The Monthly Resource Update provides information on current human rights-related news including developments, resources, announcements, publications, events and vacancies. Please find below links to PDF version available for print.
UNITED NATIONS NEWS
10 DECEMBER 2014 / MARKING INTERNATIONAL OBSERVANCE, UN DECLARES ‘EVERY DAY IS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY’: 10 December – The universal reach of human rights should not be restricted to one day alone but extended to every day of the year, top United Nations officials declared today as they marked Human Rights Day – an annual UN-backed event commemorating the date on which the General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN Human Rights Policy network published a Special Edition featuring the events and initiatives that colleagues throughout the UN system did to celebrate Human Rights this year. The HuriTALK Human Rights Day Special Editions is available here. Read more here. Read the UN Secretary-Generals message here. Read the UN Rights Chiefs statement here.
10 DECEMBER 2014 / UN AGENCIES ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AFFECTING MIGRANTS, ASYULM-SEEKER AND REFUGEES: A number of UN Agencies including UNHCR, IOM, IMO, UNODC and OHCR have released a joint statement that expressed deep concern about the loss of life, injury, trauma and serious human rights violations affecting migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees traveling by sea. The statement further calls on closer cooperation between States of origin, transit and destination, and other relevant actors, to reduce the loss of life at sea, and in addressing the drivers of dangerous sea journeys, as well as ensuring that responses by States upon arrival and disembarkation uphold human rights and dignity. Read more here.
25 NOVEMBER 2014 / INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: UN SOUNDS ALARM TO END ‘GLOBAL PANDEMIC’ OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as the world body marked the International Day to End Violence against Women. Speaking at an Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) event at Headquarters he said that “violence against women and girls does not emerge from nowhere. It is simply the most extreme example of the political, financial, social and economic oppression of women and girls worldwide.” Read more here. Read the UN Secretary-Generals full statement here.
20 NOVEMBER 2014 / UN CHAMPIONS CHILDREN AS ‘FUNDAMENTAL BUILDING BLOCK,’ MARKING 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF HISTORIC TREATY: As countries around the world celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations family today hailed the landmark treaty as a powerful human rights tool, while taking stock of the long-standing disparities that must be addressed to propel actions for the well-being of all children into the future. Opening a high-level meeting this morning at UN Headquarters in New York, the President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, underscored that the Convention is a collective commitment to ensure that every child worldwide has the right to a fair start in life, calling on Member States to safeguard that such rights are fully reflected in the post-2015 development agenda. Read more here.
NEWS FROM THE HUMAN RIGHTS BODIES
17 DECEMBER 2014 / UN SPECIAL PROCEDURES URGE THE WORLD BANK TO RECOGNIZE THE CENTRAL IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS TO ITS DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL POLICIES: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, has urged the World Bank to recognize the central importance of human rights to its draft environmental and social policies which apply to its investment project financing. The draft Safeguards policies were released by the Bank in July for public consultation, as part of the multi-stage review. “The draft Safeguards seem to go out of their way to avoid any meaningful references to human rights,” Mr. Alston stressed, in a joint letter, dated 12 December 2014, to World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, together with a group of twenty-seven other independent experts of the largest fact-finding and monitoring mechanism of the UN human rights system. The UN experts signaled that the move away from a requirements-based Safeguards system to an aspirational one represents a clear dilution of existing protections, as does the significant delegation of responsibilities from the Bank to other actors. Read more here. Read the joint letter addressed to the World Bank here.
9 DECEMBER 2014 / SPECIAL PROCEDURES MANDATE HOLDERS JOINT STATEMENT MAKING CRITICAL LINK BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN RIGHTS: The largest body of independent experts in the United Nations Human Rights system urged all Governments around the world to integrate human rights standards and principles in the current negotiations taking place at the Lima Climate Change Conference (1-12 December 2014), and in the agreement to be adopted in Paris in 2015. In a joint statement issued in Geneva ahead of Human Rights Day (10 December 2014), the group of 76 human human rights experts urged the UN member States to ensure that the principle of climate justice is at the core of climate change governance. Read more here. Read the full statement by the Coordination Committee of international experts in Spanish here and in English here.
