• HuriTALK Monthly Resource Update | August – September 2014

    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.

    RESOURCES

    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.