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Mexico, Colombia, COVID-19, education… Thursday’s news

ByMicheal Johnson

Oct 23, 2020

The UN asks Mexico to prohibit physical punishment of children

Violence against children and adolescents in Mexico is an accepted act that continues to be carried out regularly. A group of United Nations organizations asked the Mexican authorities to adjust their regulatory frameworks to prohibit corporal and humiliating punishment against minors, according to the international commitments assumed by the State.

The statement issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights that violent acts against children constitute a violation of its fundamental guarantees. In Mexico, six out of ten minors between the ages of one and 14 have suffered some kind of “violent discipline” in their homes, an action that causes serious consequences in their development.

According to data from UNICEF, the chances of achieving adequate development during childhood are 2.4 times lower in children and adolescents who suffered severe corporal punishment.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, backed by other agencies, recommended that the Mexican State prohibit corporal and humiliating punishment “in all settings, at the federal and state level, and repeal the federal and state civil codes” right to correct ‘”.

Michelle Bachelet praises the transitional justice system for peace in Colombia

Antonio Herrera

A girl in the countryside of Colombia.

High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet met this Thursday with the Truth Commission, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Unit for the Search for Disappeared Persons, the three mechanisms that together make up the Colombian transitional justice system established after the signing of the Process. of peace.

Bachelet recognized the important achievements of these institutions, as well as the courage of all those who continue working for the truth to be known.

“They are fulfilling a fundamental and unique role by guaranteeing the participation of the victims and the realization of their rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition,” he said in a statement.

Bachelet urged state authorities to unconditionally support and cooperate with the transitional justice system and to guarantee the full independence of its mechanisms, including financial autonomy and the ability to operate in a safe and secure environment.

WHO and Wikipedia join forces to promote quality information on COVID-19

Unsplash / Priscilla du Preez

Rumors, lies, and fake news are spread even by people who do so in good faith. They are the asymptomatic of misinformation. UNESCO recommends thinking before sharing or clicking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit agency that runs Wikipedia, announced a collaboration to expand public access to the latest and most reliable information on COVID-19.

Through the alliance, people around the world will be able to access and share WHO public health infographics, videos, and other resources on Wikimedia Commons, a digital library of free images and other multimedia elements.

With these new, free-licensed resources, Wikipedia’s 250,000+ volunteer editors can also leverage and expand the site’s COVID-19 coverage, which currently offers more than 5,200 coronavirus-related articles in 175 languages. This WHO content will also be translated into national and regional languages ​​through Wikipedia’s extensive network of global volunteers.

“Equitable access to reliable health information is essential to keep people safe and informed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General.

World leaders meet to ensure education amid pandemic

© UNICEF / Seng

A teacher and her students practice COVID security measures at a Cambodian school.

UNESCO convened this Thursday a high-level virtual meeting on education in which eleven heads of state and government participate, as well as 62 ministers of Education, United Nations officials and UN Goodwill ambassadors, actress Angelina Jolie among they.

“The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable and marginalized children and youth. Hundreds of millions have missed their education and millions more may never continue their learning journey, ”said the General secretary in a video message for the meeting.

António Guterres warned that the progress that has been made in education, especially for girls and young women, is threatened.

“We must support the recovery of learning in low- and middle-income countries, and factor education into every economic stimulus package. We will succeed by investing in those who are most at risk of being left behind; in trained and respected teachers; and in safe schools. We will succeed by investing in connectivity and digital technologies to reinvent education, ”he said.

Guterres called on world leaders to recognize that education is a global common good and stressed that funding and political will are critical.

Brazil must recognize the right to reparation for children who were separated from their parents by leprosy


A health worker visits communities in Brazil to raise awareness about the prevention and control of leprosy.

Brazil has the unique opportunity to recognize the right to reparation for those people who were separated from their parents when they were minors because they suffered from Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy, and who were segregated from society, said a special rapporteur of the UN.

In a statement, the expert recalled that some 16,000 children were separated from their sick parents and sent to institutions between 1923 and 1986, in accordance with the policy of forced segregation of the State in that period. Since then, victims have filed several cases in state courts over the past decade, but they are still pending.

The country’s Supreme Court is expected to finally examine the case later this year.

“Brazil has the duty to offer full reparations, as well as an apology, and must facilitate the processes of rehabilitation of separated children with international human rights standards,” said Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against people affected by leprosy and their families.

Donor Conference for the Rohingya

UNICEF / Suman Paul Himu

Children wash their hands to protect themselves from the coronavirus at a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox Bazar, Bangladesh

More than three years after nearly 750,000 Rohingya were forced to flee brutal violence, these people are still unable to return to their homes in Myanmar. It is the largest stateless community in the world.

This Thursday a donor conference was held to help Rohingya in refugee camps in Bangladesh. The event was sponsored by the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and the UN Refugee Agency.

“The government and communities of Bangladesh have been the most remarkable, generous and wonderful hosts, but they themselves face challenges and have limited means. We have to help refugees to be more resilient and self-reliant, as well as helping host communities, “said UN humanitarian coordinator Mark Lowcock.

Lowcock explained that about $ 550 million is needed to continue supporting the Rohingya beyond 2020.

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