INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE SECTION
- IACHR: Precautionary Measures in Favor of Beneficiaries in Nicaragua
- ECtHR: Applicants’ Right to Procedural Safeguards Against Arbitrary Interference with Rights under Art. 10 Upheld in Russia
- ECtHR: Applicants’ Deprivation of Liberty in Detention Deemed Unlawful in Cyprus
- ECtHR: Applicants’ Right to a Belief/Spiritual Practice Unlawfully Interfered with in Moldova
- ECtHR: Applicants’ Rights to Fair Trials Violated in Moldova
- ECtHR: Applicants’ Right to Liberty and Security Violated by Moldova and Russia
- ECtHR: Applicant’s Right to a Fair Trial Violated in Turkey
- ECtHR: Applicant’s Exposure to Degrading Treatment and Right to Fair Trial Violated in Russia
- France: Council of State Ordered Government to Accelerate Paris Agreement Climate Commitments
- ECtHR: Applicant’s Deprivation of Liberty in Detention Deemed Unlawful in Ukraine
- France: Investigation into the Responsibility of Fashion Retailers Suspected of Concealing Crimes Against Humanity in Xinjiang
- Guatemala: Senior Judges Threatened
INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY SECTION
- OHCHR: Policing Reforms to Address Systemic Racism
- Iraq & Syria: USA Conducted Targeted Strikes Against Facilities
- EU: Legal Framework for Achieving Climate Neutrality
- Ethiopia: Government Declared Unilateral Ceasefire in Tigray
- UNSC: Resolution Adopted to Renew Sanctions on DRC and Extend Expert Group Mandate
- UNSC: Peacekeeping Official Warned of Chronic Divisive Rhetoric and Genocide Denial in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- UNGA: Fifth Committee Approved $6.37 Billion Budget for 12 Peacekeeping Missions
- UNSC: Mandates of UNDOF and MINUSMA Renewed
- UN: Urgent Action Needed to End “Inhumane Conditions” Being Faced by Haiti Prisoners
- ILO: Migrant Worker Numbers Grow, Along With Vulnerabilities
- UNSC: Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacekeeping Affairs Called USA to Lift or Waive Sanctions against Iran Amid Ongoing Talks to Fully Restore 2015 Nuclear Deal
- UNICEF: Escalating Crisis in Lebanon Puts Children at Risk
INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE SECTION
IACHR: Precautionary Measures in Favor of Beneficiaries in Nicaragua
As reported on 28 June, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 49/2021 of 24 June 24 2021, granting precautionary measures in favor of Cristiana María Chamorro Barrios, Walter Antonio Gómez Silva, Marcos Antonio Fletes Casco and Lourdes Arróliga. According to the request, as a result of the possible candidacy of Cristiana María Chamorro Barrios for the presidency of the Republic, she and the other three beneficiaries are persecuted and harassed, even being deprived of liberty without knowing their locations and conditions of detention. In this regard, the IACHR considered that the situation meets prima facie the seriousness, urgency, and irreparability requirements contained in Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure.
ECtHR: Applicants’ Right to Procedural Safeguards Against Arbitrary Interference with Rights under Art. 10 Upheld in Russia
On 29 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a judgment against applicantsin the case of Yezhov and Others v. Russia.This case relates to whether interference by the state in curbing protests initiated by members of a political party was ‘necessary in a democratic society.’ The applicants are members of the National Bolshevik Party (“the NBP”) who had initiated protests against the introduction of a law concerning social benefits received by various groups of the population. In doing so, these members dressed in emergency-service uniforms, forced entry into the building of the Ministry of Health and Social Development and occupied offices, compelling employees to leave. They nailed the doors shut from inside using nail guns and blocked them with office furniture, waved NBP flags out of the windows, threw out leaflets and chanted slogans calling for the resignation of the Minister for Health at the time. They also set off firecrackers and threw a portrait of the President of Russia out of the window. They stayed in the office for about an hour before the police broke through the doors and arrested them.
