Category Archives: civil society

UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution to Create Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

UN Human Rights Council
UN Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council in session
Credit: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

On March 26, 2015, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a Resolution which establishes a mandate on the right to privacy in the digital age and creates a new Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy. UN Human Rights Council, Resolution 28/L.27, Resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age, UN Doc. A/HRC/28/L.27, 24 March 2015. [UN Press Release] This resolution, which was adopted during the 28th regular session of the Human Rights Council, reaffirms the right to privacy; recognizes the global and open nature of the Internet; affirms that the right to privacy must be protected both online and offline; and, most significantly, creates the position of Special Rapporteur, or independent expert, for a period of three years to promote and protect this right. The resolution follows an earlier Resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age adopted by the General Assembly in December 2014. UN General Assembly, Resolution 69/166, The right to privacy in the digital age, UN Doc. A/RES/69/166, 10 February 2015. The Human Rights Council will appoint the Special Rapporteur at the 29th regular session of the Human Rights Council which will be held from June 15 to July 3, 2015.

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CRPD Considers 7 States’ Disability Rights Records

The fifth review session on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Credit: UN Photo

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) is holding its 13th session from March 25 to April 17 in Geneva, Switzerland to review the State reports of Cook Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Germany, Mongolia, and Turkmenistan. During the session, representatives from each State will engage in a dialogue with Committee members based on each State party’s report as well as responses to the list of issues that the Committee has asked each State to address in relation to its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Committee will also take into account any additional reports from civil society organizations and national human rights institutions. Following the review, the Committee will issue concluding observations, which consist of concerns and recommendations with respect to each State’s implementation of the Convention.  Archived webcasts of the 13th session can be viewed on the UN Treaty Body Webcast.

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UN Human Rights Committee Reviews 6 States’ Civil and Political Rights Records

Members of the Human Rights Committee during its 104th Session .Credit: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
Members of the Human Rights Committee during its 104th Session <br> UN Photo/JC McIlwaineCredit: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Members of the Human Rights Committee during its 104th Session
Credit: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The UN Human Rights Committee is holding its 113th session from March 16 to April 2, to consider the State reports of Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Monaco, and Russia on their implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). During the session, representatives from each State will engage in a dialogue with members of the Human Rights Committee regarding the list of issues, which consists of those topics the Committee had previously asked each State to address in its report to the Human Rights Committee. At the conclusion of the review process, the Committee will issue concluding observations for each State, containing its concerns and recommendations on each State’s implementation of the ICCPR. Archived and livestream webcasts of the 113th session can be viewed on UN Treaty Body Webcast.

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Committee on Enforced Disappearances Reviews Armenia, Mexico, and Serbia

States parties and signatories to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced DisappearanceCredit: OHCHR
States parties and signatories to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced DisappearanceCredit: OHCHR

States parties and signatories to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
Credit: OHCHR

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) is holding its 8th session from February 2nd to 13th in Geneva, Switzerland. The CED is reviewing the State reports from Armenia, Mexico, and Serbia regarding their implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (Convention). During this session, the CED engaged in a constructive dialogue with each State based on the government’s national report and responses to the list of issues the CED has asked the State to address; the Committee also took into account any supplementary reports from civil society organizations and national human rights institutions (NHRIs).

It will adopt its concluding observations on these three States’ implementation of the Convention prior to closing the session. [OHCHR Press Release] The CED will also adopt lists of issues for Iraq and Montenegro, based on its internal discussion and input received from civil society and NHRIs. The documents pertaining to each State may be found on the CED’s 8th session webpage. The session agenda also includes consideration of requests for urgent actions and individual complaints. To watch a live webcast or video of the CED’s constructive dialogue with each State, visit UN Treaty Body Webcast. Read more

UN Working Group on Right to Peace Holds Informal Consultations

Miguel Bosé, Co-Founder of the Foundation Peace without borders, and Christian Guillermet-Fernandez, Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations and Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group during the press conference on Peace Rights in 2013.Credit: UN Geneva / Violaine Martin
Miguel Bosé, Co-Founder of the Foundation Peace without borders, and Christian Guillermet-Fernandez, Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations and Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group during the press conference on Peace Rights in 2013.Credit: UN Geneva / Violaine Martin

Christian Guillermet-Fernandez (right), Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group, speaks at a press conference on Peace Rights in 2013.
Credit: UN Geneva / Violaine Martin

On January 30, 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Right to Peace held informal consultations with non-governmental organizations and Member States in preparation for the third session of the Working Group, which is scheduled for April 20 to 24, 2015. [Human Rights Centre of the University of Padua] The Working Group is tasked with developing a non-binding statement reflecting the international community’s consensus regarding the right to peace and outlining States’ obligations with regard to this right.  Read more

African Court Addresses Freedom of Expression in Burkina Faso, in Landmark Judgment

The African Court on Human and Peoples' RightsCredit: AfCHPR
The African Court on Human and Peoples' RightsCredit: AfCHPR

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Credit: AfCHPR

For the first time in its eight-year tenure, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) has directly considered the right to freedom of expression, and the validity of legislation that criminalizes defamation. The case, Lohé Issa Konaté v. Burkina Faso, involved a journalist’s conviction, imprisonment, and substantial fine in connection with his reporting. [AfCHPR Press Release] In its decision, the African Court unanimously found that Burkina Faso violated Article 9 (freedom of expression) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter), Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Article 66(2) (the press) of the Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (Revised ECOWAS Treaty) by imposing a sentence that was disproportionate to the purpose of the State’s national laws. AfCHPR, Lohé Issa Konaté v. Burkina Faso, App. No. 004/2013, Judgment of 5 December 2014. Read more

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