News in Brief – 14 June 2016 (PM)

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A female Aedes Aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host. Photo: CDC/James Gathany

Rio Olympics pose "very low risk" for further global spread of Zika

Health experts have reiterated their advice that there should not be any general restrictions on travel and trade with countries or areas affected by the Zika virus.

This includes the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games later in the year.

The reaffirmation follows a meeting by the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee on the Zika virus, held on Tuesday.

The committee also concluded that there is "very low risk" of further international spread of Zika as a result of the games as they will be held during the Brazilian winter when virus transmission will be minimal.

Brazil is among more than 30 countries affected by the virus, which is associated with birth defects in newborns and neurological disorders in adults.

The Committee also reaffirmed recommendations advising pregnant women not to travel to areas of ongoing outbreaks.

They should also ensure safe sexual practices or abstain from sex during their pregnancies if their partners live in or travel to affected areas.

South Sudan human rights commission established

A monitoring mission on South Sudan has been appointed by the Human Rights Council, the United Nations announced on Tuesday.

It will assess the human rights situation in the country in order to establish facts in support of transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation and healing.

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011, making it the world's youngest nation.

However, the country plunged into violence and chaos following political infighting between President Salva Kiir and his former vice-president, Riek Machar in December 2013.

The formation of a transitional unity government in April of this year was welcomed by the UN Security Council as "an important milestone."

The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan will provide guidance to the Government and will engage with international and regional bodies to promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses.

Its members are Yasmin Sooka, a leading human rights lawyer from South Africa, who served on her country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission; American Kenneth Scott, a researcher on South Sudan with Amnesty International, and Godfrey M Musila, a legal consultant from Kenya.

More action needed to address elder abuse

One in 10 older persons is abused every month, according to a UN independent human rights expert.

Rosa Kornfield-Matte is urging people to report suspected cases of what she calls "this widespread and serious human rights violation."

Her comments come in a statement for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, observed this Wednesday, 15 June.

Elder abuse includes physical violence, sexual or emotional abuse, abandonment, neglect, as well as financial or other types of exploitation.

It can take place in various settings, but often at home, and affects older people from all socio-economic groups.

Ms Kornfield-Matte warns that insufficient action is being taken to stop elder abuse and that most cases go undetected.

She gave examples of warning signs, such as "unexplained bruises, lack of medical care, malnutrition or dehydration, unexplained changes of alertness and sudden changes in finances and accounts."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3’26″

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