The applicants, following pre-trial detention and conviction by a local Court on grounds of breach of public order, intentional destruction and degradation of others’ property in public places, were sentenced to a term of imprisonment and also, directed to pay the Ministry compensation for the damage sustained. The applicants alleged that their arrests and subsequent conviction had constituted an interference with their right to freedom of expression, which had been “prescribed by law.” The ECtHR, while acknowledging the applicants’ protests in response to a ‘pressing social need’, observed that they did not, however, have a right to enter a publicly owned property in the manner that they did, to express their opinion. The police had therefore been justified in arresting the applicants and removing them from the premises of the Ministry. However, the local Court did not try to establish the individual role of each of the applicants during the protest, the extent of their involvement and their individual acts during the protest, thereby depriving them of the opportunity to contest the limiting their freedom of expression. In view of these observations, the ECtHR noted that by failing to conduct an individual assessment in respect of each of the applicants the local Court had denied them an important procedural safeguard against arbitrary interference with the rights protected under Article 10. Hence, it held that the reasons emphasised by the local court in this regard were not ‘relevant and sufficient’ for the purposes of Article 10 § 2.
ECtHR: Applicants’ Deprivation of Liberty in Detention Deemed Unlawful in Cyprus
On 29 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued judgment against the state of Cyprus in the case of Monir Lotfy v. Cyprus. The applicant was born in 1963 and is currently living in Egypt. The applicant has a protracted immigration history with the Cypriot authorities after arriving in Cyprus for the first time in 1991. Between 1991 and 2012 he was deported twice. Thereafter, he was granted Cypriot citizenship which was subsequently revoked. The applicant unsuccessfully challenged the decision, following which, he subsequently re-entered Cyprus unlawfully on an unspecified date and was arrested by the police during a random identity check in the street. Detention and deportation orders were issued against him the very next day. While the government failed to carry out the necessary orders as regards to his deportation resulting in his prolonged detention in different facilities, the applicant alleged that these along with other conditions of his detention had seriously affected him physically, mentally and psychologically and, had amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the Convention. The ECtHR observed that, the government had failed to show that his continued detention for over five months had been lawful, despite an order from the Supreme Court directing the applicant’s immediate release. While the Court further noted the subsequent order by the Supreme Court authorising the continued detention of the applicant, without considering the previous Habeas Corpus petition and its previous release order, it declared the prolonged detention to be arbitrary within the meaning of Art. 5.
ECtHR: Applicants’ Right to a Belief/Spiritual Practice Unlawfully Interfered with in Moldova
On 29 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a judgment against the state of Moldova in the case of A.O. Falun Dafa and Others v. the Republic of Moldova. The case concerns the banning of the applicant organisations’ symbol, which resembles a reversed swastika, followed by their dissolution, allegedly at the request of the Chinese Government. The case raises issues under Articles 9 and 11 of the Convention. The first two applicants are two non-governmental organisations registered in the Republic of Moldova. The applicant organisations practise Falun Gong, a spiritual practice forbidden in China, the purpose of which is to achieve spirituality through moral rectitude, exercises and meditation. The international symbol of these organisations and the symbol registered with the government is represented by one large and four small counter-clockwise yellow swastikas and four small yin-yang symbols on red and orange backgrounds.
An NGO, on numerous occasions had initiated court proceedings against the government and the applicant organisations, seeking the ban of their symbol and their dissolution on the ground that these symbols propagated hatred and social unrest. The applicants opposed this, arguing that their symbol was not a Nazi swastika and that it had been registered in over eighty countries around the world. The Supreme Court upheld the actions and banned their symbols and ordered their dissolution, following which the symbol was included in the Register of Materials of an Extremist Nature by order of the government. However, the government filed revision requests as regards quashing of the court judgments on the grounds of violation of Articles 9 and 11 and compensation in the form of non-pecuniary damage. While the Court upheld the Agent’s revision requests, quashed the impugned judgments and ordered for the re-examination of the merits of the cases, it rejected the Agent’s request to award them non-pecuniary damage. Subsequently, during the re-examination, the actions concerning the ban of the applicants’ symbol and their dissolution were finally dismissed and they sought enforcement of the aforesaid judgments. In particular, they requested the government to exclude their symbol from the Register of Materials of an Extremist Nature. However, the Minister of Justice refused to issue such an order and the court decisions were also not executed. The ECtHR found that there has been a violation of Articles 9 and 11 of the Convention which stems from banning the applicant organisations’ symbol and their dissolution, on account of failure by the Supreme Court to award any compensation as well as the failure of the government to comply with the Court’s judgments.
