Human Rights

UN Global Perspective: focus on water, Australia’s human rights record and young people

Armed groups increasingly use water as “weapon of war”

From Syria to Iraq and Gaza, water services are being deliberately attacked or used as leverage in negotiations, members of the UN Security Council have heard. The Council examined the role of water as a driver of conflict and the need to protect this essential resource in the context of war. Depriving people of access to water or using water as a method of war is a violation of international humanitarian law. Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Australia’s human rights record “blemished” by immigration issue

Australia’s human rights record has been “blemished” in recent years by the harsh treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, according to a UN independent expert. Francois Crepeau, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for the human rights of migrants warned that the rights of migrants have been eroded in contravention of international human rights and humanitarian norms. About 12,000 refugees from Syria have been welcomed in Australia but the migration policies and laws adopted towards them, are still “regressive.” Julia Dean spoke to Mr Crepeau at the end of his 18-day visit to the country.

Call for rule change so young people can get involved in politics

Young people are interested in democracy but don’t get involved enough because of rules preventing their participation, and that needs to change, the UN Special Envoy for Youth said on Tuesday. Launching the Not Too Young To Run Campaign, UN Envoy for Youth Ahmad Alhendawi said that in Nigeria, the voting age is 18, but people cannot stand for office until they are 30. That’s a practice that’s reflected widely around the world, Mr Alhendawi told Daniel Johnson, at the campaign launch at the UN in Geneva.

Presenter: Daniel Dickinson

Production Assistant: Sandra Guy

Duration: 10’00

Source: United Nations Radio.