Policy report

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.

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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

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2021?

by the URG team

An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council, held from February 22 to 24 2021, saw the active participation of more than 130 world leaders, including presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and heads of international organisations. In the statements they delivered to the Council, they addressed both domestic human rights concerns, developments and achievements, as well as their countries international priorities in the human rights sphere for 2021 and beyond. As such, the participation of High-Level representatives presented an opportunity to assess the level of…

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previous URG Insights

On it’s one-year anniversary, the Call to Action for Human Rights remains a relevant tool for tackling human rights challenges

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC

The anniversary of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ The Highest Aspiration: A Call to Action for Human Rights provides a prime opportunity to reflect on its implementation to date. Launched on 24 February 2020 at the opening of the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council, the Call aimed to bring the human rights pillar of the United Nations’ mandate to the forefront of its agenda. As the challenges of 2020 have carried over into 2021, the importance of achieving full implementation of the Call has become more pressing. And in light of recent updates on the Call to Action from…

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Biden’s decision to rescind the Global Gag Rule could have implications for the US approach to sexual health and reproductive rights at the UN

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC

President Biden repealed the Global Gag Rule, which he described as his ‘predecessor's attack on women’s health access’, via Executive Order on 28 January. This move comes as part of the administration’s plan to protect the rights of women both domestically and abroad. The decision serves as a key indicator for how the US may re-emerge on the world stage as a State that prioritises protecting the right of women and girls to access necessary health services, as well as safe-guarding them from gender-based violence. The Mexico City Policy, commonly referred to as the Global Gag Rule, was first introduced…

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The French ‘case of the century’ ushers in new era of environmental litigation

by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group

On 3 February 2021, in a historic decision that confirms the growing trend of civil society led public interest litigation founded on the right to a healthy environment, a French administrative court recognised that the French State could be held responsible for failing to meet its commitments to mitigate climate change. In an unparalleled outpouring of public support for the plaintiffs in the highly mediatised case known as L’Affaire du Siècle (‘The Case of the Century’), the motion filed by four civil society organisations (Greenpeace, Oxfam, la Fondation Nicolas Hulot and Notre affaire à tous) garnered the support of over…

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Report of the 29th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar

by the URG team

On Friday 12th February 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a special session to address ‘the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar’.  The special session was requested via an official letter dated 8 February 2021 and signed by H.E. Mr. Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva. This letter, addressed to H.E. Ms. Nazhat Shameem Khan, the recently elected President of the Human Rights Council, was jointly submitted by the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom and the Permanent Delegation of the European…

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latest policy report

February 2021

#The time is now - The case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment

#The time is now - The case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment report coverThis 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…

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previous policy reports

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 pandemic

On 9 and 10 June 2020, the Permanent Missions of Denmark and The Netherlands to the UN in Geneva, in cooperation with the Universal Rights…

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The Human Rights Council in 2020

What 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…

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Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children's rights

The international community has invested enormous time and energy in building the international human rights system over the past 70 years. Yet for as long…

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Guide to the 2020 Human Rights Council Elections

The 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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URG next event

Mar 04
2021

The spread of conspiracy myths online: what are the implications for human rights?

Public event

In her message for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet reminded us that 'Words have consequences.' Indeed she remarked that 'conspiracy theorists increasingly link extreme political ideologies and antisemitic delusions,' recalled the responsibilities of governments and digital platforms and stressed that we need to push back against lies, ensure that public discourse ...

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future events

No planned events at the moment