote, said that in the current difficult circumstances, Belgium wished to make a statement.  The Belgian people were touched by the solidarity expressed toward them, and all were thanked for their messages.  Belgium had been struck by cowardly and blind attacks, and it was not just one nation and one people which had been attacked--over 49 nationalities were among those killed or injured--it was a system of values which had been attacked, as well as democracy and peaceful coexistence.  The international community could not be guided by fear, its responsibility was to pursue the establishment of a framework which preserved its values.  Belgium had been the victim of a terrorist attack, but called for Members of the Council to vote against the text, which sent the wrong message for how challenges should be tackled. 
     
    Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, vigorously condemned all terrorist acts, and stressed that the international community must act to prevent and combat terrorism.  The draft resolution only focused on certain aspects of the problem, and did not fully respect the responsibility of States to protect human rights.  Regrettably, Switzerland would vote against this text.  
     
    Action on Resolution on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment - Safeguards to Prevent Torture during Police Custody and Pre-trial Detention
     
    In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.26/Rev.1) on **torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - safeguards to prevent torture during police custody and pre-trial detention**, adopted without a vote, the Council** **urges all States that have not yet done so to become parties to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to give early consideration to signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol thereto as a matter of priority; also urges States to adopt, implement and fully comply with legal and procedural safeguards against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and calls upon States in the context of criminal proceedings to ensure access to lawyers from the outset of custody and during all interrogations and judicial proceedings.  The Council urges States during reviews of domestic interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices to ensure that they observe their international obligations and safeguards against torture; and calls upon States to include education and information regarding the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment  in the training of law enforcement personnel._  _The Council also requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights to convene, in 2017, an intersessional, full-day seminar, with the objective of exchanging national experiences and practices on the implementation of effective safeguards to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment during police custody and pre-trial detention.
     
    Denmark, introducing L.26/Rev.1, as orally revised, said that the text, which had 70 co-sponsors, stressed the absolute prohibition of torture.  Denmark had a long tradition as an advocate against torture, and the current text focused on pre-trial custody.  The draft text was pertinent and could help eliminate torture during early stages of detention.  The text stressed the importance of having appropriate guidelines for investigation and having right safeguards in place to prevent torture.  The draft resolution requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize a full-day seminar in which States would exchange views.   

    Netherlands, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, expressed its full support to the text, and its commitment to stand against any form of torture and ill-treatment.  The text put much needed attention on the need for safeguards to prevent torture during detention, and to ensure access to legal representation for detainees.  The European Union also fully supported the organization of an international seminar on this issue.  
     
    Switzerland, in a general comment, stressed the importance of measures to prevent torture in the early stage of detention or pre-trial detention.  Switzerland regretted that some delegations had, during the negotiations, put forward some language that was not in line with international standards and that would have weakened the text.  Switzerland underlined the importance of the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the “Nelson Mandela Rules”). 
     
    Algeria, in a general comment, supported the draft resolution, which was in line with the most recent measures undertaken by the Government of Algeria.  The crime of torture had now been included in the entire legislative framework, and cameras were placed in the places of detention.  Algeria hoped the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus. 
     
    Saudi Arabia, speaking on behalf of a number of countries in a general comment, said that torture was an act that should not be tolerated.  Continuous efforts were being made to prevent the acts of torture.  Saudi Arabia, nonetheless, had some serious systemic concerns, including the reference to the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture.  The report included 65 references to sexual orientation and was an attempt to use the eradication of torture to promote other issues, which lacked any ground in international law.   The draft text did not faithfully reflect the position of the Council towards the report, so the group of countries would dissociate itself from operative paragraph 20.

     __________

    For use of the information media; not an official record


    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    CONTEXT

    Since the declaration of the state of emergency in the northern states of Nigeria (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe) in May 2013, Niger has been facing unprecedented humanitarian challenges, especially in the Diffa region, hosting thousands of Nigerian refugees, returned Nigeriens and nationals of neighbouring countries.

    In addition, attacks by armed groups on the Niger territory starting from February 2015 led to internal displacements. Most people who fled insecurity in Nigeria and internally displaced people are in a vulnerable situation. This aggravates the already fragile livelihoods conditions of the host communities. Important humanitarian needs are identified in the following areas: food, health care, nutrition, education, acces to water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and non food items as well as protection.


    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    The security situation in south-eastern Niger continues to deteriorate due to a growing number of attacks by Boko Haram. Since the first Boko Haram attack on the Nigerien territory in February 2015 to date, several other incursions have been reported in the region. These attacks have caused the internal displacement of thousands of people. As a consequence, the humanitarian needs in the region have increased, in a context characterized by limited resources for an adequate response and by localized access challenges.


