Fifteen per cent of the world's population lives with a disability, and nearly 200 million are between the ages of 10 and 24. Yet they are often invisible in government statistics. Girls and boys with disabilities are largely excluded from education and health services, discriminated against in their communities and trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence.
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Violence against women
During the mapathon hosted by UNFPA on September 28, over 6,000 volunteers in over 60 countries mapped more than 49,000 buildings and nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads – generating data that will help a range of FGM-related services and outreach programmes reach the girls, families and communities that need them most.
A group of United Nations agencies has issued a joint statement calling for a ban on tests meant to assess the virginity of a girl or a woman, which is a common practice in at least 20 countries. The statement, which was issued during the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in Rio de Janeiro, stresses that such tests are both unscientific, and a violation of human rights.
More than a year into the crisis in Cox's Bazar, the number of Rohingya refugees has reached nearly one million, with young girls in Bangladesh refugee camps sold into forced labour accounting for the largest group of trafficking victims, reported the UN Migration Agency (IOM) on Tuesday.
"I am so scared. I can't even describe it," Ibu Fariati, 27, told UNFPA. On 28 September, Ms. Fariati's home collapsed in a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that, just 30 minutes later by some accounts, unleashed a 6-metre wall of water. The wave swept away Ms. Fariati's home - and nearly 70,000 others.
Young girls sold into forced labour are the largest group of trafficking victims identified by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps. IOM counter-trafficking experts warn that more than a year into a crisis that has seen the number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar soar to almost a million, more desperate families are sending their young daughters off into dangerous work situations because most households have no other way to earn money in the camps.
Zhanna*, 36, is an HIV-positive mother of two in the conflict-affected Donetsk Region of Ukraine. She says she contracted HIV from her former partner, a man who beat and raped her. Her candour about these issues is unusual; very few women are willing to speak out about experiencing violence or contracting HIV. Today is World AIDS Day, a time to recommit to stopping the spread of the disease.
“When I was young, I did not want to be cut,” said Aissata Camara, speaking at the High-Level Panel on Female Genital Mutilation, held during the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. “I am one of those 200 million girls who have been cut,” said the Guinean-American activist and co-founder of the There Is No Limit Foundation. “I am here to speak for the 68 million that are now at risk.” Female genital mutilation (FGM) is routinely practiced in 25 countries. In 2015, an estimated 3.9 million girls were cut.
The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has condemned the "brutal" killing of investigative reporter Victoria Marinova, whose body was found on Saturday in the Bulgarian city of Ruse, bearing signs of suffocation and sexual assault.
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist helping victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC) won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The decision to jointly-award the prestigious prize, has the potential to help end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, the UN said - a cause which is central to the Organization's work.