News

12 Dec

Five years after the kidnapping of human rights defender Razan Zaitouneh and her colleagues, 15 NGOs* stand in solidarity to remember them and call on the UN and international and regional actors to actively facilitate an investigation into what happened to the four human rights defenders. Join the world in acknowledging Zaitouneh’s outstanding contribution to human rights by visiting and sharing a website documenting her work. 

11 Dec

ISHR joins dozens of organisations and individuals today, ahead of a key U.S. congressional hearing, to call on Google CEO Sundar Pichai to respond meaningfully to broadly-held human rights concerns and cancel Project Dragonfly, Google's censored search app project.

09 Dec

States have a responsibility to protect fundamental freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The international community should refuse to turn a blind eye to gross and systematic human rights violations committed against women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia. 

10 Dec

‘Women human rights defenders have flooded the streets, the airwaves, and the internet with their energy and their testimonials, bringing to light truths that are too often buried in darkness’ said a group of UN experts, recognising the important leadership role of women activists.

10 Dec

Today is Human Rights Day. Today is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s a day to say thanks and contribute to a better world through ISHR.

Summaries of Special Procedures Reports

05.03.2008
 

ISHR used to produce the Reports in Short, unofficial summaries of all the reports submitted to the Human Rights Council by special procedures. However, we have decided to discontinue this publication. Below you will find all the Reports in Short grouped by the session at which the reports were considered. 

The official summaries prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) now contain an 'executive summary'. To download the official reports, please visit the OHCHR website.

Browse ISHR's reports by session:

 

7th session

  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,Summary of reports
  • Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances: Summary of reports
  • Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography: Summary of reports> top

6th session

Country specific mandates

  • Updated report on the situation of human rights in Darfur prepared by the United Nations Experts Group on Darfur, presided by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan and composed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary on arbitrary executions, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights defenders, the Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights internally displaced persons, the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences: Summary of report
  • Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Summary of report, Fact Sheet

Thematic procedures

  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism: Summary of reports
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief: Summary of reports, Fact Sheet
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the manifestation of defamation of religions and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia on the enjoyment of all rights : Summary of reports, Fact Sheet
  • Report of the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity: Summary of reports, Fact Shee> top

5th session

Country specific mandates

  • Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General for human rights in Cambodia: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Personal Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Cuba: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Summary of report,Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Haiti: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Somalia: No report available (see note by the secretariat) Fact Sheet
  • Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in the Sudan: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Uzbekistan (1503 procedure): Summary of report, Fact Sheet

Thematic procedures

Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living: Summary of reports,Fact Sheet

4th session

Country specific mandates

Thematic procedures

3rd session

The 3rd session of the Council was almost exclusively dedicated to institution-building issues, hence no Reports in Short were produced for that session.

2nd session

Country specific mandates

Thematic procedures

Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council

18.02.2008
 

On this page you will find ISHR's reports on the Advisory Committee. For more information on what the Advisory Committee does and how it works, please see the Advisory Committee page in the Human Rights Council section of this website.

  • Analytical Overview of the 1st session of the Advisory Committee, Geneva, 4 to 15 August 2008
  • Analytical Overview of the 2nd session of the Advisory Committee, Geneva, 26 to 30 January 2009 
  • Analytical Overview of the 3rd session of the Advisory Committee, Geneva, 3 to 7 August 2009

Durban Review Conference

21.11.2007
 

Latest News

The second substantive Durban Preparatory Committee session is unfolding from 6 to 17 October, 2008 in Geneva. The session may be viewed on the UN Webcast.

Further information on the Durban Review Conference can be found on the official UN web page, which includes information on NGO participation.

Background 

Following the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, General Assembly Resolution 61/149 of 2006 decided to convene a review conference in 2009 on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. The Human Rights Council was tasked to act as the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference (20-24 April 2009), whose objectives are as follows:

  • To review progress and assess implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

  • To assess the effectiveness of the existing Durban follow-up mechanisms and other relevant United Nations mechanisms dealing with these issues, in order to enhance them;

  • To promote the universal ratification and implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and

  • To identify and share good practices

In preparation for the Review Conference, the first organisational session took place from 27 to 31 August 2007. Since then, the Council has also hosted the first substantive session of the Preparatory Committee (21 April to 2 May, and 26 May 2008), which decided that the Review Conference will be held from 20 to 24 April 2009 in Geneva under the slogan ‘United against racism: dignity and justice for all’. The Council has also held the first session of the Inter-sessional Inter-governmental Working Group (scheduled from 26 to 30 May 2008, although it met only for three days).

The second meeting of the Inter-sessional Inter-governmental Working Group is scheduled from 1 to 5 September 2008, while the second substantive session of the Preparatory Committee is due to take place from 6 to 17 October 2008.

