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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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Tool

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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You are not alone
20 November 2019
Learn more about environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) working at the interface of human rights and environmental protection - often at great personal risk.

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URG Insights

Inequality a prominent concern for UN human rights monitors

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

UN human rights bodies are highlighting inequality when making recommendations to states – showing that this issue should be seen and acted on as a central human rights concern. Do human rights have anything to say about material inequality? The question is worth asking, especially in light of recent critiques. In his 2018 book Not Enough – Human Rights in an Unequal World, historian Samuel Moyn argued that “… the critical reason that human rights have been a powerless companion of market fundamentalism is that they have simply nothing to say about material inequality.” Others, including Jackie Dugard, Ignazio Saiz…

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previous URG Insights

Spotlight on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN

by Grace Kennedy, former Universal Rights Group NYC

In Michelle Bachelet’s address at the 74th session of the Third Committee at the UN General Assembly (GA) she highlighted recent ‘pushbacks on women’s equality’ and the need for a ‘pushback to the pushback.’ Indeed, over the last several years, women’s rights, and especially women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), have been a point of contention at the UN. There has been a relitigation of previously agreed upon language contained in resolutions promoting SRHR. While those at the UN focus on this transgression of norms, tangible progress on SRHR has stalled. Agreed language can be useful to set…

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Towards a new accountability? EU adds to growing momentum behind ‘Magnitsky acts’

by the URG team

On 9th December, the day before International Human Rights Day, EU foreign ministers took the historic decision to begin work on an EU-wide ‘Magnitsky act.’ The decision came just over a year after the Dutch Foreign Minister, Stef Blok, gave a landmark speech to his European counterparts in which he drew attention to the crucial importance of accountability for serious human rights violations. Without such accountability, he said, the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will never be fulfilled. So-called ‘Magnitsky acts,’ named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax accountant who died in a Moscow prison after…

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Duplication or complementarity? A comparative analysis of Human Rights Council and Third Committee resolutions

by Grace Kennedy, former Universal Rights Group NYC

In recent years many have begun to take a closer look to the relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the General Assembly. As we near the end of 2019 now is an apt time to review the work done by both bodies this year and the level of efficiency achieved. Do these two key human rights bodies form a coherent whole, with each playing a clearly-defined and logical role in the overall UN human rights system? Or is the relationship more characterised by incoherence, duplication and contradiction? One way of answering such questions is to…

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Report on the 74th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by URG-NYC Team

Quick summary During the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Third Committee, the UNGA Committee tasked with addressing human rights issues and concerns, ran from 1 October 2019 through 21 November 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York. This year’s Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mr. Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights; and H.E. Mr. Coly Seck, President of the Human Rights Council. The full list can be found here. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Bachelet, now…

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latest policy report

November 2019

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

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

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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Eight years of the Istanbul process on combatting religions intolerance: Taking stock

The main intergovernmental policy framework for combatting religious intolerance, stigmatisation, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief is set…

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URG next event

Feb 06
2020

Is there a human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment?

Public event

Building on earlier work by the Commission on Human Rights, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms have been actively engaged on the topic of human rights and the environment. They have made enormous progress in clarifying and setting down the human rights normative framework as it relates to the environment and to environmental protection. ...

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future events

No planned events at the moment