UN Human Rights Council 2013 condemns crackdown on Human Rights Defenders

September 28, 2013

Michael Ineichen of the International  Service for Human Rights [ISHR] in its Monitor of 27 September 2013 welcomes the adoption of a Resolution by the UN Human Rights Council which condemns the global crackdown on civil society and calls on all ISHR-logo-colour-highgovernments to protect and support the work of non-governmental organisations and human rights defenders. In a resolution adopted that day, entitled ‘Civil society space’, the UN Human Rights Council says it is ‘deeply concerned’ at the use and misuse of laws on NGO registration and funding, and even, in some instances, those on ‘national security and counter-terrorism’ to ‘hinder the work and endanger the safety of civil society’.  The Council’s resolution was adopted in Geneva as the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, expressed similar concerns at a high-level meeting in New York. ‘We are seeing a rise in laws that restrict the activities of human rights defenders,’ said Mr Ki-moon. ‘We are seeing new ways to impede their work – through over-reaching anti-terrorism and national security legislation; measures relating to public morals, or defamation; laws requiring registration and funding of associations; and new rules regulating Internet access.’  Welcoming the resolution, ISHR’s Michael Ineichen  ‘International law requires governments to support and enable the work of NGOs and human rights defenders. Mature governments recognise that such work contributes to peace, good governance and economic prosperity’. In addition to calling on governments to ‘create and maintain, in law and in practice, a safe and enabling environment in which civil society can operate free from hindrance and insecurity’, the resolution also calls on the United Nations itself to treat the creation and protection of civil society space as a global priority.

The resolution was developed and led by a group of countries including Ireland, Chile, Japan, Sierra Leone and Tunisia. It was strongly supported by others, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom. The final resolution was passed by consensus despite vocal opposition by States that are known for their repressive policies towards civil society and human rights defenders, including Pakistan, Cuba, Ethiopia and Venezuela. Brazil showed principled support for civil society, voting against all of the hostile amendments, and speaking in favour of the resolution, while several States including India spoke against the resolution.

via Worlds leading human rights body condemns civil society crackdown | International Service for Human Rights.


4 Responses to “UN Human Rights Council 2013 condemns crackdown on Human Rights Defenders”

  1. […] UN Human Rights Council 2013 condemns crackdown in Human Rights Defenders (thoolen.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] UN Human Rights Council 2013 condemns crackdown in Human Rights Defenders (thoolen.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] UN Human Rights Council 2013 condemns crackdown in Human Rights Defenders (thoolen.wordpress.com) […]

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