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Aug 12, 2014

WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa epidemic

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – People infected in the West Africa Ebola outbreak can be offered untested drugs, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, but scarce supplies raise questions about who gets priority in the epidemic of the virus, which has no proven treatment.

Liberia said it planned to treat two infected doctors with an unproven Ebola medicine called ZMapp, the first Africans to receive the drug, while a Spanish priest, who the Health Ministry in Madrid said had also been given ZMapp, died.

Aug 12, 2014

WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa outbreak

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – It is ethical to offer unproven drugs or vaccines to people infected or at risk in West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak, a World Health Organization panel of medical ethics experts ruled on Tuesday, but cautioned supplies will be limited.

The panel said any provision of experimental Ebola medicines would require “informed consent, freedom of choice, confidentiality, respect for the person, preservation of dignity and involvement of the community”.

Aug 12, 2014

U.N. names panel to probe war crimes in Gaza; Israel slams it

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Monday named experts to an international commission of inquiry into possible human rights violations and war crimes committed by both sides during Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Israel, however, dismissed the inquiry as a U.N. Human Rights Council “kangaroo court”.

Aug 11, 2014

ICRC lays down principles for delivering Russian aid to Ukraine

GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it held talks on Monday with Ukrainian and Russian authorities on delivering Russia’s proposed aid to eastern Ukraine, but laid down strict guidelines to uphold its neutral role in conflicts.

Thousands of people are believed to lack access to water, electricity and medical aid, the independent aid agency said in a statement.

Aug 11, 2014

U.N. names panel to investigate war crimes in Gaza

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Monday named three experts to an international commission of inquiry into possible human rights violations and war crimes committed by both sides during Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

William Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law, will head the panel whose other members are Doudou Diene, a veteran U.N. human rights expert from Senegal, and Amal Alamuddin, a British-Lebanese lawyer engaged to be married to Hollywood actor George Clooney.

Jul 31, 2014

U.N. concerned by U.S. plans for child migrants

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ human rights chief expressed concern on Thursday at what she said were plans by the U.S. government to deport tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who entered the United States in recent months.

Around 57,000 children from Central America were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border after crossing the frontier without their parents in the nine months to June 30.

Jul 31, 2014

World powers must hold Israel accountable: U.N. rights boss

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ senior human rights official said on Thursday she believed Israel was deliberately defying international law in its military offensive in Gaza and that world powers should hold it accountable for possible war crimes.

Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, and U.N. premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, Navi Pillay, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

Jul 25, 2014

WHO seeks humanitarian corridor to evacuate Gaza wounded

GENEVA, July 25 (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation
(WHO) called on Friday for a humanitarian corridor to be set up
in Gaza to allow aid workers to evacuate the wounded and bring
in life-saving medicines.

Even during wartime, belligerents are obligated under
international humanitarian law to ensure that people are able to
reach medical care in safety, the WHO and Red Cross said.

Jul 24, 2014

U.N. panel tells Japan to compensate ‘comfort women’

GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations human rights agency is calling on Japan to guarantee independent investigations of wartime sex slavery and provide a public apology and compensation to the women who were victims.

Some historians estimate that as many as 200,000 so-called comfort women, many from China and South Korea, were forced into the Imperial Japanese Army’s brothels before and during World War Two.

Jul 23, 2014

U.N. launches probe into alleged Israeli crimes in Gaza

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Wednesday launched an international inquiry into human rights violations and crimes that may have been committed by Israel during its military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The U.N. Human Rights Council condemned the Israeli assault which it said had involved “disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks”, including aerial bombing of civilian areas, collective punishment, and the killing of more than 650 Palestinians.At the end of an emergency session, the 47-member forum adopted a resolution presented by Palestinians by a vote of 29 states in favor, 1 against (the United States) with 17 abstentions (including all nine European Union members).