ECtHR: Applicants’ Rights to Fair Trials Violated in Moldova
On 29 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued judgments against the state of Moldova in the case of Mihailov v. the Republic of Moldova and Badan v. the Republic of Moldova. The applicants, who were born in 1949 and 1985, are Moldovan nationals residing in Chișinău and Orhei. These cases concern the failures of the State to enforce final judicial decisions in favour of applicants within a reasonable time. The ECtHR reiterated that the right of ‘access to court’ does not oblige a State to execute every judgment of a civil character without having regard to the particular circumstances of a case.’ At the same time, the State’s responsibility for enforcement of a judgment against a private person extends no further than the involvement of State bodies in the enforcement procedures. In this regard, the Court’s only task is to examine whether the measures taken by the authorities were adequate and sufficient. In these cases, where the debtor is a private person, the State has to act diligently in order to assist a creditor in the execution of a judgment. The ECtHR agreed with the finding of the domestic courts, as regards, to the breach of the applicants’ right to have the judgments enforced within a reasonable time due to the inaction of the authorities. However, it found that the domestic courts had failed to award both the applicants any compensation for the pecuniary damages suffered. In spite of finding the fault with the authorities for the non-enforcement of the final judgment, the Court only awarded them compensation for non-pecuniary damage and rejected their claim concerning the pecuniary damage suffered. Thus the judgments remained unenforced and the applicants never recovered the money awarded to them. Hence, the Court considered that the failures by the State authorities to take appropriate measures in order to have the judgments in favour of the applicants enforced constitute a violation of Article 6.
ECtHR: Applicants’ Right to Liberty and Security Violated by Moldova and Russia
On 29 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a judgment against Moldova and Russia in the case of Manole and Postica v. the Republic of Moldova and Russia. The applicants who were born in 1973 and 1981 respectively, are Moldovan nationals residing in Chișinău. The case concerns the applicants’ allegedly unlawful detention and humiliation at a checkpoint situated in the self-proclaimed ‘Moldovan Republic of Transdniestria’ (MRT) on the ground of photographing the checkpoint which was a military unit. The ECtHR, reiterated that Article 5 § 4 of the Convention entitles arrested or detained persons to a review of the procedural and substantive conditions which are essential for the “lawfulness” – in Convention terms – of the deprivation of their liberty. This signifies that the competent court has to consider not only compliance with the procedural requirements of domestic law, but also the reasonableness of the suspicion underpinning the arrest and the legitimacy of the purpose pursued by the arrest and the ensuing detention. In view of these observations, the Court opined that the applicants’ lack of access to effective remedies in respect of their detention as well as denial of relevant opportunities to them for pursuing any such remedy in Russia, warranted this court to examine the complaint under Article 5 § 4. Furthermore, the court found that in the absence of any decision concerning the applicants’ detention, they were effectively unable to have their detention reviewed by a court. Hence, the Court inferred the occurrence of a violation of Article 5 § 4 of the Convention.
ECtHR: Applicant’s Right to a Fair Trial Violated in Turkey
On 29 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a judgment against Turkey in the case of Alat v. Turkey. The applicant, was born in 1981 and is currently serving a sentence in the Kahramanmaraş Türkoğlu L-Type Prison. The application relates to the alleged unfairness of the criminal proceedings against the applicant on account of (i) his inability to examine a witness before the trial court; (ii) his allegedly unjustified absence from certain hearings and the ineffective legal representation stemming from the conduct of the legal aid lawyers assigned to him; and (iii) the alleged failure of the domestic courts to grant him adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and for a proper examination of the case file, and to give reasons for their judgments. Based on detailed factual considerations, the ECtHR opined that the applicant was not afforded proper safeguards commensurate with the nature of his complaint and the importance of what was at stake for him – namely two terms of life imprisonment, an additional term of 110 years and eight months of imprisonment and a fine – which could have enabled him to sufficiently test the reliability and truthfulness of the evidence given by witness (whom the applicant had requested to examine), in line with the guarantees of a fair trial under Article 6 of the Convention.’ Hence, in this case Art. 6 had been violated.
