News in Brief – 15 June 2016 (AM)

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A family in the Sheikhan camp, outside of Dohuk – Kurdistan region of Iraq, Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

Wave of displaced putting strain on Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq is hosting more than one million people who have been displaced by conflict in Syria or in other parts of the country, according to a study by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

UNHCR reports that the autonomous region, located in northern Iraq, has seen a 30 per cent population increase since the start of the Syrian crisis five years ago.

This was followed by the arrival of "larger waves" of people escaping violence in other governorates of Iraq, such as Anbar and Ninewa.

UNHCR says accommodating the displaced people is putting a strain on the region's limited resources at a time when the regional government is facing severe economic challenges.

The study makes recommendations such as easing administrative procedures for displaced people, to creating programmes for displaced students who are willing to attend school following a period out of formal education.

Deadly floods in five Myanmar states

Floods in Myanmar brought on by heavy monsoon rains this month have affected at least 26,000 people and resulted in 14 deaths in five states, the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) reports.

The flooding is occurring in the same states and regions that were severely impacted by floods and landslides in July and August 2015.

OCHA cites initial figures which show that more than 5,000 homes have been inundated, with over 280 destroyed.

Roads, bridges, wells and other facilities were also damaged.

State and local authorities are providing food and other assistance to people in the affected areas, while humanitarian partners are monitoring the situation and providing support as needed.

OCHA says the UN stands ready to further support the Government and people of Myanmar in the response.

Expert urges respect for young people's right to confidentiality in health care

Healthcare services should ensure that young people's rights to privacy and confidentiality are respected, an independent human rights expert has said.

Dainius Puras, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, made the appeal following the presentation of his latest report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.

He called on states to remove all legal barriers that interfere with adolescents' rights to access health facilities and that limit their right to make autonomous decisions.

Governments, he stated, must "strike a balance" between young people's emerging autonomy and their right to protection, particularly with regards to mental health, sexual and reproductive health, and substance use and drug control.

He added that all adolescents should have access to confidential and non-discriminatory sexual and reproductive health information, services and goods.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’48″

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