News in Brief 18 December 2015 (PM)

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A group of asylum-seekers waiting at a reception centre to be registered for a temporary transit visa, near the town of Gevgelija in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after crossing the border from Idomeni in Greece, on 27 August 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Gjorgji Klincarov

Measures released for strengthening security and refugee protection

Guidelines to help countries deal with security concerns over the arrival of refugees while maintaining standards of protection have been released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The guidelines say that national security and international protection for refugees are not mutually exclusive.

Concern has been raised by many countries where refugees are headed that terrorists may be hiding amongst people who have been genuinely displaced.

Here's UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards.

"Currently, with growing polarization of political debate concerning refugees in some countries the concern is that asylum seekers and refugees could be victimized and refugee protection which has saved the lives of millions of people since World War II could be endangered."

Early indications show CAR electorate in favour of new constitution

The National Electoral Authority in the Central African Republic has announced that 90 per cent of voters are in favour of the new Constitution.

The announcement came following the release of partial election results related only to the capital Bangui.

Results from the provinces are still being collected.

It’s hoped the new constitution will play a key role in stopping more than three years of inter-ethnic violence in the country.

Over 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation

The recognition by the UN General Assembly of the "human right to sanitation" as a distinct right, together with the "human right to safe drinking water" has been welcomed by the Chair of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Waleed Sadi said "the right to sanitation is an essential component of the right to an adequate standard of living"

He added that it was inextricably linked to the highest attainable standard of health, and closely related to the human right to water.

Over 2.5 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation.

And one billion people practice open defecation across the world.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 1’47″

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