ECtHR: Applicant’s Exposure to Degrading Treatment and Right to Fair Trial Violated in Russia
On 29 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a judgment against Russia in the case of Resin v. Russia. The applicant who was born in 1974, is a Russian national and is currently detained in IK-6, Khabarovk Region. The case relates to different restrictions imposed on the applicant, who had been serving his life sentence in a correctional colony, such as the method of his detention and transport, routine handcuffing, his absence at hearings in civil proceedings, an obligation to wear a prison uniform, and the lack of confidentiality of telephone conversations with his representatives. The ECtHR observed that the applicant was handcuffed each time he was taken out of his cell, on the ground that he was sentenced to life imprisonment and especially, took note of the misgivings expressed by the prison authorities about the applicant’s conduct and of their assessment of the risk that he might pose. Upon detailed consideration of the facts, it found that the applicant was handcuffed on the ground of the de facto presumption in favour of routine handcuffing of life prisoners and in the absence of any regular assessment of whether the application of the measure in question was appropriate or pursued any specific aim. Hence, such a systematic handcuffing when escorting the applicant inside the prison was a measure that lacked sufficient justification and must be regarded as degrading treatment within the meaning of Art. 3.
However, the Court noted that the conditions of detention did not reach the minimum level of severity required by Article 3 of the Convention and thus, rejected them. With respect to the applicant’s inability to present his case effectively before the court and enjoy equality of arms with the opposing side, the court found that the domestic courts had deprived the applicant of the opportunity to present his case and had, accordingly failed to meet their obligation to ensure respect for the principle of a fair trial. Besides, the court further stated that the impugned restrictions on the applicant’s telephone conversations must not be regarded as having been “prescribed by law” and therefore, his rights under Art. 8 had been violated on account of unjustified restrictions.
France: Council of State Ordered Government to Accelerate Paris Agreement Climate Commitments
The French Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) ordered the country’s federal government to take accelerated action against climate change on 1 July, threatening possible fines for noncompliance. The Council, which provides legal advice to the executive and acts as the Supreme Court for Administrative Justice, agreed on three important matters. First, France is exceeding its emissions budgets. Following the 2015 signing of the Paris Agreement, France (along with other European Union member states) committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to 2005 levels, by 2030. Secondly, the government failed to take more stringent measures to meet its own goals, and, thirdly, its justifications for not doing so were insufficient. The Council’s decision thus ordered the government to “take all necessary measures to achieve the objective resulting from the Paris Agreement before March 31, 2022.” While the Council did note the relative decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2020, it cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the driver behind the changes, not governmental policies. The Council reminded the government it has the power to collect fines and award damages.
ECtHR: Applicant’s Deprivation of Liberty in Detention Deemed Unlawful in Ukraine
On 1 July, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a judgment against Ukrainein the case of Nechay v. Ukraine. This case relates to the excessive length of criminal proceedings including that of their pretrial detention and lack of any effective remedies to that effect in the domestic law of the state concerned. The applicant was born in 1978 and lives in Kyiv. The applicant alleged that the length of the criminal proceedings in question had been incompatible with the ‘reasonable time’ requirements and was mostly caused by ineffective investigations as well as long periods of inactivity on the part of the domestic authorities. The Court found that the length of the proceedings including pre-trial detention of the applicant was excessive and beyond the ‘reasonable time requirement.’ Hence the Court noted breach of Article 5 and 3 of the Convention and directed the respondent state to pay damages to the applicant.
