Yesterday, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders presented her report at the General Assembly's Third Committee on the long-term detention of human rights defenders.
We are not out of the woods yet. As we prepared this monitor, and more toward the end of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic, which had been slightly under control, began to rage on all continents. Many governments have had to implement confinement policies again, which led to significant restrictions in people’s lives and travel. As a result, human rights protection around the world is facing, once again, significant challenges.
On the other hand, we have achieved significant outcomes from the past few months. The 45th session of the Human Rights Council successfully convened in Geneva not long ago, and the 75th session of the UN General Assembly is currently in full swing, both online and offline. Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, the President of the UN Human Rights Council, stated at the UN General Assembly that, no matter how the pandemic will go, the HRC will always strive to do its human rights work for the benefit of people around the world.
ISHR has renewed its commitments to support human rights defenders and elevate their work, despite the pandemic. Two years after China’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2018, and as we approach the moment to prepare mid-term reports, ISHR has released a new guide to support society advocates to continue their work through the next stages of UPR advocacy. With this, and all our work, we continue to stand firm in the belief that we must speak truth to power, collectively and individually.
To this end, we are very happy to share the latest issue of the China Human Rights Monitor with you. This bilingual publication combines China-related content from ISHR’s Human Rights Monitors with close monitoring and analysis of the role of the Chinese government within the UN human rights spaces. As always, we hope it serves to provide opportunities to civil society for UN engagement around issues of human rights in China.
This 3rd edition is comprised of:
1) The UN needs you! Upcoming opportunities to protect human rights at the UN (November 2020 update)
2) Supporting human rights defenders
3) Latest UN developments
Thank you very much for your support and attention !
Help us improve our work! Is the CHRM useful to your work? What kind of content do you want to read more about? Please feel free to share with us ideas and suggestions. For any additional information or comments, please contact Sarah M. Brooks (at [email protected] ; or on Twitter at @sarahmcneer)，or Raphaël Viana David (at [email protected] ; or on Twitter at @vdraphael).
Image credits: Yettesu
Today, UN member States elected members to the UN's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, for the 2022-2024 term. 18 candidates ran for 18 seats, and all were elected, leaving civil society disappointed in a process that can hardly be called an election.
On 14 October 2021, the UK delivered a cross-regional statement on behalf of 80 countries, condemning intimidation and reprisals, and calling on States to prioritise and support the meaningful participation of civil society at the UN.
Futures thinking encourages us to identify small ‘signals of change’ which might help to identify and influence the futures that come to pass. At ISHR we’ve identified and, together with advocates and activists from around the world, helped contribute to a number of small but significant signals of positive human rights change in recent weeks.
ISHR together with 36 NGOs from around the world have called on member States of the UN General Assembly to sign on to a cross-regional joint statement on reprisals at the 76th session of the UNGA Third Committee.
During the interactive dialogue with the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on the SG’s Reprisals Report, some States raised specific cases of reprisals, whilst others drew attention to the use of COVID-19 as a guise under which reprisals were committed and also raised the additional risks to human rights defenders online as a result of the pandemic.
Human rights organisations* urge the immediate and unconditional release of Egyptian human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer, who completes today two years in arbitrary detention.
On 17 September 2021, the UN Secretary-General released his annual report on reprisals and intimidation against individuals and groups seeking to cooperate with the UN on human rights. Once again, the report identifies a high number of threats and attacks aimed at retaliating against defenders and discouraging cooperation with the UN.
On 7 September 2021, the International Service for Human Rights facilitated a multi-stakeholder dialogue with United Nations experts, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to discuss about Business, Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders.
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.
At the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, ISHR along with the Informal Sector Service Center presented a joint statement in Nepal’s Universal Periodic Review expressing concern about the situation of human rights defenders in the country.
A new ISHR report maps China’s presence and influence in the UN economic and social affairs system, highlighting potential risks for civil society participation and the promotion and protection of human rights.