Alert for the 30th session of the Human Rights Council this September... more
Defenders of economic, social and cultural rights should not be 'second class'
By Miloon Kothari, President of UPR Info and former UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing
The work of defenders protecting economic, social and cultural rights is critically important and threats faced as a consequence of this work are cross-cutting. But a dangerous imbalance is emerging as the UN and international community focus concerns on the protection of defenders of civil and political rights... more
human rights defender profile
SORAYA AZIZ SOULEYMANE: BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER FROM THE DRC
Soraya Aziz Souleymane, Deputy Field Office Director of The Carter Center’s Mining Governance Program in the Democratic Republic of Congo, speaks to ISHR about her role as part of the new generation of young activists and NGO workers dedicated to seeing their country reach its potential... more
our work to support human rights defenders
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: STATES SHOULD ACT TO END ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES OF ESC RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Human rights defenders advocating in relation to land-grabbing, corporate accountability, indigenous rights, labour rights, and other economic, social and cultural rights issues are at increased risk of enforced disappearance, according to a new UN report... more
CHINA: FREE THE LAWYERS/解放律师
ISHR calls on the UN human rights mechanisms to pay heightened attention to political cases of detention and disappearance in China as the Government continues to crackdown on defenders... more
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
BAHRAIN: STOP JUDICIAL HARASSMENT AGAINST ACTIVISTS
FIDH calls on the Bahraini authorities to stop harassing and restricting the freedom of association of defenders, including Maytham Al Salman. Al Salman, known for promoting freedom of expression and association, was arrested when returning from a UN conference on hate speech... more
SUDAN: STOP arbitrary detention of OPPOSITION VOICES
Human Rights Watch called on the Sudanese Government to stop detaining members of the opposition party, following the arrest and interrogation of at least 17 people affiliated with the Sudanese Congress Party in August... more
DEFENDER CONVICTED FOR OVER FIVE YEARS IN AZERBAIJANI PRISON
Front Line Defenders condemns the Supreme Court’s decision to sentence Anar Mammadli, chairman of the Baku-based Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre, to five-and-a-half years in prison in connection with his legitimate human rights work as an election monitor... more
KAZAKHSTANI HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER ARBITRARILY ARRESTED
Front Line Defenders expressed concern over the arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights lawyer, Ermek Narymbaev, known for his involvement in exposing financial fraud in Kazakhstan. Mr Narymbaev was arrested for demonstrations that never took place... more
PEACEFUL PROTESTORS FACE AGGRESSION IN LEBANON
On August 22 in Beirut, protestors calling for a ‘sustainable solution to Lebanon’s waste disposal problem’ were subject to disproportionate violence from security forces... more
BANGLADESH: TWO JOURNALISTS IN PRISON
FIDH calls on Bangladeshi authorities to immediately cease harassment of journalists, including Probir Sikdar and Shaukat Mahmud who were arbitrarily arrested in connection with articles critical of the Government... more
SYRIA FINALLY RELEASES PROMINENT HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER
Following more than three years in prison and being subject to acts of torture, prominent Syrian human rights defender, Mazen Darwish director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, has been released... more
OPPORTUNITIES FOR NGO ENGAGEMENT
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
The 30th regular session of the Council will be held from 14 September to 2 October at Palais des Nations. Information and updates will be published here.
The Council will consider the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of 15 States, including Honduras, Jamaica, Liberia, Libya, the Maldives and the United States of America, among others.
ISHR prepared briefing papers on the situation of human rights defenders in these countries to assist States and other stakeholders to formulate questions and recommendations for the reviews:
The 23rd UPR session will take place from 2 to 13 November 2015. The following States will be reviewed (with those in relation to which ISHR has prepared a briefing paper in bold and hyperlinked): Micronesia, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nauru, Rwanda, Nepal, Saint Lucia, Oman, Austria, Myanmar, Australia, Georgia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Sao Tome and Principe.
The following States will be reviewed at the 25th session of the UPR which will be held in April / May 2016: Suriname, Greece, Samoa, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Hungary, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Antigua and Barbuda, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand and Ireland. Guidelines for submissions are found here. Submissions are due by 21 September (tentative).
Information about the UPR mechanism can be found here.
The 115th session of the Human Rights Committee will be held from 19 October to 6 November and will consider the following State reports: Austria, Benin, Greece, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, San Marino and Suriname. The programme of work and other information is found here.
The OPCAT Special Fund accepts project applications regarding recommendations made by the Sub-Committee on prevention of Torture due by 16 October.
The 9th session of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances will take place from 7 to 18 September. The Committee will consider the reports of Iraq and Montenegro and lists of issues for Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Tunisia. The programme of work is available here.
The 56th session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will be held from 21 September to 9 October. The Committee will analyse the following State reports: Burundi, Greece, Guyana, Iraq, Italy, Morocco and Sudan. The programme of work can be found here and the accreditation form here.
The 62nd session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will take place from 26 October to 20 November. The reports of the following States parties are scheduled to be considered: Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Timor-Leste, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. The Provisional Agenda can be accessed here and the Programme of Work here.
If you are unable to attend relevant treaty body meetings, you can now watch them live online. A group of Geneva-based NGOs, including ISHR, has coordinated to make this possible. The webcasts can be viewed here.
