The 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, from 22 February to 23 March 2021, will consider issues including the protection of human rights defenders, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests-particularly in the United States of America-, freedom of religion or belief, protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, the right to food, among others. It will also hold dedicated debates on grave human rights situations in States including Nicaragua, Venezuela, Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem, Syria, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Eritrea, among many others. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
Civil society organisations welcomed significant outcomes of the Human Rights Council's 40th session, including the consensus adoption of a resolution on environmental human rights defenders, continued Council scrutiny over Sri Lanka, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria and Iran, as well as initiation of Council action on Nicaragua and several joint statements on Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Cameroon.
Despite worsening restrictions and reprisals, human rights defenders are protesting against power, prejudice and privilege and demanding participation, accountability, representation and respect for fundamental rights. In these people and movements there is cause for celebration, ambition and hope, ISHR told the UN Human Rights Council.
At its 28th session, the Human Rights Council adopted five resolutions of significance to the work and protection of human rights defenders.
ISHR has decided to publish a series of profiles of representatives of non-governmental organisations fighting to obtain ECOSOC consultative status to the UN through the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs. Consultative status is required to attend and participate in many UN meetings, including those of the Human Rights Council. We hope these profiles will help expose the Committee's dysfunction, share the struggles of human rights defenders that are repeatedly blocked from bringing their experiences and insights on critical issues to policy-making at the UN, and ultimately help secure consultative status to the UN for these credible NGOs carrying out important and valuable human rights work.
Democratic States that value and respect a vibrant civil society should do more to support non-governmental organisations to have their voices heard at the United Nations, the International Service for Human Rights said today.
‘If we do not defend human rights defenders, we do not defend human rights’, Germany pronounced during the high-level segment with which the Human Rights Council’s 25th session opened. The statement set the tone for a session in which the role of human rights defenders, the risks they face and the need to protect them, has been forefront.
(Geneva) - Iran is scheduled to be reviewed at the 20th session of the Universal Periodic Review in October 2014. Iran severely restricts the work of human rights defenders, both in law and in practice. In addition to being curtailed by the use and abuse of laws relating to 'national security’, ‘propaganda against the system’ and ‘enmity against god’, human rights defenders in Iran are frequently subject to arbitrary arrest and severe torture, including beatings with batons, mock hangings, electrocution, rape, sleep deprivation, and denial of food.
A significant new resolution developed by Denmark and adopted by the UN General Assembly condemns intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders and others who work to expose and combat torture and ill-treatment.