On Monday 16 October 2017 the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights And Democracy in the World in 2016.
2016 was a challenging year for human rights and democracy, with a shrinking space for civil society and complex humanitarian and political crises emerging. In this context, the European Union showed leadership and remained strongly committed to promote and protect human rights and democracy across the world.
In January, there were nearly 8000 detections of illegal border crossings on the three main migratory routes into the EU.
4400 migrants reached Italy by sea in January, a drop of 16% from a year ago and of nearly 46% from December. Most of the departures occurred from Libya.
The main reason for the decrease in migratory flows last month was worsening weather conditions on the Central Mediterranean, which made it nearly impossible to make a sea crossing for a larger part of the month.
El CIVICUS Monitor, una nueva herramienta de investigación online que califica el espacio cívico y documenta las violaciones a los derechos en todo el mundo, pone de manifiesto un impacto global.
Los gobiernos restringen el espacio cívico y callan las voces disidentes
L’impact mondial est exposé au grand jour par le CIVICUS Monitor, un nouvel outil de recherche en ligne notant l'espace civique dans le monde et documentant les violations des droits.
Les gouvernements referment l'espace civique et font taire les voix dissidentes
Global impact laid bare by the CIVICUS Monitor, a new online research tool that rates civic space around the world and documents violations of rights
Governments shutting down civic space and shutting up dissenting voices
Ministers of Health from around the world will convene next week at WHO’s Executive Board meeting, to set global public health policies. Among other topics, representatives are expected to review the current polio epidemiology and global preparedness plans for the phased removal of oral polio vaccines. A report has been prepared, to facilitate discussions, available here.
The year ends with real – and fragile – progress: the longest stretch in history without wild poliovirus in Africa, large outbreaks stopped in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, a certified polio-free South East Asia and no wild poliovirus type 3 for over 2 years. This will be the last weekly update of 2014.
On 13 November, the Director-General of WHO accepted the recommendation of an International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee of Experts on polio that the international spread of polio continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) under the IHR, and extended the existing Temporary Recommendations to prevent the international spread of polio for countries affected by the disease for another 3 months.
In Madagascar, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) has been confirmed. The virus was isolated from one case of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) with onset of paralysis on 29 September, and from three healthy contacts. An estimated more than 25% of children remain under-immunized against polio in the country. Madagascar was previously affected by a cVDPV2 outbreak in 2001/2002 (resulting in five cases) and in 2005 (resulting in three cases). Emergency outbreak response is being finalized, with campaigns to be held in December and January.
Two new cases of circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV) have been reported in South Sudan, constituting an outbreak. Immunization activities are planned in November and December in order to stop the spread of cVDPV.
Immunization campaigns in Iraq in September reached 88% of children under 5. Around 20 million children were vaccinated across the Middle East in October. These activities are helping to protect the gains made against the virus in the region, with no case reported for nearly 7 months.
All cases of wild poliovirus type 1 reported this week were from Pakistan. In 2014, Pakistan has accounted for 83% of cases reported globally. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) constitute the most heavily infected area of the world, with 73% of cases worldwide occurring within these provinces.
The risk of international spread of polio from Pakistan remains high. The bulk of cases in neighbouring Afghanistan are linked to cross-border transmission with Pakistan, and the outbreak affecting the Middle East originated in Pakistan.
Iraq:Up to 13% of IDPs are located in areas that are currently not considered accessible by humanitarian actors. The overall number and geographical spread of IDPs pose a major challenge for provision of assistance. Approximately 1.5 million individuals are in need of emergency food assistance. An estimated 580,000 people are in urgent need of emergency shelter assistance.
15e & 16e séances plénières
Matin & après-midi
A synchronised regional mass polio vaccination campaign in central and western Africa is currently underway to vaccinate nearly 94 million children in 18 countries with oral polio vaccine (OPV).
On 18 September, Nepal became the first GAVI eligible country to introduce inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization programme. Plans are underway to introduce IPV into the immunization programmes of the 126 countries currently using only oral polio vaccine, ahead of a planned switch from trivalent OPV to bivalent OPV.
Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea: Transmission remains high, and case numbers doubled between the last week of August and the first of September in Liberia; in Sierra Leone 150 cases were reported for each of the last two weeks. Fewer cases have been reported in Guinea – 49 between 5 and 7 September – but the case fatality rate has been extremely high, at 65%.
Continued transmission in Kano: wild poliovirus 1 transmission continues in a geographically limited area of southern Kano state, Nigeria, indicating pockets where vaccination campaigns and social mobilization are still too weak to assure sufficient coverage during campaigns. Kano is the only state in Nigeria reporting cases of wild poliovirus since April.
The Horn of Africa Technical Advisory Group (TAG) met last week to review the current epidemiological situation, the impact of outbreak response and to determine additional strategies needed to rapidly interrupt residual transmission in the region. Plans were developed to increase access to mobile populations, to improve community surveillance and to strengthen campaign quality. Read more in the Horn of Africa section below.
The Horn of Africa Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is meeting this week to review the current epidemiological situation and the impact of the outbreak response and to determine additional strategies needed to close the outbreak. See ‘Horn of Africa’ section below, for more.
In West Africa, polio staff are supporting efforts to curb the Ebola outbreak affecting the region. Staff are actively engaged in helping preparedness planning, social mobilization, surveillance of suspected cases, contact tracing and assisting with outbreak logistics.
In Pakistan, three new cases have been reported, including one from Balochistan. It is the first case in this province since October 2012. However, four positive environmental samples were collected in 2014 from Quetta, Balochistan, the most recent of which on 20 June. This case is linked to these positive environmental samples, suggesting local circulation of WPV1 this year in this area.
Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone: The Ebola outbreak that started at the beginning of 2014 has resurged, with more than 635 cases recorded, including 399 deaths, as of 23 June. WHO is urging a wider, inter-country response to the subregional crisis.
South Sudan: SAM was found to be at 6% from a screening of 500,000 children. In Bentiu UN base, the under-five mortality rate has passed the emergency threshold. 2,300 cases of cholera have been reported.