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | jeudi 24/03/2016 - 22:01 GMT

    La tenue à Kidal, bastion de l'ex-rébellion à dominante touareg dans le nord-est du Mali, d'un forum "pour la réconciliation", du 27 au 30 mars, est compromise, a appris l'AFP jeudi de sources proches du dossier.

    "Le Forum est reporté, même si une tentative de le maintenir existe. Mais franchement, je ne vois pas à ce stade comment il peut avoir lieu", a reconnu un responsable malien sous le couvert de l'anonymat, accusant les groupes armés présents dans la ville, à l'initiative de cette réunion, "de ne pas respecter leurs engagements".

    Ces groupes, de la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA, ex-rébellion) et pro-gouvernementaux, qui se sont entendus en février pour cohabiter pacifiquement à Kidal, n'ont pas souhaité s'exprimer officiellement sur le sujet. De part et d'autre, on s'est borné à insister sur la nécessité de prendre le temps de bien préparer cette rencontre.

    Les groupes armés sont divisés sur la participation active à ce forum du gouvernement, absent de Kidal depuis des années, notamment après des combats en mai 2014 lors d'une visite du Premier ministre de l'époque Moussa Mara entre les rebelles et l'armée malienne, qui avait subi une lourde défaite.

    Certains exigent préalablement du gouvernement la mise en place dans le Nord des autorités de transition prévues par l'accord de paix signé en mai-juin 2015 avec Bamako.

    Par ailleurs, un nouveau gouverneur pour la région de Kidal, Koïna Ag Ahmadou, a été nommé mercredi soir en Conseil des ministres, selon un communiqué officiel.

    "Je ne sais pas encore quand je vais prendre service, mais il ne devrait pas y avoir de problème, parce que les gens de Kidal sont mes parents", a assuré M. Ag Ahmadou à l'AFP.

    Le nord du Mali était tombé en mars-avril 2012 sous la coupe de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda après la déroute de l'armée face à la rébellion à dominante touareg, d'abord alliée à ces groupes qui l'ont ensuite évincée.

    Ces jihadistes ont été dispersés et en grande partie chassés par une intervention militaire internationale lancée en janvier 2013, à l'initiative de la France, et qui se poursuit actuellement.

    Mais des zones entières du pays échappent encore au contrôle des forces maliennes et étrangères, malgré la signature de l'accord de paix, destiné à isoler définitivement les jihadistes.

    sd/sst/cr/

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | 3/25/2016 - 02:23 GMT

    Boko Haram gunmen have abducted 16 women in a remote area of northeast Nigeria's Adamawa state, police, a lawmaker and locals told AFP on Thursday.

    "We received report of the kidnap of 14 women and two girls by gunmen believed to be Boko Haram insurgents near Sabon Garin Madagali village", said Adamawa state police spokesman Othman Abubakar.

    "We have sent search teams to the area and have notified the military who have also deployed personnel for search and rescue operation in the bush to free the hostages."

    Adamu Kamale, who represents the area in Nigeria's lower chamber of parliament, the House of Representatives, also confirmed the abduction, which happened on Wednesday.

    Locals said the hostages were seized in the bush while fetching firewood and fishing in a nearby river under the escort of two civilian vigilantes assisting the military against the Islamist insurgents.

    "When the civilian vigilantes escorting the women saw the heavily armed Boko Haram fighters advancing on them they fled, leaving the women to their fate," said Madagali resident Garba Barnabas.

    Two women who escaped by jumping into the river and pretending to have drowned later returned to the village to raise the alarm, he added.

    Madagali district, which lies on the border with Borno state, has been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram during its nearly seven-year insurgency, which has left more than 17,000 people dead.

    Human rights groups have said fighters have kidnapped thousands of women and young girls, including more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted from the Borno town of Chibok nearly two years ago.

    The insurgents temporarily seized Madagali district and parts of Adamawa as well as large swathes of territory in Borno and Yobe state in 2014, as they sought to establish a hardline Islamic state.

    More than 2.6 million people have fled their homes since the start of the violence but as troops began a fight-back last year and recaptured territory, some of the internally displaced have returned home.

    Sporadic hit-and-run attacks have continued however, as well as suicide bombings.

    "Since people returned to their homes we have been experiencing attacks by Boko Haram despite claims that security has been restored", said Kamale.

    "The abduction shows that more security needs to be deployed to protect the people from attacks and abductions."

    abu/phz/mfp

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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