8 DECEMBER 2014 / HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENTS AND THE THEME OF THE 2015 HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON HUMAN RIGHTS MAINSTREAMING: The Human Rights Council elected its new bureau for 2015 at an organizational meeting appointing Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva, to serve as its President for a term beginning on 1 January 2015. The 47 members of the Human Rights Council also decided that the theme for the 2015 high-level panel on human rights mainstreaming, to be held during the upcoming 28th regular session of the Council on 3 March 2015, will be “strengthening of international cooperation in the field of human rights.” Read more here.
5 NOVEMBER 2014 / UN RIGHTS PANELS OUTLINE STATES’ OBLIGATION TO PREVENT HARMFUL PRACTICES ON WOMEN, GIRLS: For the first time, two United Nations human rights committees have joined forces to issue a comprehensive interpretation of the obligations of States to prevent and eliminate harmful practices inflicted on women and girls, such as female genital mutilation, crimes committed in the name of so-called honour, forced and child marriage, and polygamy. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) released the Joint General Recommendation/General Comment. The objective of the General Recommendation/General Comment is to clarify the obligations of States parties to the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read more here. Access the full text of the CEDAW General Recommendation/CRC General Comment (CEDAW/C/GC/31/CRC/C/GC/18) here.
3 NOVEMBER 2014 / CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY – UN RIGHTS EXPERT URGES UNIVERSAL RATIFICATION: As the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of an international legal framework to prevent torture and other types of inhumane treatment or punishment approaches, a United Nations rights expert urged the committee charged with monitoring its implementation to use the momentum garnered in the celebrations to accelerate efforts to move towards universal ratification of the treaty. Ibrahim Salama, Director of the Human Rights Treaties Division of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), stressed that events to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, should be seen as opportunities to address the achievements and challenges in the promotion of universal ratification and in the implementation of the Convention’s provisions by State parties. Read more here.
UN WORK IN FOCUS
25 NOVEMBER – 10 DECEMBER / UN AGENCIES CAMPAIGN REINFORCES THAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE: UN Agencies, Programmes and Funds participated in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, an international campaign, from November 25 (International Day Against Violence against Women) and that culminated on December 10 (International Human Rights Day) to reinforce the fact that violence against women is a human rights issue. UN WOMEN, WHO, UNDP, UNFPA and OHCHR were amongst the UN Agencies that lead efforts and events about violence against women and girls around the world. This year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invited the public to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood,” between 25 November and 10 December 2014. Read more here. Read the WHO’s 16 facts on violence against women here; read more on the events lead by UN Women and UNDP in Albania here; and read the stories of courageous women from around the world shared by OHCHR here.
AWARDS, LEARNING AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
COURSE / INDIGENOUS STUDIES SUMMER PROGRAM ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS AND POLICY / COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, 26 MAY – 6 JUNE: The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race is accepting applications from researchers, professionals, practitioners, and advanced students who wish to participate in an intensive two-week summer immersion program that provides an overview and analysis of the major questions in indigenous affairs today, as they have emerged globally in the last decades. The program has an interdisciplinary approach and incorporates lectures and workshops on the most recent and innovative academics research and policy debates on indigenous peoples’ issues. The deadline for applications is 9 January 2015. More information is available here.
ONLINE COURSE / GENDER AND HUMAN RIGHTS / HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION ASSOCIATES – Online, 29 April – 9 June 2015 (Shared, with thanks, by Nate Weisenberg): This e-learning course provides a general introduction to the evolution of concepts of gender equality and women’s rights within the international human rights system. The deadline for applications is 1 February 2015. Further information on this course including registration is here.
PROGRAM / FOUR FREEDOMS SUMMER PROGRAM / HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION ASSOCIATES, 23 June – 10 July 2015 (Shared, with thanks, by Frank Elbers): The Four Freedoms Summer Program is an annual series of human rights courses for students and practitioners that encapsulates the Roosevelt’s’ fundamental values of human rights and global citizenship. The first edition will take place at the UCR campus in Middelburg, the Netherlands from 23 June-10 July 2015. The deadline for applications for all of the course in the Summer Program is 1 April 2015. You can learn more about the Four Freedoms Summer Program here.
