News in Brief 7 March 2017 (PM)

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This three-year-old boy arrived just two days ago at one of UNHCR's camps for displaced families fleeing conflict in West Mosul. Photo: UNHCR/Caroline Gluck

UNHCR building more camps to accommodate Mosul displaced

More than 195,000 people who have fled the Iraqi city of Mosul are sheltering in 21 camps built by the United Nations and the Government.

That information comes from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which this week opened its latest camp to manage the spike in displacement from the northern city.

Iraqi forces and their allies are in the midst of an offensive to recapture western Mosul, having already liberated the east of the city from the extremist group, ISIL.

UNHCR reports capacity is "rapidly filling" at camps to the east of the city, while those to the south are full.

Currently, there is enough space for just over 100,000 new arrivals.

The UN agency is building two additional camps near Mosul to accommodate another 39,000 people.

Meanwhile, the UN's expert on combating sexual violence in conflict has concluded a seven-day visit to Iraq.

Zainab Hawa Bangura said she was encouraged by the authorities' commitment to address the consequences of conflict-related sexual violence and to support victims.

UN agencies underscore need to protect refugees in wake of new US Executive Order

In more news from the UN Refugee Agency:

UNHCR has reiterated its readiness to engage with the authorities in the United States to ensure refugee programmes there meet the highest standards on safety and security.

The agency released a statement in the wake of the latest Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump on Monday which suspends the country's refugee programme for 120 days, among other measures.

It follows a similar directive issued in late January.

UNHCR has issued a statement underscoring that "refugees are ordinary people forced to flee war, violence and persecution in their home countries and who remain in urgent need of life-saving assistance and protection."

Agency chief Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, also expressed concern that the decision "may compound the anguish for those it affects."

The head of the UN children's agency (UNICEF) has also weighed in.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake issued a statement saying "We trust that the measures in the Executive Order will prove to be temporary and that the United States continues its long tradition of protecting children fleeing war and persecution."

UN and partners review women's rights in Africa

Nearly half of the world's child brides in 2050 will be from Africa if current trends continue, according to a report looking at women's rights on the continent.

The study by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), the African Union (AU) and UN Women, was launched ahead of International Women's Day, observed annually on 8 March.

The partners point out that Africa has made great strides in realizing women's rights, with women's participation in legislatures surpassing that of many developed countries, for example.

However, the report states that "in every country in Africa, as around the world, women continue to be denied full enjoyment of their rights."

Furthermore, in many African countries, gaps in protecting women's rights are compounded by political instability and conflict.

The report calls on governments to encourage women's full and productive employment, to recognize the importance of unpaid care and domestic work, and to ensure women can access and control their own economic and financial resources.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3’36″

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