GENEVA, Switzerland, June 5 (UPI) -- The top U.N. human rights official said in Switzerland Thursday more needs to be done to help protect civilians caught in armed conflicts around the world.
Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, and said basic human rights -- protected by international law -- are under threat in several regions around the world, the United Nations reported.
Pillay cited 11 countries where civilians are vulnerable to armed conflicts including Sri Lanka, where a recent conflict with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has left thousands of people displaced. Pillay called on the Human Rights Council to do more to strengthen protections for civilians.
"The condition of civilians in armed conflict continues to cause grave alarm," Pillay said in a statement.
"Their suffering has been a tragic feature of confrontations in many countries and regions of the world. A neglect of basic human rights, as well as discriminatory practices, are often to be found at the roots of such conflicts."