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.
The 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place on 30 June to 21 July 2020. The Council will consider issues including racism, sexual orientation and gender identity, violence and discrimination against women and girls, poverty, peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of expression, among others. It will also present an opportunity to address grave human rights situations in States including the Philippines, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Belarus, Venezuela, Burundi, Myanmar 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.
Prominent human rights defenders from China, Ethiopia and Syria have been honoured for their courageous work in the face of great personal risk, with the announcement of the Final Nominees for the Martin Ennals Award 2016.
In a statement to the Human Rights Council, the Assyrian Human Rights Network, on behalf of the International Service for Human Rights, called for an end to human rights violations suffered by Assyrian Christians in Syria.
Worlwide we are simultaneously witnessing a democratic recession on the part of governments and an increasing appetite for democracy on the part of ordinary people. We must respond with an increased commitment to the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression, writes UN expert Maina Kiai.
Mr Bassam al-Ahmad is a spokesperson for ‘The Violations Documentation Center in Syria’ (VDC), responsible for managing their advocacy activities. The Centre consists of human rights defenders from across Syria and elsewhere who monitor and document human rights violations committed during the current Syrian armed conflict, and work to increase human rights awareness within Syrian communities.
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.