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Monday’s Daily Brief: Online hate, gender equality in Africa, Chile protests, African migrants in Europe, Security Council in South Sudan

Companies ‘failing’ to address offline harm incited by online hate: UN expert 

States and companies are “failing” when it comes to combating online hate, the UN independent rights expert, or Special Rapporteur, on freedom of speech and expression said on Monday, ahead of the launch of a landmark report to reinforce legal standards for internet spaces.  

Cautioning that hate speech runs the risk of being devalued as a term, David Kaye stressed the real dangers posed by a lack of consistent policy when it comes to monitoring and stamping out hate speech in the digital age.   

Here’s our full coverage.  

Gender equality ‘precursor’ to sustaining peace, sustainable development: Mohammed  

The UN deputy chief told the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Monday that gender equality was key to sustaining peace and keeping on track for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), across the continent. 

Speaking in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, at the beginning of a joint UN-AU solidarity mission on women, peace and security to the Horn of Africa, Amina Mohammed called on countries to create space so that women can lead. 

Having women taking part in peace processes made them “more inclusive, effective and durable” she said. 

The Deputy Secretary-General also took part in the launch of the Ethiopian Chapter of the African Women Leaders Network, and addressed an event linked to the UN Blue Heart Campaign, a UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) initiative to fight human trafficking. 

“Multiple targets under the SDGs call for addressing human trafficking, to prevent abuse and exploitation, eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls, eradicate forced labour and child labour, and stop transnational organized crime”, she said. 

“Eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls depends upon fair and effective institutions to access justice and essential services”, she added, “but far too often, institutions have let down women and the barriers remain formidable and pervasive.  

She noted that “marginalized and at-risk women, with limited resources or access to the formal economy, are often preyed upon by organized crime networks. Almost three quarters of trafficking victims detected globally are women and girls.” 

UN rights chief urges ‘immediate dialogue’ to end Chile unrest 

The top UN human rights official is calling for politicians and civil society in Chile to engage in “immediate dialogue” to resolve the deadly crisis which has gripped the nation in recent days.  

At least eight people have died and more than 40 have been injured in protests against rising inequality. The demonstrations began last week following a proposal to increase public transportation fares, which was later scrapped. 

“There needs to be open and sincere dialogue by all actors concerned to help resolve this situation, including a profound examination of the wide range of socio-economic issues underlying the current crisis,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said on Monday.  

Our full story here.  

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks 

A landmark UN migration study published on Monday shows that 93 per cent of Africans making the journey to European countries along irregular routes, would do it again, despite facing often life-threatening danger.  

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) report, Scaling Fences: Voices of Irregular African Migrants to Europe, sets out to find out why those who put themselves in the hands of people smugglers, and put themselves in other vulnerable positions to cross borders, make the decision to leave home avoiding formal immigration procedures, in the first place.  

More in our story here.  

Security Council visits South Sudan ahead of expected government formation 

The UN Security Council was in South Sudan in a visit the 15 ambassadors described as an opportunity to secure lasting peace in the conflict-affected country. 

The delegation arrived at a critical stage in the peace process as a unified transitional government is due to be formed in just three weeks. 

South Sudan became independent in 2011 but has been wracked by six years of ongoing clashes between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar. The two leaders signed a peace deal in September 2018 in efforts to end the fighting. 

Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 21 October on SoundCloud:  


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