Inside Track: HRC54

by Geneva

Inside Track: HRC54

Inside Track HRC54 looks ahead at the 54th regular session of the Council, which runs from Monday, 11 September to Friday, 13 October 2023. It aims to provide those interested in the Council’s work with an at-a-glance brief on what to expect from HRC54: the key issues, debates, and questions that are expected to keep delegates busy; the country situations that will require the Council’s attention; and the draft resolutions that will be negotiated and voted upon.

Inside Track is produced by the Universal Rights Group with the support of the Permanent Mission of Singapore.

  • HRC54 will last five weeks, which means that it will be the longest September session in the Council’s history. This is due to the absence of scheduled lunchtime sessions, but also due to the increased number of initiatives, such as interactive dialogues and panel debates.
  • On 11th September, Mr. Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, will open HRC54 with an oral update on the human rights situation around the world. This oral update together with other country specific oral updates given by the High Commissioner will provide the basis for the general debate under Item 2 on 12th and 13th September.
  • During the session, the Council will consider country-specific reports submitted by the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General covering human rights issues in, inter alia: Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Haiti, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Yemen. Additionally, the High Commissioner will also deliver an oral update on Belarus, Ukraine, and Sudan.
  • The Council will also consider the High Commissioner’s and Secretary General’s reports on thematic issues, including inter alia:
    • Good practices and challenges in the application of a human rights-based approach to the elimination of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity
    • The rights of the child and inclusive social protection
    • Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    • Regional seminars on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights
    • Promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers through transformative change for racial justice and equality
    • Question of the death penalty
    • Right to development
    • Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights
    • Human rights of migrants
  • The Council will hold the following interactive dialogues. In accordance with HRC/PRST/OS/13/1 all the Interactive Dialogues will be individual.
    • 20 interactive dialogues with Special Procedures mandate holders (14 thematic and six country-specific) including those dealing with: arbitrary detention; enforced disappearances; hazardous substances and wastes; international order; mercenaries; older persons; people of African Descent (two interactive dialogues); right to development; rights of Indigenous Peoples; slavery; truth, justice and reparation; unilateral coercive measures; water and sanitation; Afghanistan; Burundi; Cambodia; Central African Republic; Russian Federation; and Somalia.
    • Five interactive dialogues with investigative mechanisms, including the team of international experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia; the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar; the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic; and the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

    • Ten interactive dialogues with the High Commissioner or his Office on human rights in Belarus; economic, social and cultural rights and COVID-19 recovery; technical assistance and capacity-building to improve the human rights situation in Haiti; the situation of human rights in Myanmar; promotion and protection of human rights in Nicaragua; religious hatred; technical assistance and capacity-building for South Sudan; promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka; situation of human rights in the Sudan; and cooperation with and assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights.

    • Two enhanced interactive dialogues with the High Commissioner and the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in Law Enforcement, and on the report of the High Commissioner and experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    • One interactive dialogue with the Advisory Committee.

    • One interactive dialogue with the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights.

  • The Council is expected to act on around 30 draft resolutions. The deadline for submitting draft resolutions has been set at 1 PM on 4th October 2023.

  • Additionally, the Council is expected to appoint twelve new mandate-holders to Special Procedures, including the Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, the human rights of migrants, the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy, the rights of persons with disabilities, human rights and international solidarity, protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, three members of the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls (one from the African Group, one from the Asia-Pacific Group, one from the Eastern European Group, and one from the Western European and other States Group), and a member of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries (from the Eastern European Group). More information on the appointment process and the candidates can be found here.

  • The Council will elect seven members of the Advisory Committee at the 54th session (two from the African States, two from the Asia-Pacific States, one from the Eastern European States, one from the Latin American and Caribbean States, and one from the Western European and other States).

For the full draft programme of work for HRC54, please click here.

Find the English version of the Inside Track here.

The French version of the Inside Track will be available here.