France: Investigation into the Responsibility of Fashion Retailers Suspected of Concealing Crimes Against Humanity in Xinjiang
As reported on 1 July, French prosecutors have opened an investigation into four fashion retailers suspected of concealing crimes against humanity in China’s Xinjiang region. The procedure is linked to accusations against China over its treatment of minority Muslim Uyghurs in the region, including the use of forced labour. An insider source informed the media that a unit of Japan’s Fast Retailing, Zara owner Inditex, France’s SMCP and Skechers were the subject of the investigation. The companies rejected the accusations or express willingness to prove them false.
Guatemala: Senior Judges Threatened
Judges Yassmín Barrios, Miguel Gálvez, Erika Aifán and Pablo Xitumul submitted a detailed complaint to the public prosecutor’s office, saying they were under increased surveillance and harassed. These judges have been entrusted with the trials of high-profile cases involving past or current government officials, high powered gang members, and members of the military or paramilitary organizations. On 1 July, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, called upon Guatemalan authorities to extend stringent protective measures in order to safeguard the country’s judiciary and civil servants, after one senior judge tasked with hearing cases brought against top government officials mentioned he had been receiving threats and was also under surveillance. Responding to these harassments faced by the judicial officers, the UN expert said ‘I am very worried about a number of recent actions aimed at weakening the rule of law and judicial independence in Guatemala.’ He further added that ‘criminal law is being abused to target civil servants and justice officials, the very people who protect and guarantee human rights, who are strengthening the rule of law and making great strides in the fight against impunity in the country.’ He reminded Guatemala of its obligation to promptly investigate acts of harassment or threats against judicial officers.
INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY SECTION
OHCHR: Policing Reforms to Address Systemic Racism
On 28 June, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched a report and agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality. Among the new measures proposed in the High Commissioner’s report: authorities are urged to reassess whether officers should continue to be the first responders to individuals with mental health problems. Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stressed that radical policing reforms are needed to address systemic racism affecting people of African descent around the world, stating that her efforts to publish the report was prompted by the killing of George Floyd. Ms. Bachelet declared, “The status quo is untenable” and appealed to States “to end impunity and build trust, to listen to the voices of people of African descent, and to confront past legacies and deliver redress.” Peggy Hicks, Director of Thematic Engagement at the OHCHR further underlined that the Office uncovered many similarities and hurdles in obtaining justice for crimes, such as the murder of George Floyd. According to the report, these obstacles to fulfilling basic human rights contributed to a tradition of discrimination, linked directly to colonialism and slave trading, which resulted in the “dehumanisation” of people of African descent.
Iraq & Syria: USA Conducted Targeted Strikes Against Facilities
As reported on 29 June, US forces conducted on 27 June targeted strikes against facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, near the Iraq-Syria border at the direction of US President Joe Biden. In a letter to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, President Biden wrote that these facilities were used by Iran-backed militia groups that have been involved in a series of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and rocket attacks against US personnel and facilities in Iraq. He claimed that militia attacks have escalated in recent months, with around a dozen of rocket attacks on US air bases and invoked the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as well as, the US’s inherent right of self-defence as reflected in Article 51 of the UN Charter. President Biden describes the strikes as a means to protect and defend US personnel, as well as, deter the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran-backed militia groups from conducting or supporting further attacks on the United States personnel and facilities. Thus, the strikes were targeted at facilities used by groups involved in these ongoing attacks for weapons storage, command, logistics, and UAV operations.
EU: Legal Framework for Achieving Climate Neutrality
As reported on 29 June, the European Union Council adopted the European Climate Law, to enforce the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions. The law sets a binding Union climate target reduction of net EU emissions by 55% by 2030 and eliminate them by 2050. This Climate proposes the establishment of a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, providing independent scientific advice and producing reports on EU measures, climate targets, as well as reviewing the compliance with the EU’s international commitments under the Paris Agreement. Minister of Environment and Climate Action, Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes, stated, ‘I warmly welcome this final step of the adoption of the EU’s very first climate law which enshrines into legislation the 2050 climate neutrality objective. An agreement on the European climate law has been a priority for the Portuguese Presidency and I am glad that we have successfully brought it over the finishing line.’ Except for Bulgaria who abstained, ministers from the 27 EU countries approved the deal. The law will be signed and published in the Official Journal, before entering into force.
