• Thursday, Aug 13, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:12 am

UN: Women, girls require more protection in emergencies

  • Published at 12:12 am July 14th, 2020
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Women and girls face additional hardships from the pandemic, including sexual abuse – particularly those displaced by war

The UN's deputy rights chief on Monday said the collective impact of climate change, Covid-19 pandemic and conflict mean that well over 200 million people will likely need humanitarian assistance by 2022.

"The situation is worrying especially for women and girls," Nada Al-Nashif, deputy high commissioner for human rights told the UN Human Rights Council at a discussion on how to improve accountability for women and girls in emergencies. 

Women and girls face additional hardships from the pandemic, including sexual abuse – particularly those displaced by war, she said, reports UN News.

She also said that "experience demonstrates that insecurity and displacement fuel increases in sexual and gender-based violence, as well as other crimes and human rights violations such as child, early and forced marriages, or denial of access to sexual and reproductive health services." 

According to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 212 million people may need humanitarian assistance by 2022. 

It is believed that nearly 168 million people are in need of such protection this year, representing around one in 45 people in the world – the highest figure in decades. 

The deputy rights chief urged member states at the Geneva forum to consider adopting a new approach at the discussion. 

Eradicating violations of human rights

Al-Nashif called for specific laws to be enacted that would prevent or eradicate a "continuum of human rights violations" by addressing the root causes of the lack of accountability for women and girls. 

This was the only way to restore their full equality and rights in dignity, she added. 

Highlighting recent Human Rights Council investigations into Myanmar, Venezuela and South Sudan, Al-Nashif stated that all countries shared systemic discrimination against women and girls that enabled violations to persist. 

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