RESOURCES: WEBSITE, GUIDES AND TOOLS
GUIDE / GUIDE FOR LITIGATORS ON USING EQUALITY STRATEGIES TO ADVANCE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS / EQUAL RIGHTS TRUST: The Equal Rights Trust launched Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A Litigator’s Guide to Using Equality and Non-Discrimination Strategies to Advance Economic and Social Rights which seeks to identify equality and non-discrimination strategies that NGOs, lawyers and activists may employ in seeking to advance economic and social rights (ESRs) before courts. It also includes a compendium of useful cases in which equality and non-discrimination concepts and approaches have been employed to advance ESRs. Read more here.
GUIDE / PRACTITIONERS’ GUIDE ON THE ADJUDICATION OF ESCR AT NATIONAL LEVEL / INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS: The guide aims to inspire and help judges and lawyers working at national level to litigate cases involving economic, social and cultural rights. It aims at giving examples from a large variety of countries and jurisdictions of how courts and other bodies have dealt with the adjudication of these rights. Chapter two of the guide examines ESC rights under international law and the role of judicial and quasi-judicial bodies. It also addresses issues that legal practitioners are faced with at the different phases of litigation, from initiating a case and evidence building to the provision of remedies and the enforcement of judicial decisions. Read more here.
TOOL / FRAMEWORK OF ANALYSIS FOR ATROCITY CRIMES – A TOOL FOR PREVENTION / UN OFFICE ON GENOCIDE PREVENTION AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT (Shared, with thanks, by Claudia Diaz): The Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes is an early warning tool to support the assessment of the risk of atrocity crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) in all parts of the world and in identifying those countries most at risk. It was developed after broad consultation and extensive research into the processes that lead to those crimes including on massive and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law of ethnic and racial origin that, if not prevented or halted, might lead to genocide. To be effective, assessments require the systematic collection of accurate and reliable information based on the risk factors and indicators that the Framework identifies. Read more here.
GUIDEBOOK / PROMOCAO DOS DIREITOS HUMANOS DE PESSOAS LGBT NO MUNDO DO TRABALHO [PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS OF LGBT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD OF WORK] / ILO, UNAIDS AND UNDP BRAZIL (Shared, with thanks, by Anna Boelens): The guidebook centers around four stories of the discrimination and stigma LGBT individuals have faced in the workplace, and is focused on creating inclusive corporate policies and fighting discrimination. Read more here.
REPORTS, ARTICLES AND BOOKS
NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2014 / ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS BULLETIN / OHCHR (Shared, with thanks, by Bahram Ghazi): The ESCR Bulletin includes information on OHCHR’s activities in the field and headquarters, examples of case laws and policies at international and national level and useful tools, publications and multimedia material on the promotion and protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Highlights include a snapshot of OHCHR’s work on the human rights concerns arising from the national response to Ebola in Liberia and a workshop on land and women human rights defenders in Cambodia. Read more here.
ARTICLE – 28 DECEMBER 2014 / HAVE HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES FAILED? / THE NEW YORK TIMES: This Op Ed article from the New York Times poses the question of whether international human rights treaties work to protect vulnerable populations, or should they be abandoned in favor of other measures? Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch and Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School both offer their insights to this question. Read more here.
ARTICLE – 7 NOVEMBER 2014 / THE TWO WORDS THAT SCARE THE WORLD BANK / The Washington Post: Philip Alston is the U.N. Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Does it matter that the lead source of funding for, and thinking about, world development won’t go near human rights with a 10-foot pole? World Bank President Jim Yong Kim spoke eloquently last month about the bank’s new commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 and improve the plight of the poorest 40 percent in developing countries. In a speech at Howard University, he called for gender equity and access for the poor to food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, health care, education and jobs. But because of the bank’s long-standing aversion to discussing human rights, he never once used that forbidden phrase. Read more here.
