This has been a year of tremendous activism – notably by young people. It is particularly fitting that this year we mark Human Rights Day during the crucial UN conference in Madrid to uphold climate justice. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those millions of children, teenagers and young adults who have been standing up and speaking out more and more loudly about the crisis facing our planet.

774442 min 2

Governments must go beyond policy declarations and take concrete policy and regulatory measures across government if they are to prevent and address the impact of human rights abuses by businesses, a group of UN human rights experts* has said.

In a landmark report that reinforces legal standards to combat online hate, the UN’s monitor for freedom of expression calls on governments and companies to move away from standardless policies and inconsistent enforcement and to align their laws and practices against ‘hate speech’ with international human rights law.

Suicide prevention should not be addressed by increased prescription of medication, says UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health Dainius Pūras.

Mistreatment and violence against women during childbirth are widespread and systematic human rights violations that continue to blight the lives of women across the globe and must be stopped, says UN rights expert Dubravka Šimonović.

The UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, calls on everyone to stand up for older persons' rights on the occasion of the global UN Day of older persons. She issues the following statement:

The United Nations Committee which monitors the Convention on the Rights of the Child is officially launching on Thursday new guidelines designed to help States better implement the Convention’s Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

In a statement to mark the International Day of Sign Languages, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes,* highlights that sign languages are fully-fledged languages, and that their users have the same human rights and freedoms as members of other linguistic minorities: