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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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

‘Even if they contain misinformation…’: how government inaction and interference on social media could mean the hijacking of an election

by Jenna Lanoil, Universal Rights Group NYC

‘I know that I have blood on my hands,’ Sophie Zhang, a former Facebook data scientist wrote in a memo about her time with Facebook. Zhang claims that Facebook allowed for heads of state and political parties from around the world to misrepresent themselves through fake accounts and to spread disinformation. She cites in particular an operation by the Azerbaijanian Government to influence the re-election of President Ilham Aliyev. Zhang claims that not only did Facebook fail to take down fraudulent accounts connected to the operation but, instead, took down the accounts of human rights activists, when the activist accounts…

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previous URG Insights

Report on the 45th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team

Quick summary The 45th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC45) was held from Monday 14th September to Wednesday 7th October 2020. On 14th September, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, presented her oral update on the global human rights situation. In the wake of the violent response by the Belarusian authorities to peaceful demonstrations that occurred in the aftermath of President Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election on 9 August 2020, the Council held an urgent debate on 18 September focused on the ‘situation of human rights in Belarus.’ Three panel discussions were held during the session. More than 84 reports under the Council’s…

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URG welcomes passage of landmark new UN resolution on prevention

by the URG team

Wednesday 7th October 2020, Geneva The Universal Rights Group (URG) welcomes today’s passage of an important new Human Rights Council resolution on the prevention of human rights violations and emergencies. The resolution, led by Norway, Sierra Leone, Switzerland and Uruguay, was adopted by vote at the 45th session of the Council with 32 in favour, 11 abstentions and 3 against (Bahrain, Cameroon and Venezuela). The resolution covers all aspects of the Council’s hitherto unused prevention mandate, as provided by the UN General Assembly with its resolution 60/251 (and specifically paragraph 5f thereof), covering both primary (or ‘upstream’) prevention, and secondary…

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What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2020, and what to look out for in 2021?

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC

Human rights analysis of high-level speeches during the general debate of the UN General Assembly Each fall, world leaders descend upon New York to speak at the general debate of the UN General Assembly (GA). This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, world leaders were invited to send in pre-recorded videos of their speeches which were broadcast ‘as live.’ The world’s presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and assorted dignitaries were allotted fifteen minutes each (though this is more a guideline than an enforced rule) to discuss global crises and trends, how those crises and trends affect their countries, and what the…

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Using digital technology to systematically violate the right to vote: How the Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign used AI to suppress the votes of Black Americans

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC

29th September 2020 On 28 September, the UK’s Channel 4 News revealed that it had obtained a data cache used by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, which contained evidence that the campaign had sought to digital technology to deter 3.5 million Black Americans by targeting them with tailored, negative ads. While digital tools and social media platforms can in principle strengthen the enjoyment of civil and political rights; too often, as URG Director Marc Limon recently argued in this blog, it has been those who wish to use technology to tighten control, promote narrow self-interest, and undermine human rights who…

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latest policy report

October 2020

Guide to the 2020 Human Rights Council Elections

Guide to the 2020 Human Rights Council Elections report coverThe sixth annual yourHRC.org Guide to the Human Rights Council elections provides comprehensive at-a-glance information on the 2020 Council elections (tentatively scheduled to take place…

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previous policy reports

The human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic: A summary of the RightOn web chat series

The COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty it has brought have upended our lives. One consequence has been that many parts of the UN have not…

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7th meeting of the Istanbul Process

On 18-19 November 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the support of the Universal Rights Group (URG) hosted…

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

In 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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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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URG next event

Oct 20
2020

Pre-Glion policy dialogue with Mission of Iceland: ‘Putting digital technology at the service of equality and non-discrimination, including in the area of economic, social and cultural rights’

Public event

Ahead of Glion VII, the Universal Rights Group (URG), with a number of supportive State delegations, will organise a series of informal policy dialogues designed to allow early consideration and exchange on different aspects of ‘human rights in the digital age.' On Tuesday October 20th at 1:30PM the Permanent Mission of Iceland to the UN ...

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