Do digital technologies hurt or support human rights?

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 14 May this year, the San Francisco city council voted to ban the use of facial recognition technology by local authorities and agencies, including the police. Several other US cities, and even some States, are now considering following suit. These important developments come in the wake of the release of a recent study by Georgetown University, which found that the use …

The UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech: tackling discrimination, hostility and violence

by Rodrigo Saad, Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

‘Hate speech is a challenge from which no country is immune,’ stated Adama Dieng, Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide at the launch event  of the  UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech . The system-wide strategy was launched amid a backdrop of surging levels of xenophobia, racism, and overall intolerance throughout the world. This trend has been amplified by social media and information communication technologies, which have …

Human rights and the 2030 Agenda: key messages from the high level political forum on sustainable development

by Rodrigo Saad, Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

As UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stated during her address to the Council last March , ‘Human rights are an intrinsic part of sustainable development—and sustainable development is a powerful vehicle for the realisation of all human rights.’ The adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015 signalled a fundamental shift in the UN’s development paradigm—from one traditionally based on a flawed orthodoxy overemphasising economic growth to a broader understanding of development, which takes into account …

UN human rights mechanisms proving effective SDGs monitor

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation

The SDGs are mostly aligned with human rights objectives — to emphasise this, the UN human rights mechanisms are showing a willingness to hold states accountable to their SDG commitments. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are renewing the debate on the relationship between human rights and development. In 2005, Philip Alston famously described the relationship between the Millennium Development Goals …

Report on the 41st session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Uncategorized, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 41st regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC41) was held from Monday 24th June to Friday 12th July 2019. On 24th June, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet presented her oral update  on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter alia, H.E. Mr. Rumen Radev, President of Bulgaria; H.E. Ms. Hilda C. Heine, President …

Monitoring the SDGs? Find out how Human Rights Measurement Initiative data can help

by Susan Randolph, Co-Founder & Economic and Social Rights Metrics Lead, Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) and Anne-Marie Brook, Co-founder and Development Lead, Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

There are strong connections between human rights monitoring and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ‘seeks to realise the human rights of all.’ So it should not come as a surprise to learn that the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI)’s metrics tracking country performance on the provisions of the core human rights treaties [1] are …

UN peace and security reform: an update

by URG-NYC Team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This post is the third in a series of blogs produced by the URG-NYC team to take stock of the implementation of the UN reforms, which were adopted in the past 18 months. This post covers reforms to the peace and security pillar.  Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying degrees, to modernise the UN, to streamline and …

The independence of the international civil service, 1919-2019: minority rights at the League of Nations and human rights at the UN – Part 2

by John Burley, Formerly UNDP; Office of the Director-General; UNCTAD between 1972-2004. Blog, Blog, By invitation

In part one of this blog post, which can be read here , I described the origins of the independent international civil service, created in 1919. I also highlighted the importance of the adoption, as part of the overall Treaty of Versailles, of a set of treaties on minorities (i.e. the minority treaties). Part two will look at how the secretariat …

Does Bachelet’s mission to Cameroon point towards a more prevention-orientated future for UN Human Rights?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

In early May the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, undertook an important mission to Cameroon, a country beset by serious human rights challenges especially in the context of unrest and violence in the west and north of the country. That a High Commissioner would undertake an urgent visit to a country facing a situation of serious human …