ARTICLE – 31 OCTOBER 2014 / ANOTHER WOMEN’S TREATY? IMPLEMENT EXISTING ONE, SAY NGOs / INTER PRESS SERVICE: Can violence against women be prevented or eliminated with a new international treaty signed and ratified by the 193 member states of the United Nations? Rashida Manjoo of South Africa, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, told the General Assembly last week the absence of a legally binding agreement represents one of the obstacles to the promotion and protection of women’s rights and gender equality. Read more here.
NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2014 / HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY DIVISION NEWSLETTER NO. 25 / OHCHR (Shared, with thanks, by Ibrahim Salama): The Human Rights Treaties Division Newsletter is a quarterly publication on the latest developments and activities of the United Nations human rights treaty body system. This issue features an interview with the outgoing Member and former Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Christine Chanet, a piece on civil society coordination for effective engagement with the Committee against Torture, highlights of recent Treaty Body Jurisprudence from May-August 2014, and a piece on the Inquiry on Lebanon by the Committee against Torture. It also contains recent developments which include a number of General Comments. Read more here.
ARTICLE – 29 OCTOBER 2014 / UNITED NATIONS: NEED FOR RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO FOOD SECURITY / SOCIAL WATCH (Shared, with thanks, by Sarah Rattray): It is imperative that a Human Rights-based approach to food security is adopted in order to eliminate hunger and provide access to healthy, nutritious and affordable food for all, the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms Hilal Elver, has said. In her first report to the UN General Assembly (A/69/275), which is holding its sixty-ninth session in New York, the rights expert said that in order to advance the implementation of the right to adequate food, renewed political commitment is essential and stakeholders must look to those countries that have made significant progress in adopting policies and legislation in this regard. Read more here. The interim report (A/69/275) of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food can be read here.
HuriTALK NETWORK HAPPENINGS
QUERY / ROLE OF PARLIAMENTS IN SUPPORTING FOLLOW UP TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW (29 October – 14 November): Bui Phuong Tra, UNDP Vietnam and Constance Hybsier, Senior Technical Advisor for UNDP Vietnam (consultant) posted a query requesting experiences on engaging/working with parliaments in supporting the implementation of the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review. This query was cross-posted, with thanks, on the Coordination Practitioners’ network (CPN) and the Asia-Pacific Rights and Justice network (AP-A2J net). The Consolidated Reply is being finalized and will be shared with HuriTALK shortly.
QUERY: PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES OF IMPLMENTING THE THRIGH TO FOOD GUIDELINES (4 – 19 December): Serena Pepino, FAO posted a query to HuriTALK seeking practical experiences of implementing the Right to Food Guidelines. Contributions from this query will seek to inform and strengthen programming, especially the design of new Right to Food programmes and activities. Contributions are still welcome and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNITED NATIONS NEWS
22-23 SEPTEMBER 2014 / FIRST WORLD CONFERENCE ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES – INDIGENOUS PEOPLES CENTRAL TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT : The first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples was held from 22-23 September at UN headquarters in New York resulting in resounding support of the outcome document that seeks to strengthen realization of the rights of more than 370 million indigenous peoples globally. The outcome document underscored the United Nations’ role in promoting and protecting indigenous peoples’ rights, including in the development and implementation of national action plans, strategies and other measures that affect them, in order to achieve the objectives of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2007. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon stated that indigenous peoples were “central to human rights and global development discourse.” Read more here and here. The Outcome Document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples can be found here.
22 SEPTEMBER 2014 / INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT +20: HUMAN RIGHTS, DIGNITY MUST FORM CORNERSTONE OF FUTURE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) took place on 22 September at UN Headquarters in New York. The event marks the 20th anniversary of the ICPD, the 1994 conference in Cairo recognizing that sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and equal access to education are prerequisites for sustainable development. The Special Session brought together 120 presidents, heads of governments, ministers and other senior officials and affirmed their support of the ICPD agenda. Read more here.
