An estimated 21 million people are enslaved, and their needs aren't being adequately acknowledged by the development community, writes Aidan McQuade. Slavery "is a human rights issue and also a political one. Any development project that does not recognise this threatens to overlook some of the intractable problems of poverty that continue to plague the world," he argues.
Humanitarian assistance isn't reaching all people in need in the Central African Republic, IRIN reports. "The most vulnerable people ... are most at risk," says Amy Martin of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Security is still an issue and is leading to a rise in displaced people.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is "deeply concerned" about North Korea's stated intention to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. Separately, he called on North Korea to end restrictions on workers at a factory jointly operated with South Korea.
North Korea's nuclear reactor could be restarted within six months, but it will take years to produce bomb-grade plutonium, writes Louis Charbonneau. Meanwhile, the U.S. is sending missile defenses to Guam, and South Korean workers are remaining voluntarily in the factory zone located in the north.
Evidence shows that ethnic Tuaregs and Arabs are being abused in Mali, says Jeffrey Feltman, United Nations undersecretary for political affairs. "Worryingly, it appears from reports that new patterns of human rights violations have emerged, including retaliatory attacks based on ethnicity," he says.