This week in an online event, 10 candidate States publicly spoke to an audience of around 200 people on their pledges as incoming Human Rights Council members for 2022 – 2024. They also faced questions on pressing human rights issues from both States and civil society organisations.
It's difficult to encapsulate such a complex year in a word, but "interconnected" is one that comes to mind when reflecting on 2020. We are proud to have remained deeply interconnected with defenders and to have supported, protected and amplified their work at the national, regional and international levels. With them, the "essential workers" of our times, we strive for a 2021 full of freedom, equality, dignity and justice.
"The rights of migrant workers is a global problem, and actors in different jurisdictions have to come together to make a difference in this particular area," says Barun Ghimire, a human rights lawyer based in Kathmandu, Nepal. "And we need to create a collective narrative that is based on a rights-based approach of migrant workers".
The African Union (AU) declared 2021 as the year of “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.” The preservation of these values is inextricably linked to the protection of human and peoples’ rights.
16 organisations* share reflections on the key outcomes of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, as well as the missed opportunities to address key issues and situations including pushbacks and other human rights violations faced by migrants and refugees, and the human rights situations in Algeria, Cameroon, China, India, Kashmir and the Philippines. A shortened version was delivered at the Council. Full written version below.
For many rights holders, victims and activists, the UN Human Rights Council provides the last or only opportunity to get international attention and support for their vital work towards a world that’s more fair, equal and sustainable. We need the Council to continue being credible, effective and accessible to everyone. This is only possible if States demonstrate leadership, take principled action, ensure that Council members live up to their responsibilities and expectations, and fully cooperate with the Council’s mechanisms.
Here are some of the things we are most proud of; impacts that reflect and were made possible thanks to the creativity, solidarity and resilience of our partners, our staff and the human rights defenders we collectively serve.
The work to hold the Chinese government accountable for its commitments is more important than ever before. To this end, ISHR has developed a hands-on, multilingual guide to UPR monitoring and follow-up for civil society groups, halfway between its last review, and it's upcoming in 2023.
The dire situation of refugees and other migrants in Greece, and elsewhere across the Mediterranean, deserves the Human Rights Council’s attention. NGOs pressed European governments today on the incompatibility between protecting defenders abroad, and criminalising them at home.
European governments have a legal obligation to support and enable the work of NGOs, networks and human rights defenders who provide assistance to asylum seekers, according to a ground breaking legal analysis.