How ‘enlightened’ are we?

by Dr. Andrew Fagan, Senior lecturer, University of Essex Law School By invitation

Earlier this week we witnessed the latest development in the continuing and terrible disaster that is Gaza. The Palestinian death-toll is now estimated to be more than 35,000 people, many of whom are women and children. The physical infrastructure of Gaza lies in ruins and, even when this conflict ends, will take decades to rebuild. Following the earlier and ongoing …

States establish new global network of NMIRFs at international conference in Asunción

by Joseph Burke Blog BORRAR, Blog BORRAR, Human rights implementation and impact, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, NMIRFs

In a major step forward for the on-the-ground implementation and realisation of international human rights standards, earlier this month (8-9 May), UN member States meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, reached agreement on the establishment of a new global network of national mechanisms for implementation, reporting, and follow-up (NMIRFs). The network will provide a significant boost to the qualitative and quantitative development …

Report on the 55th session of the Human Rights Council

by Geneva Human Rights Council reports, Regular session

Quick summary The 55th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC55) was held from Monday, 26 February 2024 to 5 April 2024. As the main session of the Council, HRC55 began with a High-Level Segment (HLS). The 2024 HLS included speeches by more than 130 world leaders, including two heads or deputy heads of State, eight heads or deputy …

The presence and legacy of landmines is a human rights issue: why the UN human rights system should engage in driving progress towards a mine-free world

by Amalia Ordóñez Vahí, Researcher, URG Thematic human rights issues

On the 4th of April, as has been the case every year since the adoption of General Assembly resolution 60/97 in December 2005, the world observes the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. This year, the annual commemoration comes at a time of multiple anniversaries – the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Mine Ban …

The key human rights priorities of world governments at HRC55: an analysis of the High-Level Segment

by Geneva High level segment, Human Rights Council reports

The 3-day High-Level Segment of the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, held from 26 to 28 February 2024, saw the active participation of around  130  high-level dignitaries and officials, including 2 heads or deputy heads of State, 8 heads or deputy heads of government, and 105 ministers or vice-ministers, as well as representatives from international organisations. The President of the Human Rights Council H.E. …

In a ‘broken system,’ can the UN human rights machinery tilt the balance to help reverse rising inequalities?

by Amalia Ordóñez Vahí, Researcher, URG Inequality and social rights

‘We are going backwards, inequalities are skyrocketing, climate change is burning and pounding our planet, and the number of people living in severe poverty has risen, for the first time in a generation. […] The system is broken.’ These were the sombre words chosen by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, to open the Sixth Intersessional Meeting of the …

Opportunities and challenges for the Council in 2024

by H.E. OMAR ZNIBER 18TH PRESIDENT OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO TO THE UN OFFICE AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS IN GENEVA By invitation, Human rights institutions and mechanisms

My priorities as the 18th President of the Human Rights Council I am deeply honoured and humbled to have been elected by members of the Human Rights Council as the Council’s 18th President. Ever since its establishment in 2006, Morocco has been a staunch and active supporter of the Council. I am likewise a firm believer in the Council’s crucial …

Human Rights Defenders Protection Act of 2024: US bill signals positive steps in the protection of Human Rights Defenders worldwide

by Tom Bicko Ooko Environmental human rights defenders

On Wednesday 31 January 2024, United States Senator Ben Cardin and Representative James McGovern introduced the Human Rights Defenders Protection Act of 2024, a bill that seeks to protect Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) facing retaliation globally for defending human rights and democracy. Notably, Senator Cardin was also the author of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which established one of …

The end of the beginning: General Assembly recognition of the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group R2E, Thematic human rights issues

This article was originally published on Open Global Rights on February 1, 2024. The original article is accessible here . The UN Human Rights Council’s recognition of the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a political declaration that paves the way to establishing its legal meaning. In October 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) passed a …

A New Year’s resolution for 2024: Getting serious about Council efficiency, and placing it within the context of a wider self-assessment of the body’s role and impact

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group, Amalia Ordóñez Vahí, Researcher, URG and Lola Sanchez Arcos, Researcher, URG Human rights institutions and mechanisms

In December 2022, upon his election as President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Václav Bálek outlined his ‘3P’ priorities : ‘prevention, participation, and progress in efficiency.’ He acknowledged the increase in the Council’s workloads over recent years and the strain this had placed on the Council’s capacity to effectively fulfil its mandate. To address the situation, Bálek appointed  H.E. Maira Mariela Macdonal …