ISHR sheds light on the attempts by Chinese diplomats to exert undue influence over the UN expert bodies that oversee compliance with major international human rights treaties and covenants, and makes recommendations for how stakeholders can strengthen the system’s ability to fight back.
Every year, the Secretary-General publishes a report on cooperation with the United Nations, its mechanisms and representatives in the field of human rights, aka the ‘Reprisals Report’. This report compiles cases of intimidation and reprisals due to cooperation with the United Nations organisations and its specialised agencies in the field of human rights. These include the Human Rights Council, its Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures; Human Rights Treaty Bodies; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, its field presences and Human Rights Advisers; United Nations Country Teams; human rights components of peacekeeping missions and other parts of the Secretariat or specialised agencies working in the field of human rights.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is currently calling for the submission of cases that fall within the scope of these United Nations organisations and agencies and the period of 1 June 2019 – 30 April 2020.
New information on cases included in previous reprisals reports, such as further acts of intimidation or reprisals or State measures to address the issue, is also welcome, as there is a section dedicated to follow-up.
Submissions should be sent to [email protected] by 1 May 2020.
All submissions must comply with the following requirements:
- The case must fall within the scope of Human Rights Council resolution 12/2;
- Consent from the alleged victim or their family must be obtained and be clearly indicated in your email. This means that the victim or their family has been informed, understands the possible security risks and has agreed to have their case included in the reprisals report; and
- You must mention whether or not the alleged act of reprisal has been referred to in any official UN publication (UN report, press release, public statement, video of UN conference etc.). If applicable, a reference, including document symbol number where relevant, should be provided.
Additional guidelines can be found on the OHCHR’s website.
ISHR is available to assist victims and/or their representatives with submission of cases.
- Introduction and background on OHCHR work on reprisals
- 2019 annual report of the Secretary-General on “Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights” (A/HRC/42/30)
- Human Rights Council resolution adopted on 27 September 2019 on the “Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights” (A/HRC/RES/42/28)
- One-pager on submitting information for partners on cases of intimidation and reprisals (in English; Spanish; French; Russian; Arabic; Chinese) and use of [email protected] email address.
In solidarity with SouthernDefenders, ISHR supports the urgent call for an immediate investigation into the assassination of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko in Eswatini, as well as the appeal for swift action by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) amid a mounting political crisis in the country.
Over 200 NGOs with consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council provide strong recommendations to enhance access and participation of NGOs with the UN.