Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship – The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimes
27 April 2021
Part I of this report looks at prevention as a framework for understanding the relationship between the UNSC and the UNHRC, while Part II presents a series of case studies showing how the UNHRC–UNSC relationship has operated in the past.
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.
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.
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.
Inside Track HRC43
21 February 2020
Concise information and insight on the upcoming 43rd session of the Human Rights Council
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.
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.
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...
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...
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…
The Inside Track NY
30 September 2019
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)...
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…
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…
Boosting the financial transparency of UN Special Procedures
by Gregor Puppinck, Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ)
I was very surprised, roughly a year ago, to find out that several UN Special Procedures mandate-holders (independent UN human rights experts), were receiving substantial financial contributions from governments, and even from private foundations, and that many of those contributions are made without any kind of formal financial oversight or transparency. I therefore decided to look further into this issue, having already published a report (February 2020) on similar concerns in the European human rights system (‘NGOs and the Judges of the ECHR, 2009 - 2019’). We started the research by analysing the financial declarations published annually between 2015 and…
previous URG Insights
Report of the 31st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Serious Human Rights Concerns and Situation in Afghanistan
by the URG team
On Tuesday 24 August 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a special session to address the ‘serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan’. The special session was requested via an official letter dated 17 August 2021 and signed by H.E. Khalil Hashmi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva, in his capacity as Coordinator of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues, as well as H.E. Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the UN in Geneva. This letter, addressed to…
‘Who controls the present controls the past’: Identity politics and the right to education
by Courtney Halverson, URG NYC
Education is often described as the ‘great equalizer’.The right to education can propel people of all ages towards better futures through the inherent understanding of their own and others’ inviolable rights. History education in particular helps children understand the foundations of the State and society in which their rights are exercised, and yet, as can be seen with political issues with the history of the Srebrenica genoicde in Bosnia and the partisan divide over ‘critical race theory’ in the US, historical education cannot be assumed to be immune from manipulation or politicization. The dangers the world presently faces only magnify…
No longer stuck in limbo: the Shona people of Kenya receive national identification cards
by Kerry Pearson, Universal Rights Group
The challenge of statelessness has pervaded the international community for decades, with the UNHCR estimating that 12 million people currently hold no nationality. Stateless persons are often subjected to human rights violations, inhibiting their access to education, health services, employment, and economic security. Kenya has battled with this challenge since the early 1960s, when the Shona community, originating from Southern Africa, came to the country as missionaries. Many missed the deadline to obtain citizenship or were unable to register due to the post-independence constitution disallowing people not of Kenyan descent to be registered as citizens. In what is a progressive achievement…
Locked up and locked down: how persons in detention have been left behind during COVID-19
by Kerry Pearson, Universal Rights Group
While the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated global health disparities, the group that has arguably been impacted the most is persons in detention. As the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), which supervises compliance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, has pointed out, ‘persons deprived of their liberty comprise a particularly vulnerable group’. Nowhere has this been more prominent than during the pandemic. For one, hard-won progress in the reduction of COVID-19 cases in parts of the developed world has been a result of, inter alia, the quick rollout of vaccination campaigns as well as social distancing,…
latest policy report
Human rights in the digital age: Making digital technology work for human rightsThe seventh Glion Human Rights Dialogue (Glion VII), organised by the Governments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the Universal Rights Group (URG), in partnership with the…
previous policy reports
Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship - The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimesIn her first address to the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) Third Committee as High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018, Michelle Bachelet urged States…
#The time is now - The case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environmentThis 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…
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 pandemicOn 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 Istanbul Process is the dedicated mechanism for follow-up on the implementation of the action plan set out in Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief.
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Impact OSS is a data management tool designed to help States manage recommendations received from the UN's human rights mechanisms, coordinate implementation across government, as well as between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the State; and facilitate streamlined reporting back to the UN.
environment-rights.org is a resource portal for environment human rights defenders, inspiring individuals working at the interface of environmental protection and human rights - often at great personal risk. The portal provides access to local support networks and international protection, reminding environmental defenders that they are not alone.