Human Rights Council

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A dishonest attack on UN human rights mechanisms

On 1 May 2021, I received an email from Dr Grégor Puppinck of the European Centre for Law and Justice, requesting to interview me as former Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council. The purpose of the resulting report by the ECLJ was presented in a way that would appeal to many a Special Raporteur: As you may know, we are expecting  a debate on the Special procedures during the next June Session of the HRC. This could be a good occasion to ask for more support from the Member States. The ECLJ wishes to mobilize civil society to demand a stronger institutional support for Special Procedures. To this end, we are conducting a survey of all mandate holders since 2015 on the material conditions in which they have carried out their mandate. Having read and critiqued an earlier report by Puppinck and the ECLJ on the judges of the European Court of Human Rights, I decided to accept the invitation.  But I also…

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The ‘scandal’ of foundation support for UN human rights Special Procedures

In July 2021 the European Centre for Law and Justice published a report entitled The Financing of UN Experts in the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. It is based on anonymous interviews and anonymous quotations, said to reflect interviews with 28 past or present Special Procedures mandate-holders. It purports to expose the links…

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Climate Change in the Human Rights Committee

  The environment and climate change are amongst the most pressing issues for human rights. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called it “the greatest threat to human rights” and fifteen children submitted a communication before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in September. Even though it seems…

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An Independent Mechanism for Myanmar: A Turning Point in the Pursuit of Accountability for International Crimes

Last week, the Human Rights Council voted to establish an “independent mechanism” to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Myanmar. To those following international efforts to bring perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to justice, this watershed moment could herald a paradigm…

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Should Commitments to Implementation Factor into Elections to the Human Rights Council?

Following the recent celebration of the UN Human Rights Council’s tenth anniversary, one of the key questions for its next decade is how it can play a more effective role in promoting the implementation of human rights standards and norms and its own and other UN bodies’ recommendations. This shift is critical given the serious deficiencies in implementation,…

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