The 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council, from 13 June to 8 July 2022, will consider issues including 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 including in Afghanistan, Belarus, China, Eritrea, Israel and OPT, Russia, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela, among many others. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
The Human Rights Committee monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Through the Committee’s individual complaint mechanism, victims of serious violations can take up their cases where domestic remedies are absent or ineffective. Building on the positive precedents of several fellow UN Treaty Bodies such as the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights or the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Human Rights Committee has adopted dedicated Guidelines on the submission of Third Party Interventions, also called Amicus Curiae.
ISHR with support from international law firm Allens submitted a third-party intervention to the UN Human Rights Committee in relation to an individual complaint regarding attacks against Sasha Krikkerik, an advocate for LGBTI rights in Russia in 2017. Commenting about the new Guidelines, ISHR’s Legal Counsel Tess McEvoy said “the Committee now has a clear basis and procedure to handle our submission related to the communication by Sasha Krikkerik. We hope that the procedure will enable the Committee to streamline and speed up the review of third party interventions”.
“We welcome these new Guidelines from the Human Rights Committee which provide a clear and sound basis for interested third parties to inform the review of individual complaints” says Kseniya Kirichenko, from ILGA World, who coordinated the Krikkerik case at the national level. “The Treaty Bodies reviewed over 30 individual cases concerning sexual orientation and gender identity since 1982, but no decisions on hate crimes against LGBTI persons were made until very recently. We hope that these new guidelines will contribute to enhance the Human Rights Committee jurisprudence”.
ISHR praises the Committee for the new Guidelines. We encourage the Secretariat to regularly update the lists of registered cases and provide relevant details which are crucial to enable human rights advocates to submit third party interventions in relation to cases of interest.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) examined the combined report of the 12th and 13th periodic reports of the Republic of Kenya during the virtual session held from 21 April to 13 May 2022. The report presents the progress made by the country regarding the state of human rights in Kenya.
Despite the African Union adopting the AGENDA 2063: “The Africa We Want” in May 2013, 2021- and beginning of 2022 have been marked by military coups in 5 African countries with considerable impact on human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and governance. This needs to change.