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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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

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.

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URG Insights

What do the US protests and the UK’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic tell us about inequality, discrimination and social rights in the ‘Anglosphere’?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

Violence erupts across more than 75 US cities on a sixth night of protests sparked by the death in police custody of African American George Floyd. In London, the UK Government delays the release of an official review of the impacts of COVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Britons. At the end of April one of the UN’s most high-profile Special Rapporteurs, Philip Alston, finished his six-year mandate on extreme poverty and human rights. Three ostensibly unrelated events. Yet in reality, all are linked by a single word: ‘inequality.’ Police brutality against African Americans is not new -…

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previous URG Insights

Inequality, discrimination and social rights in the ‘Anglosphere’

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

At the end of April one of the UN’s most high-profile Special Rapporteurs, Philip Alston, finished his six-year mandate on extreme poverty and human rights. Over that time, he completed around a dozen country missions to places including Spain, Malaysia, Lao, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and China. Yet in many ways his tenure as Special Rapporteur was defined by two visits in particular: to the United States (December 2017). and the United Kingdom (November 2018). Both visits had a huge impact in the countries concerned and beyond, especially in shifting public perceptions about poverty and its relationship with human rights -…

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Is COVID-19 proving to be the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the world’s populist leaders?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

The rise of populist leaders around the world, with their particularly Orwellian brand of post-truth politics, has been one of the defining geopolitical trends of the past five years. From Trump to Orban, Bolsonaro to Johnson, and Erdogan to Modi, these politicians have seemed to carry all before them. Yet perhaps they have finally met their match in COVID-19? Although the rule does not hold true across the board (in Hungary, for example, Victor Orban has responded to the pandemic by curtailing human rights and democratic institutions – with apparently positive results in terms of infections and COVID-related deaths), in…

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Protecting the rights of older persons during the COVID-19 pandemic

by Alfonso Barragues, Deputy Director, UNFPA Liaison Office in Geneva

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pointed out, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most dangerous challenges the world has faced in our lifetime. It is a human crisis with severe health and economic consequences. That is particularly the case for older persons who face a higher mortality risk, with those over 80 years old dying at five times the average rate. The spread of COVID-19 in care homes and institutions is particularly devastating on older people’s lives and rights, with distressing reports indicating instances of neglect or mistreatment. Yet, beyond the virus’ death toll, older person are detrimentally…

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Is COVID-19 forcing America to reconsider its views on ‘fake news’ and freedom of expression?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

Back in February, during a preparatory meeting of the 2020 Glion Human Rights Dialogue at the Permanent Mission of Mexico, one of the most contentious discussion points was how – and indeed whether – States should manage the growing problem of ‘fake news,’ especially online. During the dialogue, a diplomat from South-East Asia presented her government’s pioneering efforts to address ‘fake news’ where it threatens public safety – specifically by requiring social media companies to post a factual rebuttal next to the original information. Although this new law has only recently been adopted and applied, the diplomat gave an example…

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latest policy report

May 2020

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

A World Made New: Beyond COVID-19 to a low-carbon, resilient and inclusive world report coverIn the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency and economic crisis, as we yearn for the social contact and cultural activities that define our…

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previous policy reports

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

UN efforts over the past thirty years to shift its approach to crises and conflicts from reaction to prevention have largely failed for two main…

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The Human Rights Council in 2019

‘The Human Rights Council in 2019’ report aims to provide, inter alia: A written analysis of the main events and development at the Council in…

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OSLO+1 - International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

On 10 May 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Sida), in cooperation with the Universal…

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Policy or aspiration: shedding light on the current status of the UN's Human Rights Up Front initiative

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,…

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URG next event

Jun 09
2020

Oslo+digital meeting on how a human rights based approach to development can ensure that we build back better

By invitation only

On 9 and 10 June the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and The Netherlands, in cooperation with the Universal Rights Group (URG) will organise an informal meeting of development partners on 'how a human rights based approach to development can ensure that we build back better.' This will be the first digital meeting of ...

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future events

No planned events at the moment