COVID-19 Special Coverage
UN rights chief announces $253 million funding appeal
UN rights chief announces $253 million funding appeal

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official profile] urged a greater commitment to human rights Wednesday while announcing a $253 million funding appeal [press release]. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] launched its largest appeal to date [text, PDF], with Zeid urging member countries and private donors to help “bolster the Office’s ability to work and stand up for human rights for all people, everywhere.” The funding would help the OHCHR provide in-country assistance, support to UN independent human rights experts and the UN Human Rights Council, and establish trust funds to tackle issues such as torture, modern slavery indigenous peoples’ rights. The stated of the appeal:

My Office is dramatically and chronically underfunded. We need to broaden our financial support base to include more Member States, and encourage participation from a much broader range of private donors. With your support, we can help to prevent human rights crises from escalating. We can advocate a broad, open democratic space and impartial rule of law institutions in every country.

The OHCHR also hopes that this appeal will help advance the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [official website].

The OHCHR has raised several concerns in just the last week. On Thursday the OHCHR reported that victims of sexual violence in Ukraine [JURIST report] are not being provided with adequate access to justice or services in the country. On Monday the OHCHR expressed concern [JURIST report] over reports that at least 101 people have been killed by Congolese soldiers in conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The same day Myanmar officials stated that they will investigate whether police have committed crimes against Rohingya Muslims after the OHCHR released a report [JURIST reports] two weeks ago stating that Myanmar security forces’ treatment of the Rohingya Muslims likely constitutes crimes against humanity. The report [text, PDF] contains interviews with Rohingya refugees, which reveal that security forces murdered children, pushed people into burning buildings and raped women, among other crimes.