8 SEPTEMBER 2014 / NEW HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF OUTLINES PRIOIRITIES OF HIS TENURE: In a far ranging speech to the Human Rights Council, the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zaid Ra’ad Al Hussein, spoke strongly on the continuing commitment of his Offices’ focus on the centrality of victims, the importance of the Secretary General’s Human Rights Up Front initiative to strengthen the human rights pillar of the UN and for integrating efforts in the field in addition to the role of human rights in the new development agenda. He stated “it is important – very important – that we continue to strengthen the human rights pillar of the UN system,” and that “societies that uphold human rights are more resilient, more sustainable and thus more secure.” He also reaffirmed that “the mandate of my Office encompasses all human rights, for all people. Its priorities span discrimination; the rule of law and ending impunity; poverty; violence; continuing efforts to improve international human rights mechanisms; and widening the democratic space.” Read the full speech here.
28 AUGUST 2014 / OUTGOING UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF REFLECTS ON HER WORK IN OFFICE AND WHAT IS STILL NEEDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: In a wide-ranging interview with the UN News Centre, Ms. Pillay reflected on her tenure, which came to a close on 31 August; the work of her office (OHCHR); and some of the challenges facing the international community today. In noting particular highlights of her time in office she stated, “I am very proud that we’ve addressed all issues, all rights of all persons. We’ve addressed discrimination on all grounds, various grounds that had not been addressed before, such as minorities, migrants, LGBT people, caste-based discrimination and people with albinism.” She also said, “I would say that not a single State can claim to have a perfect human rights record. There are issues of concern in every country in the world.” Read the full interview here.
19 AUGUST 2014 / WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY: REMEMBERING THE LIVES LOST IN SERVICE TO HUMAN RIGHTS: At a Memorial Ceremony in remembrance of those killed in the service of human rights on World Humanitarian Day, the High Commissioner said, “Time after time, we see similar acts of simple and unselfish courage by UN and NGO staff. They deliberately choose to walk into situations of intense volatility, discomfort and danger – places where many other people would certainly not choose to go. They do this in order to mitigate oppression, repair disaster and heal the scars of conflict. The motivations of these humanitarian workers are the universal values that underpin the work of the United Nations: justice, freedom, human rights, safety, integrity and the embrace of human diversity. They seek to improve the human condition, so that all human beings may live in freedom, equality and dignity.” Read more here.
NEWS FROM THE HUMAN RIGHTS BODIES:
26 September 2014 / HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONCLUDES 27TH SESSION – ADOPTS LANDMARK RESOLUTION ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY AND RESOLUTION ON CIVIL SOCIETY SPACE: The Human Rights Council concluded its 27th regular session on 26 September adopting 32 texts on a wide range of issues, its report for the session, as well as adopting a landmark resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. It expressed grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The Council also created a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, and resolutions on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria, on civil society space, and on foreign debt. Read more here and here. The OHCHR report (A/HRC/19/41) entitled “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity” is available here.
15 AUGUST 2014 / RESEARCH NEEDED ON ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN MAINSTREAMING HUMAN RIGHTS – HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADVISORY COMMITTEE CONCLUDES 13TH SESSION: The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee concluded its thirteenth session held in Geneva from 11 to 15 August 2014. The Committee adopted recommendations to the Human Rights Council to entrust it to drafting final reports on the role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights, including human rights mainstreaming in local administration and public services. It also decided to re-submit an earlier proposal on the possibility of establishing a universal human rights court. The Advisory Committee is a body of 18 independent experts who support the work and serve as a think-tank to the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was established in 2008 to provide studies and research-based advice, as requested by the Council, and meets twice annually. Read more here. Read more on possible universal court of human rights here.
23-27 JUNE 2014 / ANNUAL MEETING OF CHAIRPERSONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES CONSIDERS HOW TO IMPLEMENT STRENGHTENING HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODY SYSTEM: The annual meeting of Chairpersons of the United Nations human rights treaty bodies was held in Geneva on 23-27 June 2014. The Chairs considered how to implement General Assembly’s resolution (A/RES/68/268) on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system. The Chairs agreed that their respective treaty bodies should be encouraged to formulate recommendations that provide specific and actionable guidance for States parties on measures for implementing treaty obligations, including time-bound targets or any priorities, where relevant. They also underscored that simplified reporting procedures would help ensure effective participation of civil society organizations and national human rights institutions. Read more here. Read the General Assembly resolution A/RES/68/268 of 9 April 2014 on enhancing the human rights treaty body system here.
