May 18 2018
Past event

High-Level Conference on the HRC Investigative Mechanisms and Preventing Mass Atrocities

On Friday 18th May, the Permanent Missions of Australia, Germany, and Uruguay with the support of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and the Universal Rights Group will be organising a High-Level Conference on: ‘Human Rights Council Investigative Mechanisms and Preventing Mass Atrocities’

The international community has increasingly relied on Human Rights Council (HRC) investigative mechanisms as a key tool for responding to serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Since 2006 the HRC has established 28 Commissions of Inquiry, Fact-Finding Missions and other bodies – six are currently operational.

In 2005 the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was developed as a means of mobilizing “timely and decisive action” by the international community to prevent or halt mass atrocities – genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. This conference seeks to explore the ways in which investigative mechanisms created by the HRC have succeeded or failed in facilitating efforts to prevent or respond to atrocities, and support international action to uphold R2P. During two separate sessions, panelists will analyze past international and independent mechanisms and discuss how the HRC and wider UN system can engage with and develop these mechanisms further in order to better address atrocity situations in the world today.


Panel Session 1 (10:00–12:00): An analysis of the successes and failures of past international and independent investigative mechanisms established by the HRC.

Panel Session 2 (13:00–15:00): A discussion on how the HRC and wider UN system can engage with and develop investigative mechanisms further in order to better address atrocity situations.


  • H.E. Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Professor William Schabas, Professor of International Law at Middlesex University in London and former Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict
  • Dr. Andrew Clapham, Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and member of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan
  • Mr. John Fisher, Geneva Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Ms. Hilary Power, Senior UN Advocate, Amnesty International
  • Mr. Husam Al Katlaby, Executive Director, The Violations Documentation Center in Syria

RSVP to attend

For further information, please contact: Ms. Elisabeth Pramendorfer, Global Centre for R2P
([email protected] / 0041 76 753 58 83).

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