A United Nations human rights expert will visit North Korea for the first time in history next month after North Korean officials bowed to pressure from the UN on its human rights record. "My upcoming visit to [North Korea] represents a key opportunity to learn firsthand about national realities, laws, policies and programs concerning people with disabilities, as well as the challenges and opportunities the government faces in implementing the Convention," said rights expert Catalina Devandas-Aguilar.
The government of Myanmar's plan to resettle minority Rohingya Muslims in camplike "model villages" could drive up tensions in the area, warns the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The displaced people must be allowed to return to their homes and access their previous livelihoods, said UNHCR Myanmar spokesman Andrew Dusek.
The number of civilian deaths from conflict in Afghanistan was down slightly in the first quarter of 2017, but the number of women and children killed increased, according to a United Nations report. The overall drop may be the result of civilians fleeing their homes, while a rise in casualties from aerial attacks and unexploded ordnance is responsible for the increased number of women and children killed, the report says.
Female clerics in Indonesia have declared a fatwa against child marriage in the country, saying the practice prevents girls from completing their education and increases their risk of exploitation, sexual violence, domestic abuse and death in childbirth. UNICEF reports that 50,000 girls under 15 are married each year in Indonesia.
Governments must link climate and disaster risk and calculate the real costs to drive preparedness and resilience initiatives, said United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction head Robert Glasser. "As long as the costs of these disasters are invisible, it is very easy to ignore them, and it's very hard to make the case to spend money on prevention," he said.
The United Nations is urging restraint on all sides after clashes in the Republic of Macedonia that police say injured more than 100 people. "Violence directed at democratic institutions and elected representatives of the people is unacceptable," United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
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