The year opened with a worsening of the ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Nigeria and Ukraine, each with potentially major regional implications. Violence escalated in Sudan, as well as in Lebanon's Tripoli and along its southern border with Israel, and a deadly clash between police and militants in the southern Philippines threatened to derail the peace process there. In South Asia, both Bangladesh and Nepal saw political tensions intensify.
December saw a significant deterioration of the security situation – compared to the previous month – in nine countries or conflict situations in the world, including in South Asia (Pakistan and India), and East Africa (South Sudan and Kenya). There is a risk of increased violence in the coming month in Sudan, where major offensives are anticipated on the heels of a failure in the peace talks; in Sri Lanka, in the context of the 8 January elections; and in Haiti, where the current president could rule by decree unless parliament's mandate, due to expire on 12 January, is extended.
After a rainy season lull, South Sudan’s warring parties are preparing for major offensives with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) this week launching attacks on Bentiu, capital of oil-producing Unity state (see our recent Conflict Alert). Hardliners in the government and the SPLA-IO appear determined to settle the conflict through war.
The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria’s north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS.
The fight for control of Libya between the Misrata-led Islamist-leaning coalition and the Zintan-led forces is escalating by the day. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in over six weeks of clashes and heavy artillery fire. The Misrata side emerged victorious in the battle over Tripoli’s international airport, taking control of the capital, and made advances around Benghazi, but the larger political divide remains unresolved.
Table of Contents
Freedom of Expression and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka 3
Gender Asymmetries in the Media World 4
Press Freedom, a Fundamental Issue for Peace 5
Civil Liberties at Risk in Algeria 5
Press House Palestine – a Free (Media) Island in Gaza 6
Syria: a Magazine to Escape the Horrors of War 6
Increasing Israeli-Palestinian tensions culminated in Israel launching "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza in early July (see our latest report and commentary). The assault, which started as an aerial campaign and was later extended to include ground operations, reportedly killed more than 1,400 Palestinians throughout the month while 64 Israelis were killed in clashes inside the Gaza Strip and by Hamas rocket fire. Several attempts at reaching a ceasefire agreement failed in July.
UN-SPIDER at a glance
- Expert Meeting on Flood and Drought Risk Reduction concluded
- 57th COPUOS session: Outer Space for a sustainable Earth
- UN-SPIDER speaks at 57th session of COPUOS
- Technical Advisory Mission to Bhutan successfully concluded
- UN-SPIDER participates in IWG-SEM meeting
- UN-SPIDER participates in European Space Solutions Conference
- UN-SPIDER organizes pre-event to AMCDRR
- OOSA Director explores collaboration on Space issues in Geneva
- Technical Advisory Mission to Zambia successfully …
Annual Report for 2013: A strong response to complex crises
14-05-2014 News Release 14/81
Many people who are displaced, or become ‘trapped’, in the context of diverse humanitarian crises do not fit well within existing legal, policy and operational frameworks for the protection of refugees and IDPs. This raises questions about whether there needs to be – or can be – more systematic ways of dealing with assistance and protection for people affected by ‘crises’ such as environmental disruption, gang violence, nuclear disasters, food shortages and so on.
28.8 million internally displaced people worldwide in 2012, record high includes five-fold increase in Syria
GENEVA, 29 APRIL 2013: The number of people internally displaced by armed conflict, violence and human rights violations at the end of 2012 was 28.8 million, an increase of 2.4 million people on the previous year and the highest global figure ever reported by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
In Syria, insurgents heightened their offensive to capture airports and air bases in Aleppo, leading to intense fighting across the province. In eastern Syria, rebels captured the town al-Shaddadeh after three days of fighting that left 130 people dead and forced some 40,000 people to flee the town. The number of Syrian refugees continued to rise, amounting to a total of 830,675, an increase of around 38,500 newly registered refugees or individuals awaiting registration in a week.
Brussels, 10/1/2013 – The European Commission has just adopted its plan for the allocation of over €661 million in humanitarian aid funding for 2013. This so-called World-Wide Decision on Humanitarian Aid will be the financial backbone of the Commission's humanitarian aid operational strategy for 2013.
The report “Louder than words: An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers” is published to mark the tenth anniversary year of the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. It examines the record of states in protecting children from use in hostilities by their own forces and by state-allied armed groups. It finds that, while governments’ commitment to ending child soldier use is high, the gap between commitment and practice remains wide.
7 March 2012
The Human Rights Council this morning heard the presentation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons and then held an interactive dialogue on arbitrary detention and on the human rights of internally displaced persons.
Human Rights Council
23 September 2011
The Human Rights Council this afternoon concluded its general debate on the Universal Periodic Review and its general debate on human rights situations which require the Council’s attention.
EU: Border Agency Exposes Migrants to Abusive Conditions
Frontex Sends Migrants to Inhuman and Degrading Treatment in Greek Detention Centers
(Brussels, September 21, 2011) – Frontex, the European Union’s external border enforcement agency, is exposing migrants to inhuman and degrading conditions, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. Migrants apprehended along Greece’s land border with Turkey are sent to overcrowded detention centers in Greece, Human Rights Watch said.
Disasters, with ever increasing frequency and intensity, are a major humanitarian concern. But disasters can be mitigated and their impact minimised if people take steps to reduce risks. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures are far less expensive compared with the cost of loss of life and the cost of managing its consequences. When actions to reduce risk are taken before a disaster strikes, the extent of the loss and damages is diminished and the resumption of education is swift. Disaster risk reduction is significant for education response in emergencies.
Geneva, 30 May 2011
Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Regional Humanitarian Funding Update Q1 2011 highlights: