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

How UN recognition of the right to water and sanitation has informed efforts to secure universal recognition of the right to a healthy, clean and sustainable environment

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

At the end of July, the world celebrated the tenth anniversary of the universal recognition of the right to water and sanitation by the UN General Assembly (GA). To mark the occasion the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Léo Heller, issued a statement (which can be read here) in which he hailed this ‘great milestone’ following ‘several decades of sustained effort.’ Thanks to GA resolution 64/292 (adopted on 28 July 2010), he said, ‘water and sanitation was recognised, for the first time, as a fundamental human right, and water and sanitation were…

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previous URG Insights

For 18% of Americans social media is their main source of news – what does this mean for the presidential elections?

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 30 July, the Pew Research Center released a report that revealed that one in five Americans use social media for their primary source of news. This report comes at a time of both an intense news cycle, dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a fast approaching US presidential election, and when social media usage is at an all-time high. It also highlights a changed news ‘ecosystem’ in the US with a more prominent role for social media – and thus greater responsibility for social media companies in tackling disinformation and hate speech, particularly when it comes to coverage preceding…

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UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights goes out guns blazing against failure to address poverty

by Steven L. B. Jensen Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights

‘The world is at an existential crossroads.’ These are the opening words in the outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston’s final report to the UN Human Rights Council submitted in July 2020. Professor Philip Alston, one of the world’s most distinguished human rights experts, used his five-year tenure to put a spotlight on the critical linkages between poverty, inequality and failures to protect human rights globally. Alston has also undertaken a series of country missions. During these, he has documented serious and systemic human rights violations caused, for example, by austerity policies in the United…

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US presidential candidates set out markedly different positions on human rights, the Human Rights Council and the UN

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC

With a Presidential election less than 100 days away, over 150,000 American deaths from COVID-19, and a GDP freefall comparable to the Great Depression, the focus of the American voter is very much on domestic, rather than foreign, policy. Yet, a recent draft State Department report contains worrying implications about the human rights foreign (and domestic) policy of a second term Donald Trump presidency, indicating further isolationism and dismissal of international human rights frameworks. This stands in stark contrast to available information about the platform of Trump’s opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, adding more weight to an already critical…

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Putting people at the heart of the human rights treaty body system

by Ashley Bowe, Senior Human Rights Advisor, SPC RRRT, Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights

Samoa held a ground-breaking treaty body session on child rights, evidencing the benefits of extending these sessions beyond Geneva. Calls for treaty body committees to undertake their sessions on the ground have been made for decades. The first ever such session recently took place in the Pacific, providing empirical evidence of the significant opportunities and slight obstacles of this practice. The genesis of this session can be traced back to Justice Vui’s appointment to the Committee on the Rights of the Child—the first, and still only, Pacific Islander to sit on any of the treaty body committees. He was eager to…

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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

Dec 03
2020

The Glion Human Rights Dialogue 2020 (‘Glion VII’): ‘Human rights in the digital age: making digital technology work for human rights’

By invitation only

The Glion Human Rights Dialogue is a retreat bringing together around sixty senior policy-makers and other stakeholders in an informal, non-attributable setting designed to promote open, forward-looking and solutions-oriented debate. This year’s Dialogue, which is organised by the Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the URG, in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Botswana, Fiji, Iceland, Mexico, Senegal, and Thailand, will ...

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