UN WORK IN FOCUS
26 SEPTEMBER 2014 / SYMPOSIUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS UP FRONT – PREVENTING HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS WORLDWIDE: On Friday, September 26th, the International Peace Institute together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cohosted the Seventh Annual Trygve Lie Symposium on Fundamental Freedoms, bringing together UN representatives, government officials, experts, and members of civil society to discuss how Human Rights Up Front can put human rights and civilian protection at the forefront of the UN agenda. Speaking at the event Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, said “this will be meaningful only also if it is relevant in the field and the Resident Coordinators, the Country Teams, that they also see the human rights dimension as operational.” Read more here and a video recording of the event is available here.
24 JULY 2014 / 5 MILLION WORKERS TO BE REACHED USING A RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO HEALTH CARE – UPDATE ON THE ILO AND WHO JOINT INITIATIVE AT ‘AIDS 2014’: Progress was shared on the VCT@WORK joint initiative of the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization in a session chaired by UNAIDS at the AIDS 2014 Conference on 24 July in Melbourne, Australia. By 2015, VCT@WORK seeks to provide access to quality voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services to 5 million women and men workers including HIV counseling and testing. HIV is driven by gender inequality and harmful gender norms compounded by poverty, discrimination and social exclusion. All partners in this initiative are committed to promote human and human rights-based approach to achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support. Results shared at the session showed that the initiative has reached over 1 million workers (63% men and 37% women) and has tested nearly 200,000 workers (67% men and 33% women) in 19 countries since it was launched in November 2013. Read more here. A video of the presentation can be viewed here. Additional resources can be found on Health and Human Rights on the HRBA Portal here.
AWARDS, LEARNING AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
COURSE / EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES / HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION ASSOCIATES (Online, 29 October – 9 December) (Shared by Nate Weisenberg, HREA): This e-learning course introduces staff members of (international) development agencies and NGOs to the legal frameworks protecting and governing education in emergencies. More than half the world’s permanently out-of-school children live in areas affected by emergencies, either natural disasters or armed conflict. Further information on this course including registration is available here.
COURSE / CHILD SAFEGUARDING / HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION ASSOCIATES (Online, 29 October – 9 December) (Shared by Nate Weisenberg, HREA): This e-learning course aims to equip professionals who hold responsibilities for implementing child safeguarding policies within their organisations with a basic understanding of the key issues, concepts and frameworks pertaining to child protection and safeguarding. It will help build the knowledge and skills to enable them to strengthen, develop and implement protection measures to keep their organisations safe for children. Further information on this course including registration is available here.
CONFERENCE / DEVELOPING A RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO TUBERCULOSIS (New Delhi, India 5-6 December, 2014): The conference aims to generate and promote thought, dialogue and policy actions on developing and implementing a rights-based approach to TB. The organizers hope to include stakeholders and partners from India and around the world. Participants will range across a number of disciplines and professions, including medical professionals, lawyers, academics, community members, policy makers, and others. Further information on the conference is available here.
CONFERENCE / “ADVANCING UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS CULTURE” – FIFTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION (IHREC) (Washington D.C., 4-7 December 2014) (Shared by Tanisha Santo): The theme of the 5th IHREC will be “Advancing Universal Human Rights Culture” and focus on the UN and the UN World Programme for Human Rights Education and the impact of the Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. It will also address a broad range of legal, social, and educational issues. Further information is available on the conference website here.
L.L.M. PPROGRAM / INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMANITARIAN LAW / AMERICAN UNIVERSITY WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW’S ACADEMY ON HUMAN RIGTHS AND HUMANITARIAN LAW (Shared by Claudia Blount): This program is a new LL.M. program in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. This program is designed for practitioners and other human rights professionals who wish to pursue advanced studies in international human rights law and humanitarian law alongside their existing work responsibilities. Deadline for registration is 1 November. Further information is available here.