For further information on the lead-up to the Review Conference, including on NGO participation, please see OHCHR.

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Further reading 

  • ISHR has produced a report on the first organisational meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review Conference
  • The OHCHR has just produced the first edition of an E-Bulletin for NGOs on the Durban Review Conference, which aims to provide updates on the Conference in April 2009 and guidance on how to participate in the process

Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review Conference

01.09.2008
 

On this page you will find reports on the Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review Conference. For more information on the Durban Review Conference can be found in the Human Rights Council section of this website.

Analytical Session Overviews

18.02.2008
 

This page contains analytical overviews of the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council. The session overviews analyse the main trends from the session, implications of the key discussions and decisions, and next steps that NGOs should be aware of for their advocacy and action.

The reports are listed in reverse chronological order and can be downloaded in PDF format (Acrobat Reader needed):

Council Alerts

10.09.2008
 

Before most sessions of the Human Rights Council, ISHR publishes a 'Council Alert' outlining the major issues expected to come up during the session. It also provides information on the organisational meetings held before each session. 

  • Council Alert 3rd session
  • Council Alert 5th session
  • Council Alert 6th session
  • Council Alert resumed 6th session
  • Council Alert 7th session (21 February 2008) and the update of 25 February (selection of troikas)
  • Council Alert 8th session
  • Council Alert 9th session
  • Council Alert 10th session
  • Council Alert 11th session
  • Council Alert 12th session

 Other alerts: 

  • Council Alert special session on Darfur (December 2006)
  • Council Alert Working Group on Rules of Procedure (during the institution-building)

Daily Updates

18.02.2008
 

Please note that from the 10th session of the Council, our reporting is no longer daily. The reports that are now published to keep you updated on the debates at the Council are the Council Updates.

9th session of the Human Rights Council, 8 to 23 September 2008 

Week 1

Week 2                      

8 September 2008 15 September 2008                          

9 September 2008

16 September 2008

10 September 2008

17 September 2008
11 December 2008: holiday (no report) 18 September 2008
12 September 2008 19 September 2008

Week 3 

 

22 September 2008

23 September 2008

24 September 2008

Browse previous sessions

  • 8th session
  • 7th session
  • 6th session, 2nd part
  • 6th session, 1st part
  • 5th session  
  • 4th session
  • Resumed 2nd  and 3rd sessions
  • 2nd session, 1st part 

 

8th session

 

Week 1

2 June 2008 9 June 2008
3 June 2008 10 June 2008
4 June 2008 11 June 2008
5 June 2008 12 June 2008

6 June 2008

13 June 2008

Week 3

 
16 June 2008  
17 June 2008  
18 June 2008  
   
   
 > top

 

7th session

 

Week 1

Week 2 

3 March 2008 10 March 2008
4 March 2008 11 March 2008
5 March 2008 12 March 2008  
6 March 2008 13 March 2008
7 March 2008 14 March 2008

Week 3

Week 4 

17 March 2008 24 March 2008*
18 March 2008 25 March 2008
19 March 2008 26 March 2008
20 March 2008 27 March 2008
21 March 2008*      

28 March 2008 and

extension on 1 April 2008

 

* UN Holiday

>  top

 

6th session (2nd part)

10 December 2007
11 December 2007
12 December 2007
13 December 2007
14 December 2007
 >  top

 

6th session (1st part)

Week 1

Week 2 

Week 3 

10 September 2007 17 September 2007
24 September 2007
11 September 2007 18 September 2007 25 September 2007
12 September 2007 19 September 2007 26 September 2007
13 September 2007 20 September 2007 27 September 2007
14 September 2007 21 September 2007 28 September 2007
 > top

 

5th session

Week 1

Week 2

11 June 2007 18 June 2007
12 June 2007 19 June 2007 - organisational meeting
13 June 2007 18-20 June 2007 (summary)
14 June 2007
15 June 2007**

 

** This report summarises developments on 15 June and on Sunday 17 June

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4th session

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

12 March 2007 19 March 2007 26 March 2007
13 March 2007 20 March 2007 27 March 2007
14 March 2007 21 March 2007 28 March 2007
15 March 2007 22 March 2007 29 March 2007
16 March 2007 23 March 2007 30 March 2007
>  top

 

Resumed 2nd session and 3rd session

Week 1

Week 2

27 November 2006 4 December 2006
28 November 2006 5 December 2006
29 November 2006 6 December 2006
30 November 2006 7 December 2006
1 December 2006 8 December 2006
 > top

 

2nd session (1st part)

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

18 September 2006 25 September 2006 2 October 2006
19 September 2006 26 September 2006 3 October 2006
20 September 2006 27 September 2006 4 October 2006
21 September 2006 28 September 2006 5 October 2006
22 September 2006 29 September 2006 6 October 2006
>  top

To receive the Daily Updates by e-mail 

Please write to us at information@ishr.ch with 'subscribe' in the subject line, and you will start receiving them every day, free of charge. You will also receive other key reports from the Council Monitor Publication on a regular basis.

