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.@URGthinktank: UNSRs thank Canada, end great program in Ottawa and head to Montreal.

Latest policy reports

URG’s new Policy Report on ‘The march of universality?’ by Başak Çalı and Mariana Montoya presents the findings of a two-year project to map and analyse the implications of all reservations to the core human rights conventions, and to better understand the extent and nature of these key checks on the universality of human rights. ...


Environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs): risking their today for our tomorrow

by John H. Knox, Special Rapporteur on the human rights and the environment

URG today launches a new Policy Brief on the situation of ‘environmental human rights defenders’ (EHRDs), individuals working, often at great personal risk, at the interface of human rights and environmental protection. The report, authored by John Knox, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, and member of the Board of Trustees of the URG, is a first comprehensive assessment of the challenges and risks facing EHRDs, and how the international community can better support their work and protect their rights.

6th meeting of the Istanbul process

by The URG team
On 20-21 July 2016, the Government of Singapore hosted the sixth meeting of the Istanbul Process, organised in collaboration with the S. Rajaratnam School of ...

Media coverage of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2016

Global human rights crises and concerns are never far for the front pages of the world's major newspapers, nor far from the screens of our ...

The Human Rights Council in 2016

by The URG team
The ‘Human Rights Council in 2016’ report provides a critique of the main events, developments, successes and failures of the Human Rights Council in 2016. The ...

URG Insights

Human rights and the Security Council: Cooperation or Cooptation?

by the URG team

On April 18th, Nikki Haley, the United States Permanent Representative in New York and President of the Security Council, called a thematic debate on human rights and the prevention of armed conflict. During the debate, the US made an important and valid point: that human rights violations are an important root cause - and early ...

Previous URG Insights

Report on the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team

Quick summary  The 34th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC34) was held from Monday 27th February to Friday 24th March 2017. On 8th March, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, presented his annual report on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session's high-level ...

‘No fear, no hate, no wall, no ban:’ the world – and freedom of expression – at a critical juncture

by Dr Agnes Callamard, Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University

In the aftermath of the so-called ‘Danish cartoons crisis’ in 2005, the political, policy and academic world was replete with debates over the benefits or risks of ‘blasphemy laws.’ The debates highlighted a profound gap between those who believed that mocking religion (the faith, the tenets, the sacraments, the symbols, etc.) should not be tolerated ...

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2017?

by the URG team

‘Discrimination’ (racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance); ‘human rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and the right to development;’ the rights of migrants and refugees; prevention; the ‘Implementation Agenda;’ violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism; and women’s rights; among most frequently referenced subjects during 2017 high-level segment of the Human Rights Council High-level segments (HLS) of the UN ...

Sibling rivalry? Measuring and understanding the uneasy relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the GA

by the URG team

A comparative analysis of Council and Third Committee resolutions The relationship between the Third Committee of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council sometimes appears not dissimilar to that of two brothers. Like brothers, for the most part, these two key UN human rights bodies get on well, with both understanding that they are ...

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