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Significant focus on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (#ESCRs) rather than on Civil and Political Rights (#CPR) in resolutions adopted at the #HumanRights Council in 2017! Find out more: yourhrc.org/wp-content/upl… pic.twitter.com/HmJ0mWHS31

Latest policy reports

As this third edition of ‘The Human Rights Council in .…’ report makes abundantly clear, in 2017 the Council continued to address a staggering array of human rights issues and situations of violations – across three regular sessions and countless inter-sessional meetings. However, in the medium- to long-term, 2017 will probably be mainly remembered as…


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 TVs and iPads. Yet this…

Operationalizing the Council’s ‘prevention’ mandate (Glion IV)

by the URG team

The Human Rights Council’s mandate to respond to human rights violations, including gross and systematic violations – as set down in operative paragraph 3 of GA resolution 60/251 – is…

The march of universality? Religion-based reservations to the core UN human rights treaties

by Mariana Montoya, Basac Çali

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…

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…

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 International Studies (RSIS). The meeting…

The Human Rights Council’s relationships with the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council

by Emmanuel Bichet and Stephanie Rutz

As the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (‘the Council’) celebrates it tenth anniversary in 2016, this policy paper aims to provide an overview of the institutional issues relating to…

Human rights implementation, compliance and prevention (‘Glion III’ report)

by The URG team

In 2006, the then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, called on the Council to lead the international community from “the era of declaration” to “the era of implementation.” As the Council marks…

URG Insights

Report on the 27th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslim population and other minorities in the Rakhine State of Myanmar

by the URG team

On Tuesday 5th December, the Human Rights Council (Council) held a special session on the ‘human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslim population and other minorities in the Rakhine State of Myanmar’. The special Session was requested on 28 November 2017, via two official letters written by H.E Mr Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador of Bangladesh;…

Previous URG Insights

Strengthening coherence between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee

by Olivia Bebe

One consequence of the General Assembly’s decision, in 2006, not to make the new Human Rights Council a main body of the UN, on par with the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); and of its 2011 decision to maintain that subsidiary status; has been significant institutional confusion about the relationship between…

The Catalytic Role of Thematic Special Procedures on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

by Mariana Montoya

On 18th and 19th November, the Universal Rights Group (URG GVA & URG LAC) and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights of Columbia University (ISHR) hosted a two-day expert consultation at Columbia University. The meeting convened former Special Procedures mandate-holders on economic, social, and cultural rights; as well as key stakeholders of these…

Mapping and overcoming the risks, threats, and challenges faced by Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Latin America, with a particular focus on indigenous and rural defenders

by Mariana Montoya

On the 8th and 9th November, 2017, the URG Latin America, with the support of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Professor John Knox and the International Union for Conservation of Nature – National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN-N), convened a two-days regional consultation on the situation of environmental human rights defenders…

The UN Secretary-General’s Reform Agenda: what is it, why is it important, what does it address, and where is the human rights pillar?

by the URG team

A short explainer Almost immediately after taking Office in January this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced his intention to introduce wide-ranging reforms to the way the UN works and how its delivers on its mandate. By and large, those reforms have been warmly received by States, civil society, and the press. Indeed, on 18…