TRAINING / UNDERSTANDING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS / GENEVA ACADEMY ON INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS (Geneva, Switzerland 17-21 November 2014): The training will cover topics regarding the normative content of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR), particularly the rights to health, housing, education, food, water and work. The organizers will further arrange sessions on the justiciability of ESCR and universal ESCR mechanisms, including the UN Committee on ESC Rights, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Human Rights Council, and the UN Special Procedures. Deadline for applicants, who do not require a visa to enter Switzerland, is 7 November 2014. Further information on registration is available here.
VIDEO / REPRISALS: THE HUMAN COST OF COOPERATING WITH THE UNITED NATIONS / INTERNATIONAL SERVICE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: In a new video produced by ISHR and True Heroes Films they share the stories of reprisals against individuals and organisations who have bravely engaged at the UN. The trailer for the video is available here.
WEBSITE, GUIDES AND TOOLS
TOOL / WORKING TOGETHER: NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS AND GLOBAL COMPACT LOCAL NETWORKS / DANISH INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL COMPACT: Describes how National Human Rights Institutions and Global Compact Local Networks can collaborate to help businesses understand and meet their human rights responsibilities and commitments. National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Global Compact Local Networks (GCLNs) both have important roles to play in strengthening business respect for and support of human rights. NHRIs and GCLNs share the aim of helping business understand and meet their human rights responsibilities and commitments. This common goal provides a strong foundation for NHRIs and GCLNs to explore opportunities for collaboration and mutual support. Read more here. Further resources on NHRIs are available on the HRBA Portal here.
DIRECTORY – AUGUST 2014 / SPECIAL PROCEDURES MANDATE HOLDERS / OHCHR: This directory provides an update, as of 1 August 2014, of the 52 Special Procedures (38 thematic mandates and 14 mandates relating to countries or territories) with currently 73 mandate-holders. The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. The updated directory is available here.
WEBSITE / STATUS OF TREATY RATIFICATION INTERACTIVE DASHBOARD / OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (Shared by Grace Sanico Steffan, OHCHR): The dashboard allows users to view treaty ratification through interactive world and regional maps, downloadable in pdf format. Users can generate some statistical data such as number of State parties to a treaty, download the data in excel, and create filters to obtain a more tailored information on acceptance of individual communications procedure and inquiry procedure. Users can also view an aggregated map that shows the total number of treaties each Member State has ratified. Access the Dashboard here.
WEBSITE / NEW KNOWLEDGE SHARING PLATFORM ON FORCED LABOUR AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING / INTERNATINAL LABOR ORGANIZATION: AP-Forced Labour Net is a new ILO-sponsored online knowledge sharing platform for individuals, organizations, and institutions working on issues related to forced labour, human trafficking and slavery in the Asia-Pacific region. Access the platform here.
REPORTS, ARTICLES AND BOOKS:
REPORT / FROM COMMITMENT TO ACTION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS: LESSONS FROM THE FIRST CYCLE OF THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW / UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND: This report assesses the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review from the perspective of the recommendations related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. It examines the level of attention paid to different aspects of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, the quality of recommendations, positive developments, issues of concern, and regional trends. It also assesses the implementation of UPR outcomes, including national planning processes and monitoring systems. The report concludes with final considerations for various stakeholders. The publication is available here.
REPORT / INTEGRATING HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY IN EVALUATIONS / UNITED NATIONS EVALUATION GROUP (Shared by Marco Segone, UN Women): This guidance was developed by the UNEG Taskforce on Human Rights and Gender Equality led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women). It aims to provide in-depth information on ways in which to integrate human rights and gender equality into each phase of an evaluation. The publication is available here.
MULTIPLE BLOGS / WHAT SHOULD THE NEW UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF PRIORITIZE? / OPEN GLOBAL RIGHTS: The post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was set up 20 years ago. A new High Commissioner, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan, has just been appointed and he will take up his post in August. He is the sixth High Commissioner. Open Global Rights asks: How should he proceed? In a world of competing priorities, how to choose? What issues risk being ignored? What should distinguish this High Commissioner’s term in office? Read a compilation of blogs that offer answers to these questions here.
