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.
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.
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.
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.
Inside Track HRC43
21 February 2020
Concise information and insight on the upcoming 43rd session of the Human Rights Council
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.
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.
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...
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...
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…
The Inside Track NY
30 September 2019
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)...
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…
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…
It’s high time human rights practitioners join conversations on taxation
by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group, Sandra Petrovic, Universal Rights Group
In recent weeks, conversations about taxation seem to have moved out from the shadows of bureaucratic policy making and placed front and center of the international geopolitical stage. The reason in one word: COVID-19. However, while there is a growing momentum to establish a new international tax regime that addresses pervasive inequalities, accompanied by greater political will to discuss States’ domestic wealth (re)distribution, to date, such conversations have mostly been occurring outside the field of human rights, and the link between taxation and human rights remains poorly understood. In this context, the Universal Rights Group will begin a blog series…
previous URG Insights
Making AI trustworthy: the EU’s proposed legal framework for regulating artificial intelligence
by Courtney Halverson, URG NYC
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a plethora of uses, spanning from surprising and beneficial applications, like applying the same technology used to analyse pastries to identify cancer cells, to potentially detrimental and intrusive applications, like using facial recognition to track citizens. The European Union’s new proposal for a legal framework to govern AI suggests that the introduction of ethical, human centered regulations can both protect human rights and privacy while also incentivising the technological development of AI. As with the EU’s adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) in 2018, which created firm rules on data privacy and security, the…
What we talk about when we talk about accountability
by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group, Anna-Christina Schmidl, Universal Rights Group Geneva
On 27 May 2010, addressing the Rome Statute Review Conference of the International Criminal Court in Kampala, Uganda, then-UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon heralded the ‘birth of a new Age of Accountability.’ More than a decade on, in the face of devastating conflicts and a global pandemic that has reinforced structural inequalities and led to a deterioration in the state of human rights worldwide, the neutral observer might be inclined to cast doubt on such optimism. Some have even suggested that the international community is once again moving towards an era of impunity, a ‘threatening age of the strongman;’ in…
Who controls ‘town square’: amidst a public health crisis, India battles social media companies to curb dissent
by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC
Amidst the collapse of the public health system in India and an atmospheric rise in COVID-19 cases, social media platforms became ‘town squares’; centres of desperate coordination for supplies as well as outlets for growing frustration at the government’s failure to prevent thousands of deaths. The Government of Narendra Modi has in turn pressured social media companies to block posts and remove users, though these campaigns, launched in the name of combating pandemic-related disinformation, have also targeted political opposition accounts and criticism of the Government. On 2 June, new rules for social media platforms and digital news outlets, called the…
Generation Equality Forum 2021: A light at the end of the gender inequality tunnel?
by Vany Cortés, Universal Rights Group Geneva
In his virtual address at the inauguration ceremony of the Generation Equality Forum 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron remarked that ‘no country in the world has yet achieved complete equality between men and women’. This observation crystallises the alarming state of gender equality almost 26 years after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and the adoption of the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The 1995 Declaration raised 12 critical areas of concern where urgent action was needed and laid out a set of commitments to achieve gender equality, development and peace for all women. Despite widespread…
latest policy report
Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship - The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimesIn 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…
previous policy reports
#The time is now - The case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environmentThis new policy report tells the story of international discussions on human rights and environment, human rights and climate change, and the push for the right…
OSLO+Digital – International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals during the COVID-19 pandemicOn 9 and 10 June 2020, the Permanent Missions of Denmark and The Netherlands to the UN in Geneva, in cooperation with the Universal Rights…
The Human Rights Council in 2020What were the main developments, achievements and flash-points at the Human Rights Council in 2020? What were the Council’s principle outputs and what kind of impact…
Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children's rightsThe international community has invested enormous time and energy in building the international human rights system over the past 70 years. Yet for as long…
URG next event
Glion VII report launch and discussion
Public eventThe seventh Glion Human Rights Dialogue (Glion VII), organised by the Governments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the Universal Rights Group (URG), was held on 3-4 December 2020 and focused on the topic: ‘Human rights in the digital age: Making digital technology work for human rights.’ The rapid evolution and spread of new technologies have ...
24 Jun 2021
30 Jun 2021
01 Jul 2021
19 May 2021
13 Apr 2021
13 Apr 2021
13 Apr 2021
25 Mar 2021
Environmental Human Rights Defenders
> More videos
The Istanbul Process is the dedicated mechanism for follow-up on the implementation of the action plan set out in Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief.
> View the website
Impact OSS is a data management tool designed to help States manage recommendations received from the UN's human rights mechanisms, coordinate implementation across government, as well as between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the State; and facilitate streamlined reporting back to the UN.
environment-rights.org is a resource portal for environment human rights defenders, inspiring individuals working at the interface of environmental protection and human rights - often at great personal risk. The portal provides access to local support networks and international protection, reminding environmental defenders that they are not alone.