Time to ask again: is being the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights an impossible job?

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

In February 2018, I published a blog on the early departure of the previous High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The blog responded to David Petrasek’s article in OpenGlobaRights entitled ‘Another one bites the dust’ (8 February 2018). The article attempted to look past Zeid’s stated reasons for leaving his post (in effect, that the worldwide retreat from human …

Report of the 34th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression 

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Uncategorized, URG Human Rights Council Reports

On Thursday 12 May 2022, the Human Rights Council convened a Special Session to address ‘the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression’. The Special Session was requested via an official letter dated 9 May and signed by H.E. Yevheniia Filipenko, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations in Geneva. This letter, addressed to H.E. …

Report of the 32nd Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights implications of the ongoing situation in the Sudan

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

On Friday 5 November 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a Special Session to address the ‘human rights implications of the ongoing situation in the Sudan’. The Special Session was requested via an official letter dated 1 November 2021 and signed by H.E. Simon Manley, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN in Geneva. This letter, addressed to …

Report on the 47th 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 47th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC47 ) was held from Monday 21st June to Tuesday 13th July 2021. On 21st June, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet presented her annual report on the human rights situation around the world. This presentation was followed by an interactive dialogue on her report on the role of States in responding to pandemics . The presentation of her annual report provided the basis for an …

Scotland shows human rights leadership to “build back better”

by Professor Alan Miller, Professor of Practice in Human Rights Law at the University of Strathclyde Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms, Uncategorized

The UN is calling on all countries to “build back better” from Covid 19 through placing economic, social and environmental rights and equality at the centre of all recovery efforts In Scotland a National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership has published a Report containing 30 recommendations to do just that. The Scottish Government has accepted all of the recommendations and is …

The battle for social media regulation: can international human rights bridge the governance gap in the digital space?

by Daniela Kyle, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Uncategorized, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 4 June, Facebook declared that former US President Donald Trump’s suspension from their service will last at least two years, following the implementation of new enforcement protocols. These protocols are expected to have long-term effects on the presiding guidelines for content moderation and account suspensions for public figures. On the same day, Nigeria announced a nationwide Twitter ban after the platform …

The end of the COVID-19 pandemic may finally be in sight, but is everyone included?

by Rebecca Lily Shepard, Universal Rights Group Geneva Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Uncategorized

Addressing the opening of the 74th World Health Assembly in Geneva on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that ‘unless we act now, we face a situation in which rich countries vaccinate the majority of their people and open their economies, while the virus continues to cause deep suffering by circling and mutating in the poorest countries.’ This sharp criticism of …

Trump, Facebook, democracy and rights: ‘how to handle free speech in an age of information chaos’

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, Uncategorized

Writing in the Guardian on 5 May, Alan Rusbridger, a former newspaper editor and now member of the Facebook Oversight Board, set out in stark terms the dilemma facing the Board as it reviewed the social media giant’s decision, last January, to ban then President Donald Trump from its platform. ‘On 6 January, he was the president of the United States: probably …

What do UK violations of its human rights and other international obligations mean for British democracy?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, Uncategorized

In theory, democracy is exceptionally resilient. It is buttressed by the different rights set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – ICCPR (e.g. freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, protection of minorities, the right to vote and to stand for office, habeas corpus, access to justice, and the independence of the judiciary) and the International Covenant …

Prospects and priorities for the Human Rights Council in 2021

by H.E Nazhat Shameem Khan, 15th President of the Human Rights Council, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Uncategorized

It is my distinct pleasure to wish you bula vinaka, the traditional Fijian greeting, meaning, roughly, ‘happiness and good health,’ as we begin a new year at the Human Rights Council. It is a singular honour for me, and for the government and people of Fiji, that the members of the Human Rights Council have placed their trust in me …