NEWSLETTER – AUGUST 2014 / HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR / INTERNATIONAL SERVICE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: This edition of the Human Rights Monitor features an editorial offering recommendations for the incoming High Commissioner for Human Rights focusing on the situation of human rights defenders globally. There is also an article making note of the events and groups paying tribute to the outgoing High Commissioner. Read more here.
REPORT – 28 JULY 2014 / HUMAN RIGHTS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY: A PRIMER ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (SECOND EDITION) / AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: This publication outlines some of the key features of economic, social and cultural rights. It presents an overview of these rights, outlines their scope and content, and gives examples of violations and what can be done to address them. This revised and updated second edition of Amnesty International’s primer on economic, social and cultural rights reflects significant developments over the past decade in advancing these rights including a section covering the coming into force for the first time of a dedicated international complaints mechanism for economic, social and cultural right. Read more here.
JOURNAL – JULY 2014 / HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS: CLIMATE JUSTICE / HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL: This is a special edition of the Health and Human Rights Journal focusing on climate justice and the right to health. Paul Farmer, editor-in-chief notes in the editorial, that Issue 16.1 employs a human rights perspective to address the health risks that arise from the thus far unabated effects of climate change. Farmer calls on governments to acknowledge the scientific evidence of climate change and actively engage in climate change mitigation efforts with transparency and accountability. In her foreword, Mary Robinson congratulates the authors for proposing a range of interdisciplinary solutions toward ameliorating the predicted ramifications of climate change on health and human rights. Read the special edition here.
ARTICLE – JULY 2014 / SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS: A GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH, AND HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITY / WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: This article makes the case that universal access to sexual and reproductive health is essential not only to achieve sustainable development but also to ensure that it meets the needs and aspirations of people around the world and leads to realisation of their health and human rights. Read more here.
REPORT – 3 JULY 2014 / “FREEDOM FROM HATE” – STATE OF THE WORLDS MINORITIES AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES 2014 / MINORITY RIGHTS GROUP INTERNATIONAL: This year’s edition of State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples highlights how hate speech and hate crime, though frequently unreported or unacknowledged, continue to impact on every aspect of their lives. The volume also documents many of the initiatives being taken to promote positive change and the different ways that governments, civil society and communities can strengthen protections for minorities and indigenous peoples. The report is available for download here.
NEWSLETTER – APRIL-JUNE 2014 / HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY DIVISION NEWSLETTER NO. 23 / OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The Newsletter of the Human Rights Treaties Division is a quarterly publication on the latest developments and activities of the UN human rights treaty bodies. This edition highlights the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system (A/RES/68/268) and other developments. Read more here.
REPORT – 30 JUNE 2014 / TECHNICAL GUIDANCE ON THE APPLICATION OF A HUMAN RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES TO REDUCE AND ELIMINATE PREVENTABLE MORTATLITY AND MORBIDITY OF CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OF AGE / REPORT OF THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The aim of the technical guidance is to assist States and non-State actors to improve the realization of the rights of the child by providing guidance on addressing mortality and morbidity of children under 5 years of age in accordance with human rights standards. It outlines the key elements of a human rights-based approach to reducing child mortality and morbidity, provides guidance for operationalizing such an approach, and includes an illustrative example of how it can be applied. The full report (A/HRC/27/31) is available here.
REPORT / INTEGRATING GENDER INTO OVERSIGHT OF THE SECURITY SECTOR BY OMBUDS INSTITUTIONS AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS / ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE – OFFICE FOR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS (Shared by Triquet Veerle): This guidance note is aimed to be a practical resource for ombuds institutions and NHRIs, and those who support them. It seeks to help an ombuds institution or NHRI engage more effectively with police and other security sector institutions to monitor and reinforce how the human rights of men and women working there are upheld. It can strengthen oversight of how well police and others meet the needs of communities. This publication is available in English, French and Bosnian here.