Report on the 48th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 48th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC48 ) was held from Monday 13 September to Monday 11 October 2021. On 13 September, H.E. Michelle Bachelet presented her global update on the human rights situation around the world, followed by her report on Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and oral updates on Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Sri Lanka. An enhanced …

Locked up and locked down: how persons in detention have been left behind during COVID-19

by Kerry Pearson, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

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 [1] , has pointed out, ‘persons deprived of their liberty comprise a particularly vulnerable group’. Nowhere has this been more …

Statement by Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Mr Marc Limon Executive Director, Universal Rights Group on the passing of Prof. Christof Heyns

by the URG team and URG Chair News, Prensa, URG News

Everyone at the Universal Rights Group (URG), board members and staff, are shocked and greatly saddened by the news that our friend and colleague, Professor Christof Heyns, passed away yesterday (28 March 2021). Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Christof was a giant of the human rights world. He allied a brilliant mind with a fierce determination …

Report on the 46th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 46th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC46) was held from Monday 22nd February to Wednesday 24th March. As it is the main annual session of the Council, HRC46 began with a High-Level Segment (HLS). The 2021 HLS included speeches by 130 States and other dignitaries, including: H.E. Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr …

Argentina passes landmark law to legalise abortion: A step forward to realising women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Latin America

by Renata Politi, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

In the last days of 2020, Latin America and the international community at large witnessed a historic moment for women’s rights as Argentina passed a landmark law to decriminalise abortion. With 38 votes in favour, 29 against, and one abstention, the Senate approved a law that made Argentina the largest Latin American country to legalise abortion. Previously, the procedure was only permitted …

Report on the 75th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary During the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Third Committee, tasked with addressing human rights issues and concerns, ran from 5 October – 20 November at UN Headquarters in New York, and online (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). This year’s Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human …

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

by Geneva Beyond the Council, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms, Policy reports, Reportes

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 as that system has existed, commentators have questioned the degree to which it is capable of, and is succeeding in, securing real-world change – i.e. demonstrable improvements in the on-the-ground enjoyment of human rights. According …

Report on the 45th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

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 …

How UN recognition of the right to water and sanitation has informed efforts to secure universal recognition of the right to a healthy, clean and sustainable environment

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

At the end of July, the world celebrated the tenth anniversary of the universal recognition of the right to water and sanitation by the UN General Assembly (GA). To mark the occasion the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Léo Heller, issued a statement (which can be read here) in which he hailed this …

UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights goes out guns blazing against failure to address poverty

by Steven L. B. Jensen Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

‘The world is at an existential crossroads.’ These are the opening words in the outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston’s final report to the UN Human Rights Council submitted in July 2020. Professor Philip Alston, one of the world’s most distinguished human rights experts, used his five-year tenure to put a spotlight on the …