The 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council, from 26 February – 5 April 2024, will consider issues including the protection of human rights defenders, freedom of religion or belief, protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, the right to food and adequate housing, among others. It will also present an opportunity to address grave human rights situations in States including Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, China, Syria, South Sudan, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Eritrea, occupied Palestinian territory/Israel, among many others. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
Following years of work by victims and their families, the Truth and Justice Charter welcomed the creation of an institution to reveal the fate of the missing in Syria.
The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) also welcomed this important step and called on the Syrian government and other parties to cooperate with the mechanism. In its opening remarks, the CoI said ‘finally Syrian families are to be aided by an international body that can help clarify the scale of the problem and the whereabouts of tens of thousands missing loved ones, from all sides of the conflict, and provide support to victims and families while ensuring their full and meaningful participation’.
Several States, including Luxembourg, the pen holder of the resolution in the UNGA, spoke at the interactive dialogue to welcome the adoption of resolution A/77/L79 and stress the importance of the institution in working to achieve the families right to truth.
Access here the written version of the statement.
Download as PDFFor many rights holders, victims and human rights defenders, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) provides a vital lever increasing pressure for change at the national level, while for others it provides the last resort or only opportunity to expose violations, seek accountability, and garner support for their essential work towards a fair, equal and sustainable world. We need the HRC to be credible, effective and accessible to everyone. This is only possible if States ensure that remote and hybrid participation of civil society is maintained; that international law is upheld universally; promptly and adequately respond to HRDs’ demands for accountability; lead and support HRC action in line with objective human rights criteria; and ensure that HRC members live up to their responsibilities, including full cooperation with the HRC and its mechanisms.
ISHR joins 25 other NGOs in calling for the UN Human Rights Office's return to Venezuela and the release of political detainees, including Rocío San Miguel, amidst rising repression.