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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

Time to scrap the world’s remaining blasphemy laws

by Ms Joelle Fiss

Last May, Ireland woke up to the strange news that the Irish police were investigating remarks made by actor Stephen Fry, which, it was alleged, might be considered blasphemous. In a 2015 television interview, Fry had accused God of being a selfish maniac, and asked: ‘why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who ...

Previous URG Insights

Report on the 35th Session of the Human Rights Council

by Olivia Bebe and the URG team

Quick summary  The 35th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC35) was held from Tuesday 6th June to Friday 23rd June 2017. On 6th June, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, presented an oral update on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter ...

Building on past success and dealing with the challenges: ideas for strengthening technical cooperation at the Human Rights Council

by Marc Limon

The central importance of the Council’s mandate, as set down in GA resolution 60/251, to provide ‘advisory services, technical assistance and capacity-building … in consultation with and with the consent of Member States concerned,’ is, I believe, self-evident. For many developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the task ...

Climate Vulnerable Forum delegation meeting and thematic debate spotlights impact of climate change on human rights

by Olivia Bebe

14 June 2017  On the margins of the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a delegation meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) focused on the growing recognition of the impact of climate change on the enjoyment of a wide spectrum of human rights.    The thematic debate, included Ambassadors and other senior officials of the ...

President Trump and the Human Rights Council: What did we learn from Nikki Haley’s visit?

by Marc Limon

Wednesday 7th June 2017, Geneva As expected, all the talk on day one of the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council was on the visit of America’s Ambassador to the United Nations, H.E. Ms Nikki Haley, and the message she brought about the Trump Administration’s views and position on the Council and the US’s role therein. ...

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