Europeans have shown unity and decisiveness in taking action to shelter Ukrainian refugees. But as the humanitarian crisis unravels, long-term solutions will require policies that promote collaboration and distributed leadership.
10 years after the first SOGI resolution was passed at the Council, 27 States launch the Group of Friends of the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Tess McEvoy from ISHR and Gabriel Galil from ILGA World tell the story.
The right to non-discrimination and the right to life are essential to all societies. At the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council, ISHR and ten Swiss-based NGOs* called today on Switzerland to ensure accountability in police violence cases.
All human beings have the right to live with dignity, no matter whether they are documented or not. Meriem El May and Sofia Vegas both work for Permanence MNA/RMNA, a Geneva-based legal centre that protects young unaccompanied migrants.
Patricia Schulz is a Swiss lawyer specialised in international human rights law and gender equality. She is a Senior research associate at UNRISD, the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development, and a former member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Promoting equality, defending fundamental freedoms, speaking out for the most vulnerable, are what human rights defenders bring to any society. Unfortunately, this is also what causes some governments to lash out at them. Saudi Arabia, a longtime champion in that regard, demonstrated that its ability to cause harm goes beyond its borders. Yet we should not forget that human rights defenders living inside its territory are the first and daily targets of the Kingdom’s wrath.
Human rights defender Flor Calfunao Paillalef can be expelled from Switzerland to Chile at any time, despite the death threats and other abuses affecting her family in Chile. The decision of the State Migration Service undermines Flor's ability to do her work as a human rights defender and calls into question Switzerland's otherwise strong support for the work of defenders.
The UN Working Group on business and human rights, together with States, must consider the particular threats and attacks on defenders working on rights related to land and environment, ISHR and a group of environmental defenders told the Human Rights Council. ISHR also emphasised that States providing diplomatic support to business should also require a clear commitment to respect, consult and protect defenders.
On 24 April 2018, ISHR organised a workshop in Nouakchott, Mauritania, to raise awareness on the existence of various diplomatic initiatives targeted at supporting human rights defenders, to assess their implementation in Africa, and to formulate recommendations to strengthen their scope and application.