National and international organisations sent a letter to the new Colombian government with three recommendations to prevent crimes and improve the security of human rights defenders.
In a statement made today at the 36th Session at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), ISHR welcomed the latest Joint Communication Report, which reveals the continued reluctance of States to cooperate with Special Procedures – independent experts mandated by the HRC to respond to individual cases of human rights violations.
ISHR’s Special Procedures focal point Helen Nolan explained that the report compiles letters sent by the experts to States regarding allegations of serious human rights abuses, as well as the State replies. ‘These letters cite very grave cases, yet 33 States have kept silent – offering no explanation or information on what has been done to help the victims,’ said Nolan.
‘What is most shocking is that 11 of the States that have failed to respond are Human Rights Council Members, who clearly have a particular duty to cooperate with the mechanisms that they themselves have created.’
HRC Council Members Bangladesh, Brazil, Congo, Egypt, Hungary, India, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Qatar and Venezuela are all mentioned in the report as having yet to reply to at least one letter from the Special Procedures. ISHR urged the President to request rapid updates from all non-responding countries.
‘We are also deeply concerned by the fresh cases of reprisals in Egypt, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uzbekistan. It is completely unacceptable that defenders be targeted for engaging with the UN.’
ISHR also drew attention to steps the Special Procedures could take to increase cooperation, effectiveness and impact, pointing to recommendations crafted by ISHR and 8 other organisations for the 24th Annual Meeting of Special Procedures.
‘The recommendations require action by all countries – Council Members in particular – in order to succeed,’ explained Nolan. ‘We will continue to work with all actors to implement these necessary reforms.’
The full text of the statement is available here.
Watch the statement here:
Photo: UN Photo by Jean-Marc Ferré
Check out our updated world map on legislative protection, which collates developments in national legal instruments related to defenders and compares existing and draft instruments with the standards set by the Model Law.
ISHR, along with multiple other NGOs, released a joint statement condemning the criminalisation of women human rights defender Milena Quiroz and calling for her right to a fair trial and her right to defend human rights to be guaranteed.