#TheTimeIsNow - the case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy & sustainable environment
23 February 2021
This new policy report tells the story of international discussions on human rights and environment, human rights and climate change, and the push for the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment (R2E),
The Human Rights Council in 2020
6 December 2019
A written analysis of the main events and development at the Council in 2020, as well as data on the quantitative evolution of the Council’s work since the body’s establishment in 2006.
Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children’s rights
12 November 2020
The six country case studies presented in this groundbreaking new report by UNICEF and URG, show, beyond question, that the UN human rights compliance mechanisms, complemented by the wider UN system, have had and continue to have a clear and measurable impact on the domestic enjoyment of human rights.
7th meeting of the Istanbul Process
9 September 2020
The report on the 7th meeting of the Istanbul Process seeks to summarise some of the key points made during each part of the meeting, and to collate some of the best practices shared in that context.
A World Made New: Beyond COVID-19 to a low-carbon, resilient and inclusive world
13 May 2020
This new policy brief issues a call for governments to leverage economic rescue and stimulus packages to build a better, more socially just, greener and more resilient post-crisis world.
The Prevention Council: The business case for placing human rights at the heart of the UN’s prevention agenda
3 February 2020
The report calls on the international community to learn from past mistakes and place a robust Human Rights Council prevention strategy at the centre of the Secretary-General's revitalised prevention agenda.
13 November 2019
This was the second informal meeting on how international cooperation could be better leveraged to support the national implementation of international human rights obligations and commitments...
Policy or aspiration: Shedding light on the Human Rights Up Front initiative
29 October 2019
The question of ‘what happened to Human Rights up Front’ is an oft-repeated refrain in meetings with New York civil society. However, little consistent and clear information has been provided by the UN secretariat on the status of the initiative...
Eight years of the Istanbul process on combatting religions intolerance: Taking stock
7 October 2019
The main intergovernmental policy framework for combatting religious intolerance, stigmatisation, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief is set down in Human Rights Council (Council) resolution 16/18 and its sister resolution at the General Assembly (GA) – GA resolution 66/167.
Clustering and the integrated implementation of recommendations: The key to unlocking the complementary power of the UN’s compliance mechanisms
19 August 2019
This report calls for a rethink of the international compliance system: instead of the three main implementation mechanisms being perceived as separate, distinct and unconnected they should be seen as three complementary parts of a single human rights compliance engine...
Is the global situation of human rights improving or deteriorating? Making the case for the empirical measurement of human rights change
19 August 2019
Measuring human rights performance is not straightforward. Yet it is as important as it is challenging. In the context of the global human rights ‘implementation gap’ this policy brief sets out the relevance of adequate human rights measurement...
Securing accountability for human rights violations
13 October 2020
For decades, those responsible for serious human rights violations - including corrupt political and military leaders- were left free to act with almost complete impunity. In 2012, this situation began to change with the so called Magnitsky laws.
What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2021?
by the URG team
An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council, held from February 22 to 24 2021, saw the active participation of more than 130 world leaders, including presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and heads of international organisations. In the statements they delivered to the Council, they addressed both domestic human rights concerns, developments and achievements, as well as their countries international priorities in the human rights sphere for 2021 and beyond. As such, the participation of High-Level representatives presented an opportunity to assess the level of…
previous URG Insights
On it’s one-year anniversary, the Call to Action for Human Rights remains a relevant tool for tackling human rights challenges
by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC
The anniversary of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ The Highest Aspiration: A Call to Action for Human Rights provides a prime opportunity to reflect on its implementation to date. Launched on 24 February 2020 at the opening of the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council, the Call aimed to bring the human rights pillar of the United Nations’ mandate to the forefront of its agenda. As the challenges of 2020 have carried over into 2021, the importance of achieving full implementation of the Call has become more pressing. And in light of recent updates on the Call to Action from…
Biden’s decision to rescind the Global Gag Rule could have implications for the US approach to sexual health and reproductive rights at the UN
by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC
President Biden repealed the Global Gag Rule, which he described as his ‘predecessor's attack on women’s health access’, via Executive Order on 28 January. This move comes as part of the administration’s plan to protect the rights of women both domestically and abroad. The decision serves as a key indicator for how the US may re-emerge on the world stage as a State that prioritises protecting the right of women and girls to access necessary health services, as well as safe-guarding them from gender-based violence. The Mexico City Policy, commonly referred to as the Global Gag Rule, was first introduced…
The French ‘case of the century’ ushers in new era of environmental litigation
by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group
On 3 February 2021, in a historic decision that confirms the growing trend of civil society led public interest litigation founded on the right to a healthy environment, a French administrative court recognised that the French State could be held responsible for failing to meet its commitments to mitigate climate change. In an unparalleled outpouring of public support for the plaintiffs in the highly mediatised case known as L’Affaire du Siècle (‘The Case of the Century’), the motion filed by four civil society organisations (Greenpeace, Oxfam, la Fondation Nicolas Hulot and Notre affaire à tous) garnered the support of over…
Report of the 29th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar
by the URG team
On Friday 12th February 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a special session to address ‘the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar’. The special session was requested via an official letter dated 8 February 2021 and signed by H.E. Mr. Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva. This letter, addressed to H.E. Ms. Nazhat Shameem Khan, the recently elected President of the Human Rights Council, was jointly submitted by the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom and the Permanent Delegation of the European…
latest policy report
#The time is now - The case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environmentThis new policy report tells the story of international discussions on human rights and environment, human rights and climate change, and the push for the right…
previous policy reports
OSLO+Digital – International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals during the COVID-19 pandemicOn 9 and 10 June 2020, the Permanent Missions of Denmark and The Netherlands to the UN in Geneva, in cooperation with the Universal Rights…
The Human Rights Council in 2020What were the main developments, achievements and flash-points at the Human Rights Council in 2020? What were the Council’s principle outputs and what kind of impact…
Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children's rightsThe international community has invested enormous time and energy in building the international human rights system over the past 70 years. Yet for as long…
Guide to the 2020 Human Rights Council ElectionsThe sixth annual yourHRC.org Guide to the Human Rights Council elections provides comprehensive at-a-glance information on the 2020 Council elections (tentatively scheduled to take place…
URG next event
The spread of conspiracy myths online: what are the implications for human rights?
Public eventIn her message for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet reminded us that 'Words have consequences.' Indeed she remarked that 'conspiracy theorists increasingly link extreme political ideologies and antisemitic delusions,' recalled the responsibilities of governments and digital platforms and stressed that we need to push back against lies, ensure that public discourse ...
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23 Feb 2021
23 Feb 2021
23 Feb 2021
28 Jan 2021
09 Dec 2020
Environmental Human Rights Defenders
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The Istanbul Process is the dedicated mechanism for follow-up on the implementation of the action plan set out in Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief.
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Impact OSS Is a data management tool designed to help States manage recommendations received from the UN human rights mechanisms, coordinate implementation across government, as well as between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the State; and facilitate streamlined reporting back to the UN.
environment-rights.org is a resource portal for environmental human rights defenders, inspiring individuals working at the interface of environmental protection and human rights - often at great personal risk. The portal provides access to local support networks and international protection, reminding environmental defenders that they are not alone.