CASE NOTES ON DECISIONS FROM INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS BODIES - MERITS DECISIONS
Sudalenko v. Belarus (1992/2010)
The Human Rights Committee found that Belarus was under obligation to provide a candidate for the opposition in the 2007 Gomel Region Council elections with an effective remedy for repeatedly violating his right to peaceful assembly and right to be elected in a public office... more
Khadzhiev v. Turkmenistan (2079/2011)
The Human Rights Committee found Turkmenistan in breach of the the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for ill-treatment of political activists in detention... more
our work to strengthen laws and systems
SUDAN: HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL MUST NOT LET IMPUNITY PREVAIL
The UN Human Rights Council must not allow impunity for gross human rights violations and further deterioration in the human rights situation in Sudan to continue, a coalition of NGOs including ISHR said in an open letter... more
LATIN AMERICA: WAR ON DRUGS SHOULD NOT INDUCE WAR ON DEFENDERS
ISHR calls on States to consult human rights defenders when developing laws and policies to tackle organised crime and drugs problems, and to sanction authorities who defame activists through smear campaigns... more
LAW SHOULD HELP NOT HINDER DEFENCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN KAZAKHSTAN
ISHR urges the Human Rights Committee to call on Kazakhstan to lift overbearing State legislation and other limitations that severely restrict freedom of expression and assembly, human rights monitoring and advancement... more
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE: DEMAND GUATEMALA PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS
Guatemala must be called on to tackle violent attacks, repression and impunity for violations against corporate accountability activists, ISHR told the Human Rights Committee... more
CAMBODIA: DETERIORATING SITUATION NEEDS STRONG COUNCIL ACTION, SAY NGOS
ISHR calls on the Human Rights Council to continue its attention on Cambodia in light of a worsening crackdown on civil society and backsliding on democratic progress... more
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS MUST BE AT CORE OF TREATY PROCESS AND OUTCOMES
States must do more to ensure NGO and defender participation in the intergovernmental working group on a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises, particularly given that defenders working on violations related to business are some of the most at-risk in the world... more
CHINA: JOINT NGO LETTER CALLS ON STATES TO SPEAK OUT AT THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
The opening day of the Council will mark the two year anniversary of Cao Shunli’s disappearance from Beijing Airport, en route to Geneva. In light of China’s continued crackdown on defenders, the international community must call on China to ensure failures to meet its human rights obligations are promptly addressed, says ISHR... more
NGOS CALL ON CÔTE D’IVOIRE TO STRENGTHEN ITS FOREIGN POLICY ON HUMAN RIGHTS
An NGO advocacy mission to Côte d’Ivoire, a current candidate for a second consecutive term as member of the UN Human Rights Council, encouraged the Government to strengthen and advance human rights through its foreign policy... more
IS THE U.S. GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS?
The U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct provides an opportunity for the country to adopt meaningful initiatives to protect the role of defenders and civil society in ensuring corporate accountability... more
HONDURAN GOVERNMENT AGREES TO CONSULT ACTIVISTS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF LAW
Fears the Honduran Government would pass critical regulations on the protection of activists and journalists without input by civil society may have eased, following decisive action by civil society... more
MEXICAN LAW IS FAILING TO PROTECT ACTIVISTS AND JOURNALISTS
A damning new report shows that three years since a protection law was created in Mexico, there has been no improvement in the protection of activists and journalists. The Mexican Government needs to pursue the law’s proper and effective implementation... more
CONFERENCES AND EVENTS
ISHR side event on national laws and policies
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
3.30pm - 5:00pm
Palais des Nations, Room XXI, Geneva Event details here
The City of Geneva and the Martin Ennals Foundation are co-hosting the 2015 Martin Ennals Award Ceremony. Often regarded as the ‘Nobel Prize for Human Rights’, the Laureate is selected by the Jury of the Martin Ennals Award, made up of ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations. The event will take place on 6 October at 6.00pm, at Uni-Dufour, Geneva...more
GENEVA PEACE TALKS 2015
Interpeace, in partnership with United Nations Office at Geneva and Geneva Peacebuilding Platform is hosting the Geneva Peace Talks 2015. Speakers from diverse backgrounds, including violent environments, will explain their contribution to peace building efforts around the world. The event will take place on 18 September, from 4.30 to 6pm in Room XIX, Palais des Nations. Registration opened on 17 August... more
Submission on the world drug problem and defenders' rights in Latin America
A submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights co-written by ISHR and Peace Brigades International Mexico, demonstrates that changes must be made to drugs policy and human rights defender protection policy to adequately protect defenders. The report focuses on the situation in Mexico and includes specific examples from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras, as well as general conclusions taken from ISHR’s Latin America consultations... more
SUBMISSION TO THE U.S. ON ITS BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
CRIMES COMMITTED WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
‘The Accountability Landscape in Eastern DRC’ was recently published by the International Center for Transitional Justice. The report analyses the response of Congolese judicial authorities to international crimes committed in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2009 to 2014. It points out that several atrocities committed remain without investigation and prosecution.
SOUTH SUDAN: REPORT ON THE HARM CAUSED DURING ARMED CONFLICTS