More than 212 million people will likely be in need of humanitarian assistance by 2022 due to the collective impact of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, according to the UN’s deputy rights chief.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, Nada Al-Nashif, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned that the situation is especially worrying for women and girls.
“Experience demonstrates that insecurity and displacement fuel increases in sexual and gender-based violence, as well as other crimes and human rights violations such as child, early and forced marriages, or denial of access to sexual and reproductive health services,” she said.
This year, it’s believed that nearly 168 million people are in need of such protection, representing around one in 45 people in the world, the highest figure in decades.
According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), nearly 168 million people are in need of such protection in 2020, representing around one in 45 people in the world, the highest figure in decades.
Al-Nashif called for specific laws to be enacted that would prevent or eradicate a “continuum of human rights violations”, by addressing the root causes of the lack of accountability for women and girls.
The UN’s deputy rights chief highlighted South Sudan Myanmar and Venezuela as countries that shared systemic discrimination against women and girls that enabled violations to persist.
In South Sudan, where sexual violence has been a widespread and pervasive feature of the conflict since 2013, an investigation into health care for victims of such abuse indicated that there was only one health facility per 10,000 people, and many did not have enough qualified personnel to treat survivors.
“As a result, victims may only seek assistance when they develop serious medical conditions and, of course, stigmatization forces many to continue to suffer in silence,” the UN official added.