Top U.N. officials are calling for an end to female genital mutilation, saying it violates fundamental human rights and endangers the health of 3 million girls who undergo the practice annually.


Anthony Lake, chief of the U.N. Children's Fund, and Babatunde Osotimehin, head of the U.N. Population Fund, called Monday on countries and organizations worldwide to help end the practice.


The officials say more than 6,000 communities in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal have dropped the practice because of a three-year-old U.N. program.


The United Nations says it is investigating two alleged cases of sexual exploitation of children by UN staff in Haiti.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said one of the cases involved UN police in the capital, Port-au-Prince, the other allegedly happened in Gonaives.

He did not give the nationality of the UN police suspected.

The allegations come just four months after Uruguayan peacekeepers were recalled after being accused of rape.

A major UN child rights protection body has asked the Vatican to disclose details of thousands of paedophilia cases involving Catholic clergy.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) made the request ahead of its hearing with Holy See officials, scheduled for January.

It is the first time the UN has asked for such a wide-ranging appraisal.

After taking office in March, Pope Francis said cracking down on sex abuse was vital for the Church's credibility.

24 June 2013 – The Security Council today sent a strong signal to perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict that their crimes will not be tolerated, adopting a new resolution to strengthen efforts to end impunity for a scourge that affects not only large numbers of women and girls but also men and boys.

17 April 2013 – Conflict-related sexual violence, horrific in itself, is also an impediment to national reconciliation and development, top United Nations officials told the Security Council at the start of a day-long debate, urging increased political and financial pressure on those who commit, command or condone sexual violence in war zones.

AMMAN, 21 December 2010 – Participants at an Arab conference on children’s rights today adopted a declaration calling for further action to protect children and promote their rights.


VIENNA (AFP) — The first international conference on human trafficking, one of the fastest growing crimes, will be held in Vienna next month to raise awareness about what has become a billion-dollar industry, organisers said Tuesday.

"Human trafficking exists everywhere in the world, in all societies. There are no exceptions," said Doris Buddenberg, head of UN.GIFT (the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking), an initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

GAZA CITY, 24 March 2009 (IRIN) - The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Gaza, local Palestinian NGOs and mental health professionals are reporting increased incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault against women in Gaza since the beginning of 2009.

An unpublished UNIFEM survey of male and female heads of 1,100 Gaza households conducted between 28 February and 3 March indicates there was an increase in violence against women during and after the 23-day war which ended on 18 January.

7 November 2012 – The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women will give more than $8 million in grants to local initiatives in 18 countries to deal with the issue, the UN agency tasked with advancing gender equality announced today.

“The UN Trust Fund shows what works to prevent violence against women, to end impunity and to provide services and support to survivors,” said the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Michelle Bachelet.

The United Nations secretary general has said the world must do more to combat the abuse of women and girls.

Ban Ki-moon spoke as organisations around the world marked the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The UN says at least one in three women will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. 


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