UN Gender Focus: Protecting LGBTI defenders in Honduras, justice in Afghanistan, and raising awareness of children in armed conflict

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Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Photo /Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

Experts call for more action to protect LGBTI defenders in Honduras

Authorities in Honduras are being urged by UN human rights experts to do more to protect activists who defend the rights of sexual minorities in the Central American country.  The joint appeal was sparked by the attempted murder in July of Osmin David Valle Castillo, a prominent human rights defender of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.  The attack happened several months after Mr Castillo had requested protection for his organization and its members.  Dianne Penn spoke to Vitit Muntarbhorn, the first-ever UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Former Women’s Minister says justice is key to sustainable development in Afghanistan

Afghan women. File Photo: UNAMA

Without justice, there can be no sustainable peace or development in Afghanistan. That's according to Sima Samir, a former Minister of Women's Affairs in the country, who was at UN Headquarters recently to talk about the whole issue of judicial rights.  She currently chairs Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission, and although she says there is a long way to go, she points to major strides the nation has made in improving the rights of women.  Ms Samir spoke to Liz Scaffidi about what has been done to integrate women and girls back into society since the fall of the extremist Taliban government in 2002.


Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: UN Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict

More public awareness needed of children caught up in armed conflict

Better understanding is needed of the UN's role championing children caught up in armed conflict, and the work that the world body does to stop armed groups recruiting child soldiers.  That's according to Virginia Gamba, who took up her post as Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict just a few weeks ago.  She praised the progress made by the UN so far in establishing a "universal standard" on child recruitment that over 20 years has become widely understood by governments and non-state actors alike.  In an interview with UN News she also spoke movingly about the charity worker who devoted her life to helping girls caught up in conflict, whose dying wish was that Ms Gamba should continue working on their behalf.  Ms Gamba spoke to Cristina Silveiro.

Presenter: Dianne Penn
Production Assistant: Ana Carmo
Duration: 10'00″

Filed under UN Gender Focus.
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