What the Human Rights Council did on HRDs in March 2015

April 7, 2015

For those (few, I hope) who do not regularly read the Human Rights Monitor of the ISHR, here is a wrap-up of the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in relation to human rights defenders:ISHR-logo-colour-high

5 Resolutions adopted:

  1. Resolution: Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law  
    By a vote of 35 yes to 12 abstentions, but without negative vote, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on ‘Human rights, democracy and rule of law’ which creates a forum on that topic in Geneva every two years…more  
  2. Resolution: Guaranteeing a human rights perspective in the General Assembly debate on the world drug problem
    The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, which was passed by the Council without a vote, guaranteeing that a human rights perspective will be contemplated at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem next April…more 
  3. Resolution: Renewal of mandate of Special Rapporteur on the Islamic Republic of Iran
    In a resolution adopted by a vote of 20 in favour, 11 against and 16 abstentions, the Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year. The Council also called for the Iranian Government’s full cooperation with the Special Rapporteur…more 
  4. Resolution: Renewal of mandate of Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
    resolution to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and the, recognition of human rights violations faced by human rights defenders…more 
  5. Resolution: Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy established
    The adoption of the resolution, without a vote, creating a new Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. This mandate marks a significant step forwards in addressing human rights violations related to surveillance and other privacy related abuses…more 

In addition to the last mandate, the Council also established a new Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights of persons with albinism.

Three other country-specific mandates were renewed:

  • The mandate of the Special Rapporteur of the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was extended for a period of one year.
  • The mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Mali was extended for a period of one year.
  • The mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic was extended for a period of one year.

New Mandate Holders

  • Albert Kwokwo Barume (Democratic Republic of the Congo), as the African member of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Idriss Jazairy (Algeria), as the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.
  • Rhona Smith (United Kingdom), as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.
  • Dante Pesce (Chile), as the Latin American and Caribbean Member of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Reports by independent experts on the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Mali and Iraq were considered by the Human Right Council…more

ISHR and 18 leading human rights organisations called on Member States of the Human Rights Council to reject a proposed counter-terrorism resolution that would undermine civil society and respect for human rights. [Also the report of the Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism, Ben Emmerson, was deferred following his request for an extension. Reluctantly granting this request, the President of the Council wrote ‘As President of the Human Rights Council, I must urge you to honor your reporting obligations to the Council in order to allow for the implementation of the annual calendar of thematic resolutions, to strengthen transparency and predictability, as well as to ensure that there is no protection gap.’]

Finally a group of leading human rights NGOs called on States to resist attempts to fetter the independence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in an important statement to the Human Rights Council on which I will report separately.

Human Rights Monitor – April.

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