Geneva, Switzerland. July 6th. This week marked the end of the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Although several State Parties firmly opposed some of the most relevant resolutions, many good results were achieved.
One of the most significant achievements of the session was the creation of a new UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Although it was a tough debate, as mentioned in our previous article, the decision to create a new SOGI mandate puts LGBTI rights and international protection of the LGBTI community as a permanent priority in the UN agenda.
Other major achievements were the adoptions of two thematic resolutions, one on violence against women and another on discrimination against women, which renewed the mandates of the two Special Rapporteurs, ensuring continued UN expert attention to relevant issues such as violence against indigenous women and girls, discrimination to women in access to health care, including with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Also, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of association and peaceful assembly was renewed by consensus for another three years. Mr. Maina Kiai, the current mandate holder, will continue in the job until March 2017.
The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights, signed a call to action for States and the UN to reverse the global crackdown on civil society, the open letter was signed also by more than 240 civil society groups from over 90 countries, including many from Latin America and the Caribbean
Other matters discussed:
- The Council agreed to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on Côte d’Ivoire, but the resolution stated that the mandate was extend for its final time.
- The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea was also renewed. The General Assembly was asked to submit the relevant report to other UN bodies, meaning the Security Council.
- The Council also renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on
- Mexico requested the High Commissioner to report on the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants in the context of large movements.
- The High Commissioner provided an update on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka highlighting his concerns including counterterrorism and witness protection laws. He emphasized the need for international involvement in the transitional justice mechanism, to ensure accountability.
The Human Rights Council will hold its thirty-third session from 13 to 30 September 2016.
For more information, please contact our Legal Adviser in Geneva, Laia Evia, at Evia@raceandequality.org