#HRC33 / Country-specific developments


Some countries will be subject to particular attention at this forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council. 


Following the special session of the Human Rights Council on Burundi in December 2015, an interactive dialogue on the situation in Burundi is scheduled to take place on 27 September.

From 13 to 17 June three human rights experts of the United Nations Independent Investigation on Burundi conducted their second visit to Burundi to address the human rights concerns raised in the special session Human Rights Council resolution. The experts will present their final report to the Human Rights Council this session.

The gravity of human rights violations and the level of State responsibility in Burundi is unacceptable. ISHR is gravely concerned about the Government's lack of cooperation with human rights mechanisms, and the ongoing acts of intimidation and reprisals targeting human rights defenders. The Burundian Government needs to combat the existing culture of impunity and promote accountability. 

Council membership comes with higher expectations on States in terms of promoting and protecting human rights and cooperation with human rights mechanisms (General Assembly resolution 60/251). As a member of the Human Rights Council, it is therefore even more important that the Government of Burundi be urged to demonstrate good faith attempts to address human rights violations in the country. The lack of Government cooperation with human rights mechanisms contradicts Burundi's obligations as a Council member. This, in turn, affects the Human Rights Council's credibility and integrity as the primary human rights body with a mandate to promote and protect human rights worldwide.

ISHR urges the Council to establish a monitoring and evaluation mechanism - that takes into consideration the findings of the human rights mechanisms of the African Union, such as the Commission of Inquiry, Special Rapporteur and any other relevant and effective mechanism - to investigate and report on the gravity of human rights violations in Burundi, and further that this body recommend that Burundi is suspended as a member of the Council if Burundi fails to demonstrate a commitment to promoting and protecting human rights.


Given the deteriorating situation of human rights in Cambodia, and the impunity with which intimidation and violence against human rights defenders occur, ISHR joins a range of national and international organisations to call on the Council to adopt a resolution on the country. This step would acknowledge the backsliding over the last year; reiterate the Council's expectations for meaningful cooperation, with the Special Rapporteur and the OHCHR; and lay out benchmarks for the coming year, in light of the 2017 elections and the anniversary of the Paris Peace agreement, that would indicate clear progress achieved through the technical assistance and capacity-building mandate

The interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia, scheduled for 28 September, is a chance for the international community to hear from, and respond to, Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith following her visits to the country and the communications she and other UN experts sent related to harassment and detention of NGO workers and the killing of well-known public figure Kem Ley. 

Other country-specific developments

Individual interactive dialogues with mandate holders will be held in relation to Sudan, Central African Republic and Somalia. Interactive dialogues on the High Commissioner’s reports and oral updates will be held on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, and Ukraine.

The High Commissioner will present his reports on Cambodia and Yemen in a General Debate under Item 10. There will also be an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

The Council will adopt the UPR reports of 14 countries. This will provide an opportunity for Hungary, IrelandThailand and Tajikistan to accept recommendations made in relation to human rights defenders, as recommended by ISHR’s briefing papers on these countries.

Photo: US Army Africa


  • Africa
  • Asia
  • United Nations
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo (Kinshasa)
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • Yemen