On 21 November, ISHR celebrated the vital work of human rights defenders at a conference on 'The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Seventy-Five Years On: Achievements and Current Challenges.' A slightly shortened version of our speech is reproduced below.
Following substantial negotiations, UN Member States once again found common ground and reiterated their commitment to providing a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders in the Third Committee's adoption of this biennial resolution by consensus.
The UN General Assembly voted in 15 new members of the Human Rights Council today. Though they elected China and Burundi in closed, uncompetitive races, States voted against Russia’s return despite Moscow’s sustained pressure.
On 5 October, State representatives, civil society organisations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement (EMLER) came together to discuss the worldwide situation of racism against Africans and People of African Descent.
UN experts presented States at the Human Rights Council with two reports looking at strategies to tackle racially-motivated violence in law enforcement. They recommended stricter and more transparent oversight frameworks for officials as well as greater use of community-led policing.
States running for the UN Human Rights Council responded to questions from civil society on their human rights records as they outlined their vision for strengthening the global human rights system during ISHR and Amnesty International’s annual pledging event.
The 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council (11 Sep - 13 Oct) will consider issues including reprisals, arbitrary detention, systemic racism, enforced disappearances, water and sanitation, and the rights of Indigenous peoples and people of African descent. It will also present an opportunity to address grave situations in over a dozen States. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
In October, States at the UN General Assembly are due to vote to elect 15 incoming members (of the total 47 seats) to the UN Human Rights Council, and 17 countries, including Russia, China and Burundi, are running for election.
Andreza Jorge is a human rights defender and activist working to empower communities in favelas in Brazil. She was also a participant to the 2023 edition of ISHR’s flagship training course, the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP).
After a two-month online course and over ten intense days in-person in Geneva, sixteen dedicated human rights defenders participating in ISHR’s 2023 Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP23) exchanged experiences, strengthened their skills, put them into practice, and built a network of allies in Geneva and across the globe.