Ethiopia: Government Declared Unilateral Ceasefire in Tigray
As reported on 29 June, Ethiopia’s government declared an immediate, unilateral cease-fire Monday in its Tigray region after nearly eight months of violence and conflict. Tigray fighters have now occupied and reclaimed the Tigray region’s capital, Mekelle and government soldiers retreated in a region, where hundreds of thousands are suffering in the world’s worst famine crisis. The cease-fire could calm the deadly conflict, which has destabilised the country and threatened to do the same in the wider Horn of Africa region where the West sees Ethiopia as a key security ally. However, the credibility of the Ethiopian government’s unilaterally declared ceasefire has been called into question along with reports of critical infrastructure and access routes for humanitarian aid being cut off. Tigray fighters have cast doubt upon Ethiopia’s cease-fire as a “sick joke,” accusing Ethiopia of long denying humanitarian aid to the Tigrayans it now “pretends to care about.” A spokesperson for the Ethiopian government task force said the Ethiopian army could re-enter Mekelle within weeks if needed, it is the first public statement by the country’s government since Mekelle was seized this week.
UNSC: Resolution Adopted to Renew Sanctions on DRC and Extend Expert Group Mandate
On 29 June, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2582 (2021) to renew the sanctions regime imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and extend by 12 months the mandate of the Group of Experts overseeing their implementation. The sanctions pertained to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. These measures require all States to refrain from, among other things, providing weapons to non-governmental entities operating in the DRC. The Council reaffirmed that the financial and travel restrictions on individuals and entities involved in acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the country, including attacks on peacekeepers with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). In renewing the sanctions, the Council decided that these measures shall also apply to individuals and entities responsible for planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against medical personnel or humanitarian personnel. The Council demanded that States ensure that all measures taken to implement this resolution comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international refugee law and called for enhanced cooperation between all States.
UNSC: Peacekeeping Official Warned of Chronic Divisive Rhetoric and Genocide Denial in Bosnia and Herzegovina
In a Security Council meeting on 29 June, Hervé Lecoq, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Peace Operations’ Europe and Central Asia Division, expressed concern about the overall situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the consolidation of peace and reconciliation. He highlighted the divisive rhetoric and genocide denial are contributing to polarisation and hindering prospects for national and regional stability and prosperity. He highlighted the persistence of hate speech and instances of revisionist narratives and the glorification of convicted war criminals. During a recent 10-day visit, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Wairimu Nderitu, called for an increased commitment to trust‑building and reconciliation. Mr. Lecoq stated that the UN remains committed to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards sustainable peace and development.
UNGA: Fifth Committee Approved $6.37 Billion Budget for 12 Peacekeeping Missions
On 29 June, the UN General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) concluded its session on the UN’s annual peacekeeping budget from July 2021 – June 2022, sending 19 draft resolutions and 1 draft decision to the General Assembly, asking it to authorise an annual United Nations peacekeeping budget of $6.37 billion. The annual peacekeeping budget is separate from the main UN operations budget of more than $3 billion. The approved peacekeeping budget would cover the cost of 12 peacekeeping missions, as well as, related funds or the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy; the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda; and the peacekeeping support account. This approval of the budget comes after reports of a deadlock within the Committee, with reports of fears of “a freeze on all missions.”
