More funds needed to repatriate Somali refugees from Kenya

The international community is being urged to provide an additional US$115 million to support the voluntary return of Somali refugees from Kenya.

The appeal has been made by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which had earlier asked for nearly US$370 million for the operation.

The Kenyan government announced in May that it wanted to close the Dadaab Camp, home to more than 300,000 Somali refugees.

UNHCR has outlined a plan to reduce the number of refugees there, including through relocation to another camp in Kenya.

The UN agency said it is committed to ensuring that all returns to Somalia are voluntary and carried out in dignity and safety.

Fears over Child Labour Bill in India

A provision in India’s recently amended Child Labour Bill could further disadvantage the country’s most vulnerable young citizens.

That warning comes from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

There are more than 10 million children working in India, and the provision relates to boys and girls who help their families by working after school or during vacations.

UNICEF is concerned that it legitimizes family work and could put poor children at further disadvantage.

Furthermore, some types of child labour could become “invisible” while some children could be forced to drop out of school.

Family or home-based work for children in India is often hazardous, according to the agency.

It includes working in cotton fields, making bangles, rolling tobacco, carpet weaving and metal work.

Encourage free debate ahead of Thailand constitutional referendum

Authorities in Thailand are being urged by a UN human rights expert to foster conditions that would allow for free debate ahead of next month’s constitutional referendum.

Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, has condemned what he sees as the “alarmingly high” rate of arrests as a result of military orders and the recently adopted Constitutional Referendum Act.

The Act criminalizes free expression and access to information concerning the draft constitution.

Mr Kaye advised that instead of criminalizing expression over the draft constitution, the Thai government “should encourage an open environment for public discourse to ensure an informed participation during the constitutional referendum.”

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’29?

Source:United Nations Radio.