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.
ISHR launches a report examining existing legal frameworks on the protection of human rights defenders in seven countries in Asia and calls for further legislative developments to protect their work.
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.
States and NGOs alike should do more within the Human Rights Council to promote the full realisation of economic, social and cultural rights – and to address gross and systematic violations of those rights – in concrete ways, says Lucy McKernan.
The United Nations and its Member States have a legal obligation to strengthen civil society participation, radically overhaul the system for accreditation of NGOs, and combat reprisals against those who cooperate with the UN, according to a major new report to be considered by the General Assembly.
An alarming new report by the UN Secretary-General documents a significant number of cases in which people have been arrested, detained, tortured and even killed for their work to expose and pursue accountability for human rights violations at the United Nations.
Sri Lanka must end a series of attacks against human rights defenders for cooperating with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, a coalition of leading non-governmental organisations 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.