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UN committee against torture to review Sri Lanka

The committee will publish its findings, officially known as concluding observations, on the respective states on 7 December.  (Colombo Gazette) The countries are among the 159 States parties to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and so are required to undergo regular reviews by the Committee on how they are implementing the Convention and the Committee’s previous recommendations. The UN committee against torture is meeting in Geneva from 7 November to 7 December to review Sri Lanka and several other countries.The UN committee with review Ecuador (8-9 November); Finland (9-10 November); Monaco (11 and 14 November); Sri Lanka (15-16 November); Namibia (18 and 21 November); Turkmenistan (21-22 November); Armenia (23-24 November) and Cape Verde (24-25 November). The committee, which is composed of 10 independent experts, will engage in a dialogue with the respective Government delegations. read more

UNICEF helps Viet Nam improve rural water supply sanitation

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has joined 13 other international organizations in a unique partnership to improve water supply, sanitation and hygiene for rural communities and schools in Viet Nam. “The goals are ambitious but achievable but hinge on a critical element – partnerships,” the Officer-in-Charge of UNICEF Viet Nam, Maniza Zaman, said of the programme which seeks to increase rural water supply to 85 per cent, hygienic latrines to 70 per cent and ensure safe water and hygienic latrines to all rural primary schools and kindergartens by 2010. It is estimated that nearly 17 million children – more than half the total number – have no safe water and 20 million children do not have access to proper sanitation. The figures are much higher in ethnic minority and remote areas. For example, 87.2 per cent of ethnic minority people do not have access to safe water. Ten per cent of children in urban areas have no access to sanitation compared to around 40 per cent of children in rural areas.The partnership includes Plan International, CARE International, Church World Services, SNV, International Development Enterprises, Water and Sanitation Programme – East Asia and the Pacific, Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. read more