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

Is digital technology rotting British and American democracy from the inside out

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

The rapid evolution and spread of digital technology are already having a major impact on the enjoyment of civil and political rights around the world, and on the ways in which democracies function. Some of those impacts are undoubtedly positive. Digital technology, for example, allows citizens to scrutinise the actions and decisions of government officials (e.g. in the context of corruption) to degrees that would have been unimaginable only a decade ago. It also makes it easier for citizens to connect with candidates and their elected representatives, while social media and online campaigns have helped strengthen the civil and political…

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previous URG Insights

Scotland taking a child rights based approach further than ever

by Dragan Nastic, Strategic Lead - UNCRC, UNICEF UK

On 2 September: “The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill” was tabled in the Scottish Parliament to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law. This is a significant moment in realising a widely shared vision of ensuring all children and young people growing up in Scotland have their human rights respected, protected and fulfilled. Children, young people, their families and wider civil society, including UNICEF UK, have been working towards UNCRC incorporation for very many years. The journey began back in 1991 when the UK first ratified…

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The Tik(Tok)ing of privacy rights in the digital era: the need for an international framework to protect data privacy

by Siri Swayampu, former URG NYC

Research estimates that over half of the world’s population is online every day and over 90% of the population aged 6 and older will be online by 2030. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic saw a sustained surge in online activity across the world. Beginning as a breakthrough in communications, the internet phenomenon has since transformed into a revolution that is embedded in every sector from commerce to education. Although internet continues to empower communities around the world, it also ushers in distinct, lethal risks to the data privacy of individuals. ‘TikTok,’ the social media app that is presently a…

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Rapid expansion of ‘Magnitsky-style’ human rights sanctions regimes underlines need for international coordination and norms

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

Although July and August are traditionally ‘slow’ months for both governments and the UN, this year they have coincided with an explosion of interest in, and movement towards, so-called ‘Magnitsky-style’ sanction regimes – geared towards holding those guilty of serious human rights violations to individual account. First out the block in early July was the UK, which on 6 July launched a new Magnitsky-style Global Human Rights (GHR) sanctions regime. The new law allows for asset freezes and travel bans to be imposed on individuals and organisations around the world in response to their involvement in serious human rights violations.…

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UK education scandal has made explicit what has long been implicit: children’s equal right to a quality education is systematically violated in the UK

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

One of the most entertaining exposés of the recent scandal in the UK around A-Level (for 18 year olds) and GCSE results (for 16 year olds), and in particular the automatic, computer-generated (via an algorithm) downgrading of kids from State schools in poorer parts of the country, was undoubtedly provided by James O’Brien of LBC radio. Speaking on 14 August, he explained that the offending algorithm (which automatically punished pupils from poorer areas and underperforming State schools, as compared to their more wealthy, privately educated peers) had merely made explicit something that had previously been implicit – namely, that the…

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latest policy report

September 2020

7th meeting of the Istanbul Process

7th meeting of the Istanbul Process report coverOn 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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previous policy reports

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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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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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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