Civil society groups are united in rejecting the bill that seeks to limit NGOs’ ability to access resources including foreign funding.
Past and ongoing human rights violations in Venezuela were back on the Council’s agenda this session, with States detailing levels of impunity and continuing abuses that far outweigh the small signs of progress made.
Prosecutors and judges in Venezuela are not only failing to investigate violations against real and perceived opponents of the Venezuelan State but are actively participating in violations against them. This is the conclusion of the UN fact-finding mission on Venezuela in its second report to the Human Rights Council.
With three more human rights defenders detained arbitrarily in recent days, once again the Human Rights Council was asked to do more to put pressure on Venezuela to allow dissenting voices in the country to be heard. Independent civil society makes a critical contribution to the construction of societies built on the respect of human rights.
In order for the international human rights system to function to its fullest potential, human rights defenders must be able to share crucial information and perspectives, safely and unhindered. However, many defenders still face unacceptable risks and are unable to cooperate safely with the UN.
Defenders in Venezuela promote justice, equality and accountability. Without their work being safeguarded and enabled, the victims of violations are made yet more vulnerable. During three different dialogues on Venezuela, members of the Council repeatedly called for civil society and civic space to be protected.
On the ocassion of the annual meeting of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural (ESC) Rights with non-governmental and civil society organisations, ISHR highlighted the fundamental role played by ESC rights defenders and the need for their protection.
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.
With threats and attacks against Venezuelan defenders intensifying, ISHR joins regional and international partners in calling for an immediate stop to the attacks, and for recognition of civil society´s contribution to addressing the humanitarian and human rights crises and in mapping out a future for the country. Versión en español.
Academic freedom was under the spotlight at the Third Committee today as the new Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, presented the report of her predecessor and outlined the priorities for her mandate.
The Human Rights Council has shown its worth by renewing and strengthening the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela – a key instrument in the push for accountability of human rights violations and part of a multi-pronged UN approach to the crises in the country.
In a devastating report, a group of independent UN experts on Venezuela outline evidence of crimes against humanity carried out in the country at the direction of high-level State authorities, with the active participation of President Maduro and Ministers of the Interior and of Defence. What will the Human Rights Council now do to ensure accountability for such crimes and justice for victims?