UNSC: Mandates of UNDOF and MINUSMA Renewed
The UN Security Council decided on 29 June to renew the mandates of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for six months, until 31 December 2021 and United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) until 30 June 2022. The UNDOF is responsible for monitoring the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria in the Golan. The renewed Resolution 2581 (2021) was unanimously adopted, with the Council calling upon the parties to implement resolution 338 (1973) — which called for a ceasefire in the Yom Kippur war — and stressed their obligation to respect the terms of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement. Resolution 2584 (2021) was adopted to renew MINUSMA’s mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The Council called on Malian stakeholders to facilitate the full realisation of the political transition and handover of power to elected civilian authorities within the 18-month transition period. Additionally, Mali’s Transitional Government must also organise free and fair presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for 27 February 2022, along with regional and local elections and a constitutional referendum, as appropriate, within that 18-month time frame. The Council demanded that all armed groups cut all ties with terrorist organisations and transnational organised crime, as well as, end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
UN: Urgent Action Needed to End “Inhumane Conditions” Being Faced by Haiti Prisoners
On 30 June, a UN report was published highlighting extreme overcrowding, lack of access to food and water health, among the ‘inhumane conditions’ that prisoners in Haiti must endure often over many years. The report also noted that in 12 detention centres there were instances where 60 prisoners were crammed into spaces measuring just 20 square meters, leaving them unable to even lie down on the floor to sleep. UN staff from the Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and the Human Rights Office, interviewed 229 men, women and children in detention, who described lack of access to adequate medical care and medicines that leaves them at risk should there be a medical emergency, and reliant on help from family members. According to the report, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is also routinely used as a disciplinary measure in all the prisons visited, including against children. Of the inmates interviewed, 27.9% had been ill-treated by prison officers or by inmates with the consent of guards, and 44.5% said they had witnessed mistreatment. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, underscore that authorities should also take steps to reduce the overall number of people in detention by including “granting early or provisional release of low-risk individuals, people who are charged with minor offences, pregnant women, minors and those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 or associated diseases.
ILO: Migrant Worker Numbers Grow, Along With Vulnerabilities
On 30 June, a new report by ILO “ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers: Results and Methodology” estimated that the number of migrant workers has increased by 5 million since 2017 and has risen globally to 169 million; a three per cent rise since 2017. The share of youth migrant workers (aged 15-24) has also increased, by almost 2 per cent, or 3.2 million since 2017 and their number reached 16.8 million in 2019. The new report shows that in 2019, international migrant workers constituted nearly five per cent of the global labour force, making them an integral part of the world economy. In many regions international migrant workers account for an important share of the labour force, making vital contributions to their destination countries’ societies and economies, and delivering essential jobs in critical sectors like health care, transportation, services, agriculture and food processing. Rafael Diez de Medina, Chief Statistician and Director of the ILO Department of Statistics stated that labour migration policies can then help countries respond to shifts in labour supply and demand, stimulate innovation and sustainable development, and transfer and update skills.
UNSC: Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacekeeping Affairs Called USA to Lift or Waive Sanctions against Iran Amid Ongoing Talks to Fully Restore 2015 Nuclear Deal
In a UN Security Council meeting on 30 June, Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacekeeping Affairs, told the Council that implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the outcome of 12 years of intense negotiations between the Council’s permanent members, Germany and Iran — has “improved considerably” since the Council’s last meeting on the topic in December 2020. In light of ongoing talks in Vienna to fully restore the JCPOA, she called on the United States to lift or waive its sanctions against TehranHowever representatives of Iran and the US fault each other for not complying with the accord. She highlighted “needed steps” to advance implementation of the Plan and resolution 2231 (2015), urging the US to extend the waivers related to oil trade with Iran and to facilitate non-proliferation activities at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, the Fordow Facility and the Arak reactor. She called for all parties to bring the JPCOA “back on track.”
UNICEF: Escalating Crisis in Lebanon Puts Children at Risk
On 1 July, UNICEF released a survey that stated that children in Lebanon are bearing the brunt of one of the world’s worst economic collapses in recent times. Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon stated that more and more families are being forced to resort to negative coping measures, including skipping meals, sending their children to work in often hazardous conditions, or marrying off their young daughters. A series of mutually reinforcing crises, including a devastating recession, have left families and children in Lebanon in a dire situation, affecting just about every aspect of their lives, with few resources and virtually no access to social support. The UNICEF Representative further remarked that the World Bank has described what is happening in Lebanon as possibly one of the top three economic collapses seen since the mid 19th century and what the UNICEF survey shows is that children are bearing the brunt of this escalating catastrophe.