Policy report

Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship – The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimes

27 April 2021

Part I of this report looks at prevention as a framework for understanding the relationship between the UNSC and the UNHRC, while Part II presents a series of case studies showing how the UNHRC–UNSC relationship has operated in the past.

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Policy report

Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children’s rights

12 November 2020

The six country case studies presented in this groundbreaking new report by UNICEF and URG, show, beyond question, that the UN human rights compliance mechanisms, complemented by the wider UN system, have had and continue to have a clear and measurable impact on the domestic enjoyment of human rights.

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The Human Rights Council in 2019

6 December 2019

A written analysis of the main events and development at the Council in 2019, as well as data on the quantitative evolution of the Council’s work since the body’s establishment in 2006.

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Policy report

7th meeting of the Istanbul Process

9 September 2020

The report on the 7th meeting of the Istanbul Process seeks to summarise some of the key points made during each part of the meeting, and to collate some of the best practices shared in that context.

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Policy report

A World Made New: Beyond COVID-19 to a low-carbon, resilient and inclusive world

13 May 2020

This new policy brief issues a call for governments to leverage economic rescue and stimulus packages to build a better, more socially just, greener and more resilient post-crisis world.

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Inside Track HRC43

21 February 2020

Concise information and insight on the upcoming 43rd session of the Human Rights Council

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Policy report

The Prevention Council: The business case for placing human rights at the heart of the UN’s prevention agenda

3 February 2020

The report calls on the international community to learn from past mistakes and place a robust Human Rights Council prevention strategy at the centre of the Secretary-General's revitalised prevention agenda.

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Policy report

OSLO+1

13 November 2019

Informe de la segunda reunión informal de socios para el desarrollo sobre: Apoyo internacional para la implementación nacional de las recomendaciones de derechos humanos de la ONU, incluyendo como una contribución a los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible

Esta fue la segunda reunión informal sobre cómo podría aprovecharse mejor la cooperación internacional para apoyar la implementación nacional de las obligaciones y compromisos internacionales de derechos humanos...

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Policy report

Policy or aspiration: Shedding light on the Human Rights Up Front initiative

29 October 2019

The question of ‘what happened to Human Rights up Front’ is an oft-repeated refrain in meetings with New York civil society. However, little consistent and clear information has been provided by the UN secretariat on the status of the initiative...

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Policy report

Ocho años del proceso de Estambul para combatir la intolerancia religiosa: un balance

7 October 2019

El principal marco de política intergubernamental para combatir la intolerancia religiosa, la estigmatización, la discriminación, la incitación a la violencia y la violencia contra las personas basadas en la religión o las creencias se establece en la resolución 16/18 del Consejo de Derechos Humanos (Consejo) y su resolución hermana en…

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The Inside Track NY

30 September 2019

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2019 Election guide

27 September 2019

The report is the fifth annual yourHRC.org Guide to the UN Human Rights Council Elections. It provides general information on the 2019 Council elections (scheduled for 16 October at the GA in New York), when States will compete to win seats for new three-year terms (2020-2022)...

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Policy report

Is the global situation of human rights improving or deteriorating? Making the case for the empirical measurement of human rights change

7 October 2019

Measuring human rights performance is not straightforward. Yet it is as important as it is challenging. In the context of the global human rights ‘implementation gap’ that has caught the attention of United Nations (UN) member States, and human rights organisations, professionals and advocates, this policy brief sets out the…

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Policy report

Vision 2021

14 February 2019

Between 2021 and 2026 the UN General Assembly is scheduled to review the status of the Human Rights Council (i.e. should i remain a subsidiary body or become a main body of the UN). URG’s new policy brief provides background information on the 2021-2016 review, and offers thoughts on how…

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The Prevention Council

3 February 2020
For the UN’s prevention agenda to work, it is vital to build a business case for placing human rights at its heart.

URG Insights

Report of the 33rd Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in Ethiopia

by the URG team

On Friday 17th December 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a Special Session to address ‘the grave human rights situation in Ethiopia'. The Special Session was requested via an official letter dated 13 December 2021 and signed by H.E Lotte Knudsen, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations Office in Geneva, as well as H.E Anita Pipan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to United Nations Office in Geneva. This letter, addressed to H.E. Nazhat Shameem Khan, President of the Human Rights Council, was officially supported by 17 member States[1] and 35 observer…

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previous URG Insights

Human Rights Day: From recognition to action on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment

by Dr Justin Pettit, Human Rights Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr Shavana Haythornthwaite, Head, Human Rights Unit, Commonwealth Secretariat

This blog was first published on the Commonwealth website The critical state of the environment, the acceleration of climate change, the serious impacts of pollution and the increasing loss of biodiversity are undeniable. They jeopardise food security, weaken public health, exacerbate conflict and displacement, deepen inequalities, undermine development, threaten achievement of the SDGs, and impede economic growth – all whilst disproportionately affecting women and other vulnerable persons. They collectively pose an immediate threat to the human rights of every single one of us. Human rights crucial to the solution Crucially, human rights are also part of the solution to effectively…

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Human Rights Day 2021: protect the right to be as well as the right to become

by Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan

Today, 10 December, is Human Rights Day. It was on this day in 1948 that the UN proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. What the Universal Declaration sought to do, seventy-three years ago, was to invite all governments to pursue human rights strategies of governance. That is to say, government policies and laws should take the precepts of the Universal Declaration as their basic starting point, and governments should be held accountable against those standards. Human Rights Day this year is being commemorated at a time when…

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Raising the fight against corruption to the top of the international agenda: A proposal for a new Optional Protocol to the ICESCR

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

The collapse of democracy is Afghanistan, after 20 years and billions of dollars of international engagement; the collapse of democracy in Myanmar following February’s coup d’état and ouster of Aung San Suu Kyi; the collapse of democracy in Sudan following October’s coup d’état and the detention of the civilian government. What do each of these salutary tales of democratic roll-back and international human rights failure have in common? In a word: corruption. Corruption was the cause of the precipitate collapse of democratic government in Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul, and was the primary motivating factor of the army chiefs…

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Making it real: Why members of the Human Rights Council should make use of their power to conduct ‘good offices’ missions

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

From 23-25 October, members of the Security Council carried out country missions to Mali and Niger, under the auspices of the Kenyan presidency of the body. In Mali, they met with members of the Transitional Government, including the Transitional President and Prime Minister, signatory armed groups, representatives of civil society, the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Mali, and representatives of the UN country team. Members of the Council used the mission to reiterate the body’s strong support for the mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union, and urge authorities to complete the…

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latest policy report

The Human Rights Council in 2021

The Human Rights Council in 2021 report coverWhat were the main developments, achievements and flash-points at the Human Rights Council in 2021? What were the Council’s principle outputs and what kind of…

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previous policy reports

Placing digital technology at the service of democracy and human rights (3D2)

From 16-17 November, a high-level meeting of State representatives, UN officials, technology company representatives, and civil society, took place in Montreux, Switzerland, as well as…

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Human rights in the digital age: Making digital technology work for human rights

The seventh Glion Human Rights Dialogue (Glion VII), organised by the Governments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the Universal Rights Group (URG), in partnership with the…

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Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship - The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimes

In her first address to the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) Third Committee as High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018, Michelle Bachelet urged States…

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URG next event

Jan 18
2022

Building Forward Better: Reaffirming the Sustainable Recovery Pledge and taking stock of commitments

Public event

The event will take place on the margins of the upcoming Fourth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Human Rights Council on Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The event is co-organised by the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN in Geneva and the Universal Rights Group. During the event, State ...

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future events

No planned events at the moment