This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Ukraine’s suffering continues – acting UN rights chief
The UN Human Rights Council opened a four-week session in Geneva on Monday, with multiple emergencies – from Afghanistan to Ukraine – set to take centre stage.
Just over 200 days since Russia invaded its neighbour, Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif said that throughout Ukraine, “the suffering of the civilian population continues”.
A special Independent Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine is due, for the first time, to deliver its findings on possible war crimes to the Council on 23 September. It was tasked with investigating grave abuses in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions.
Beyond the war-torn country, fuel shortages and food security concerns are now the norm in some of the world’s poorest countries, the acting UN rights chief said.
“I welcome and call for the full respect of the landmark agreement involving Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations and Türkiye in July, which allowed the resumption of shipments of grain and other food supplies from Ukrainian ports and I urge the international community to ensure that the food reaches the people who need it”.
50 million people live in modern slavery
A staggering 50 million people live in modern slavery today, according the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery report, which indicates that 28 million people had to do forced labour last year, and another 22 million were trapped in forced marriage.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM), the two UN agencies behind the report, said that forced labour and arranged marriages have increased by around 10 million people in the last five years – with women and children affected most.
According to the report’s findings, modern slavery occurs in almost every country in the world, and cuts across ethnic, cultural and religious lines.
More than half of all forced labour and a quarter of all forced marriages can be found in upper-middle income or high-income countries.
6.3 million people in Sri Lanka face food insecurity
An estimated 6.3 million people in Sri Lanka now face moderate to severe acute food insecurity.
That’s the warning from UN humanitarians at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP), who’ve said that the situation in Sri Lanka will likely worsen, because of poor agricultural production, price spikes and ongoing economic crisis.
Two consecutive seasons of poor harvests led to a nearly 50 per cent drop in production.
The country’s sovereign debt default in April has also reduced imports of food grains, according to the FAO and WFP, who insist that immediate food assistance and livelihood programmes are critical to ensuring that households receive nutritious food.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.