This week in an online event, 10 candidate States publicly spoke to an audience of around 200 people on their pledges as incoming Human Rights Council members for 2022 – 2024. They also faced questions on pressing human rights issues from both States and civil society organisations.
The 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, from 22 February to 23 March 2021, will consider issues including the protection of human rights defenders, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests-particularly in the United States of America-, freedom of religion or belief, protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, the right to food, among others. It will also hold dedicated debates on grave human rights situations in States including Nicaragua, Venezuela, Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem, Syria, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Eritrea, among many others. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
The 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place on 30 June to 21 July 2020. The Council will consider issues including racism, sexual orientation and gender identity, violence and discrimination against women and girls, poverty, peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of expression, among others. It will also present an opportunity to address grave human rights situations in States including the Philippines, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Belarus, Venezuela, Burundi, Myanmar among many others. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
Civil society organisations welcomed significant outcomes of the Human Rights Council's 41st session, including the extension of the SOGI mandate, adopting the first resolution on the Philippines and extending its scrutiny over Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Belarus and Ukraine. This session witnessed heightened scrutiny of Council members by shedding light on the situations in Saudi Arabia and China. It missed an opportunity, however, to ensure that human rights are not sidelined in Sudan.
By Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations, DefendDefenders
The world’s top human rights body needs members with a genuine commitment to protecting human rights. Electing States should ensure that candidates with a record of systematically violating rights and failing to cooperate with the Council receive no support in the ballot.
27 NGOs call on States to co-sponsor and support a UN Human Rights Council Resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea to ensure continued monitoring and scrutiny of the human rights situation in the country.
States and NGOs alike should do more within the Human Rights Council to promote the full realisation of economic, social and cultural rights – and to address gross and systematic violations of those rights – in concrete ways, says Lucy McKernan.
As the 54th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights draws to a close, Sheila B. Keetharuth, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, reflects on the significance of the African human rights system as a means of advancing human rights in the continent.