Council Updates

27.02.2009
 

Here you will find archival coverage from the 10th to 12th sessions of the Human Rights Council (the Council). Updates for more recent sessions can be found here.

You may also wish to subscribe to receive ISHR updates on the Council and other matters, according to your preferences, here.

Deadline: nominations for experts on Syria and Sudan

09.01.2012
 

The nomination process for two special procedures mandates of the UN Human Rights Council will be closing shortly, and applications by qualified individuals are still being encouraged.

If you or anyone you know has a working knowledge of the Arabic language, combined with an expertise in the human rights situation in either Syria or the Sudan then please read on.

The first position (closing 12 January) is Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Syria, a new role established by Human Rights Council Resolution S-18/1 in December 2011.

The second position (closing 23 January) is that of Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan. The mandate was established in June 2009 by Human Rights Council Resolution 11/10. It is currently held by Mr Mohamed Chande Othman who has recently resigned from his position.  

Both positions are to commence in March 2012

A fuller description of the duties of the special procedures mandates and candidate eligibility criteria is available here. Applications can be sent by individuals, States, NGOs, and UN entities. Self-nomination by interested experts is also allowed. Application forms for both positions are available on the OHCHR website.

Please feel free to forward this information to anyone who you feel meets the criteria above.

UN releases ground-breaking report on sexual orientation and gender identity

16.12.2011
 

Human rights organisations are welcoming the release of the first ever United Nations (UN) report on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Entitled 'Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity', the report documents widespread discrimination and violence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people around the world.

It highlights the duty of governments to implement their commitments and obligations under international law, by protecting the rights of all persons, regardless of their sexuality, gender identity or expression. The report also calls for decriminalisation of same-sex relations between consenting adults, and the granting of asylum to LGBT individuals at risk. It emphasises the importance of freedom of expression and assembly, and non-discrimination in accessing economic, social and cultural rights.

The mandate for the report was established at the 17th session of the Human Rights Council (the Council) (June 2011), by the UN's first ever resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution was led by South Africa and supported by a majority of the Council, including countries from all UN regions.

It requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare the report, which will be presented to the Council at its 19th session in March. It also called for a panel discussion to be held at the Council to address the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up. This discussion is expected to take place on Wednesday 7 March, 2012.

The panel will be the first time the issue of human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity receives such focused attention by the Council. When the report is presented, it will be important that discussion is informed by the understanding that human rights standards are universally applicable, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

ISHR works to improve access to international and regional human rights systems by all human rights defenders, including those working on LGBT issues. A clear acceptance of the universality of human rights is a necessity for such access to be fully realised.

ISHR welcomes the progress made in 2011 at the UN on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity, including the recent release of the High Commissioner's report. The report can be downloaded in English,Spanish, Russian and Arabic.

Pages

Browse our articles:

Region

Country

Topic

Mechanism

1984

ISHR commences work to develop an international Declaration on the Rights of Human Rights Defenders

1988

ISHR publishes first Human Rights Monitor, connecting human rights defenders on the ground with international human rights systems and developments

1993

ISHR facilitates global civil society engagement with the Second World Conference on Human Rights, which leads to the strengthening of women’s rights, the affirmation of universal rights, the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the establishment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

1994

ISHR provides training, technical assistance and support to its 1000th human rights defender

1998

After 14 years of ISHR lobbying, advocacy and negotiation, the UN General Assembly adopts the landmark Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

2000

UN Secretary-General appoints Hina Jilani as inaugural UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders, strengthening protection of human rights advocates at risk worldwide.

2004

ISHR leads a successful campaign for the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

2005

ISHR co-founds and supports a range of international and regional human rights coalitions, including the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the West African Human Rights Defenders Network

2006

ISHR contributes to the establishment and institution building of a new global peak body for human rights issues, the UN Human Rights Council

2007

ISHR leads and coordinates the development of the Yogyakarta Principles on sexual orientation and gender identity, strengthening legal recognition and protection of LGBT rights worldwide

2011

ISHR’s sustained advocacy on the issue of reprisals and intimidation faced by human rights defenders leads to adoption of landmark UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning and strengthening protections against reprisals

2012

Working with key NGO partners such as Amnesty International, ISHR leads civil society efforts to strengthen UN human rights treaty bodies, prevent their weakening and better connect their work with victims and human rights defenders on the ground

2013

Working with supportive states and NGOs, ISHR advocacy leads to adoption of historic Human Rights Council resolution calling on all States to review and amend national laws to respect and protect the work of human rights defenders