HRC 26 Blog
The Human Rights Council's twenty-sixth regular session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (10-27 June 2014)
HRC 26, held June 10-27, 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, shed light on many global issues. Highlights of the three-week session included interactive discussions on:
· Eliminating child, early and forced marriages.
· Combating female genital mutilation.
· Efforts to advance the rights of persons with disabilities.
· The issue of journalists’ safety.
During the HRC 26 session there was also the annual full-day discussion on women’s rights that focused on gender stereotyping and women’s rights in achieving sustainable development.
Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, gave an update from the High Commissioner’s office making this her last as her term ended in August 2014.
Following you can read Stacy Lara's blogs about the 26th session.
If child early and forced marriage (CEFM) trends continue 142 million girls will be forced to marry before their 18 birthday by the year 2020 – that calculates to about 39 thousand child marriages per day. This is a staggering number considering that experts agree that the goal to eliminate early, forced child marriage in one generation is achievable. “Tackling root causes is key to ending CEFM,” said Ms. Pooja Badarinath, Program Coordinator, and Advocacy Research (CREA). Advocates and practitioners agree that partnerships formed in local communities to the highest levels of government and civil society can end child marriage in one generation.
I did not atrend this HRC26 side event but find the topic interesting and timely, especially since the upcoming General Assembly in 2016 is preparing to discuss the topic. The Governments of Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala and Switzerland, along with the Global Commission on Drug Policy, organized the side event on the impact of the international drug control regime on human rights.
This is the final week for HRC26. I will be posting about preventing and eliminating early, forced child marriage and also provide a few wrap up blogs to let you know resolution outcomes and appointments.
Thanks for reading and please check back for HRC26 wrap up blogs. Until the bext blog -- Stacy Dry Lara
Today, the HRC26 adopted outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of New Zealand, Afghanistan, Chile, Uruguay and Yemen. You may ask yourself what is a UPR and why is the adoption of the review important? Please let me provide a very short explanation of this important process.
On June 17 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, warmly welcomed the UN General Assembly’s appointment of Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein to succeed her when her mandate ends. Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein will be the sixth High Commissioner since the Office was created in 1993.
On June 18, HRC26 held interactive dialog on the situation of human rights with Special Rapporteurs (SR) from Belarus and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. As these reports can get lengthy fast, this blog focuses on the situation in Belarus.
Essentially, all human rights issues affect all people. Disgracefully, women especially suffer specific denial of their human rights because of their gender. Globally, women across all societies experience role stereotyping and discrimination. Indisputably, tension between gender equality and social, cultural and traditional values and norms continues to be one of the most important subjects in the international human rights arena today.
Recognized internationally as a violation of human rights of girls and women, female genital mutilation (FGM), according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the “partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”
On the 20th anniversary of the mandate and declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Special Rapporteur (SR), Rashida Manjoo, spoke to the Delegation on violence against women, its causes and consequences. Prior to and during the past decades designated to violence against women, numerous world conference and expert meetings have served as a catalyst for action and resolutions.
Today I submit this blog about violence against journalists, a subject that resonates with me as I studied journalism in college and, at one time, thought to become an international correspondent.
The Human Rights Committee defines journalism as “a function shared by a wide range of actors, including professional full-time reporters and analysts, as well as bloggers and others who engage in forms of self-publication in print, on the Internet or elsewhere.”
During the afternoon of HRC26 opening day Special Rapporteur (SR) on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank La Rue and SR on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai gave statements.
The SRs’ reports provided an in-depth analysis and clear overview of the issues of freedom of opinion and expression in electoral context as well as legal and practical freedom of peaceful assembly and of association against vulnerable groups.
The highlight of today’s Opening Session of HRC26 was Navi Pillay’s, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, report. It is to be her last. She has served as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights since 2008.