Twenty-five years later, how much do national human rights institutions matter?

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

An expanding range of literature examines the effectiveness of national human rights institutions, and 25 years after the Paris Principles, a recent study draws out some of the common findings. This year – 2018 – marks the 25th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption in December 1993 of the Paris Principles. These principles defined the mandate for National Human …

Supreme Court of Spain: UN Treaty Body individual decisions are legally binding

by Dr. Koldo Casla Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The Spanish Supreme Court has established that the views expressed by UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in individual complaints are binding on the State. The Court ordered Spain to pay €600,000 in compensation to Ángela González for the responsibility of its authorities in relation to the death of her daughter. Her daughter was murdered by her father in an unsupervised …

Igniting the flame: How the anti-slavery campaign launched a human rights movement

by Laura Riches, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog

In his final address to the Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein highlighted a growing sense of weariness within the international human rights community; a growing fear that the UN’s human rights pillar is being marginalized. Given the global state of affairs, from rising nationalism, xenophobia, and racial and religious intolerance to clampdowns on civil …

The UN Secretary-General’s human rights crisis can be solved

by Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organisation. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realising UN goals in the areas …

Why is the media unfair to the United Nations? And what the Organization is doing to make newsrooms friendlier

by Javier Delgado Rivera, Journalist Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

Constructive media coverage is essential for the UN. It helps the organisation both to raise awareness of neglected crises around the world and to increase visibility for its role in addressing them. In fact, a strong online, press, and TV presence can help mobilise the human, political, and economic resources needed to solve or prevent these situations. The media also …

Strengthening coherence between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee

by Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog

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 Council and the GA, …

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 Beyond the Council, Blog

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 September, during a high-level event …

What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2017 and what to look out for in 2018?

by the URG team Beyond the Council

Human rights analysis of high level speeches at the General Debate at the UN General Assembly  What are the human rights situations and issues that keep world leaders up at night in 2017? What are the human rights priorities of governments for the next twelve months? The best place to get a sense of both is the general debate of …

The missing human rights chapter in Secretary-General Guterres' strategic priorities

by Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan and Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has set about the modernisation of some sectors of the United Nations and has been fulsome in his recognition of the interrelatedness of the three sectors of the UN: peace and security, development, and human rights. He has made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But, beyond rhetoric, there has so far been no …

"There exists a harmony that is almost musical between the concepts of development and human rights"

by H.E. Ambassador Maza Martelli, 11th President of the Human Rights Council and Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

The convergence between human rights and the 2030 Agenda is a topic of great importance for the entire United Nations system as well as for each individual State, and especially for developing countries. I very much welcome the opportunity that I have been given this morning to express to you my vision not only as President of the Human Rights …