News in Brief 05 February 2016 (AM)

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A model of the Aedes mosquito, which spreads the Zika virus to humans. Aedes mosquitoes also spread dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Photo: Kate Mayberry/IRIN

Zika response only effective if women's rights are upheld

Women's human rights have to be upheld if the response to the Zika health emergency is to be effective, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad  Al Hussein has said.

The mosquito-borne virus, which in itself is relatively harmless, has been linked to a cluster of birth abnormalities in babies in Central and South America.

Some governments in the region have advised women to delay getting pregnant.

Cécille Pouilly is a Spokesperson for the High Commissioner.

"The advice of some governments to women to delay getting pregnant, ignores the reality that many women and girls simply cannot exercise control over whether or when or under what circumstances they become pregnant, especially in an environment where sexual violence is so common."

The outbreak has been declared an international public health emergency by the UN.

Concern reiterated over health of hunger-striking Palestinian

And the UN Human Rights office has said it's "extremely concerned at the rapidly deteriorating health" of Mohammed Al-Qiq, a Palestinian journalist who is on hunger strike in Israel.

Mr Al-Qiq has been protesting against his detention and alleged ill-treatment, since his arrest in November last year.

He has been refusing food for over 70 days.

Mr Al-Qiq's doctors have reportedly informed him of the possibility of the irreversible damage to his health.

On Thursday, the Israeli High Court decided to suspend his administrative detention until he regains his health and is able to leave hospital.

Concern raised about "jungle" refugee camp in Calais

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it's concerned about the conditions at an informal refugee camp in Calais, France, where around 4,000 refugees and migrants are currently reported to be living.

Dubbed the “jungle,” the tent encampment provides few services, especially for children.

Here's the Refugee Agency's William Spindler.

“UNHCR is specifically concerned about the living conditions of children, in particular unaccompanied and separated children and would welcome the establishment of additional emergency reception places.”

Another camp close to the town of Dunkirk is sheltering another 2,500 people.

Many of the migrants, who largely come from the Middle East and Africa, are attempting to travel to the United Kingdom.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’27″

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