Category Archives: international human rights

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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Inter-American Court Holds 108th Ordinary Session and 52nd Extraordinary Session

Inter-American Court judges

Judges of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Credit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) is currently holding its 108th Ordinary Session, which began on April 13 and will conclude on April 17, 2015 in San Jose, Costa Rica, and will be holding its 52nd Special Session from April 20 to April 24, 2015 in Cartagena, Colombia.

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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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African Commission Addresses Torture of Human Rights Defenders in Sudan

51st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' RightsCredit: ACHPR
The 15th Extra Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights  Credit: ACHPR

The 15th Extra Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Credit: ACHPR

On March 10, 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights published a decision condemning Sudan’s mistreatment of human rights defenders, which remains a pressing concern in the country.  In the case of Monim Elgak, Osman Hummeida and Amir Suliman v. Sudan, the African Commission held that the government of Sudan violated several articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights when authorities arrested, detained, and tortured three human rights defenders who were accused of espionage based on their cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. ACommHPR, Monim Elgak, Osman Hummeida and Amir Suliman v. Sudan, Communication 379/09, 15th Extra-Ordinary Session, 7-14 March 2014. Since 2005, the Office of the Prosecutor has been investigating several Sudanese political leaders and other individuals charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in connection with the situation in Darfur.

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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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ECtHR: Refusal to Authorize Gender Reassignment Surgery Violates Convention

Judges deliberating at the European Court of Human Rights   Credit: Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights   Credit: Council of Europe

The European Court of Human Rights
Credit: Council of Europe

On March 10, 2015, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) released its judgment in Y.Y. v. Turkey, where it unanimously held that the State’s refusal to authorize gender reassignment surgery for the transsexual applicant violated the right to respect for private life under the European Convention of Human Rights. See ECtHR, Y.Y. v. Turkey, no. 14793/08, Judgment of 10 March 2015 (decision is currently being processed). The Court reasoned that the State’s grounds for denying the surgery – including that the applicant was not unable to procreate – were not sufficient, and that the State’s interference with Y.Y.’s right to respect for his private life was not “necessary” in a democratic society, thus violating Article 8 of the European Convention. The Court stated that transsexuals’ rights to personal development and physical and moral security “could not be regarded as a matter of controversy.” [ECtHR Press Release]

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