To achieve its promise of a peaceful and fair world, the UN needs to bring diverse and expert voices to the table. Yet, all too often human rights organisations are being denied entry to UN debates. In five months time there's the chance to change the gatekeepers. Elections to the UN Committee on NGOs provide that opportunity. Get involved!
The Working Group on Extractive Industries , Environment and Human Rights Violations (WGEI) presented a background study on the operations of extractive industries and the realisation and full enjoyment of human rights under the African Charter.
During each ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘The African Commission’), Commissioners present their activity reports which provides an overview of the work done in between two sessions. On 23 November 2021, the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and Focal point on reprisals presented his report.
Despite Namibia taking several progressive measures to promote and protect human rights, the country continues to enforce repressive laws that infringe on the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, commercial sex workers and other vulnerable groups.
On the last day of the NGO Forum, a panel was organised to officially launch the newly established Lusophone Platform for Human Rights in Africa.
In compliance with Article 62 of the African Charter, States have the obligation to report every two years on the legislative, administrative and political measures taken with a view to give effect to human rights guaranteed by the Charter. Despite the challenges of conducting the sessions online, it doesn't prevent the African Commission from holding States accountable to their human rights obligations.
Important reforms proposed ahead of the 2020 review of UNTBs, such as the adoption of fixed and predictable cycles of review, again featured prominently in the Chairs’ presentations to the UNGA Third Committee. Yet the COVID crisis has presented unprecedented challenges to the system, and it is yet to be seen how those reforms will work out in practice.
The passage of a human rights defender resolution by the Third Committee of the GA by consensus, with 85 co-sponsors, is another important step in ongoing work to strengthen the promotion and protection of those who defend rights.