Monday, June 27, 2022

UN Commissioner for Human Rights Comments on US Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made the following comment on June 24, 2022:

The US Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization delivered today represents a major setback after five decades of protection for sexual and reproductive health and rights in the US through Roe v Wade.

It is a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.

Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human right law and is at the core of women and girls’ autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives, free of discrimination, violence and coercion.

This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the US, in particular those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights.

More than 50 countries with previously restrictive laws have liberalized their abortion legislation over the past 25 years.

With today’s ruling, the US is regrettably moving away from this progressive trend.

The High Commissioner's full comments can be found here.

June 27, 2022 in Reproductive Rights, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

May-June 2022 Deadlines: Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following calls for inputs have been issued by UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in May-June 2022 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children – Call for inputs on trafficking of persons in the context of climate change. Deadline May 12, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities – Call for inputs on armed conflict and disability – the conduct of hostilities, military operations and peacekeeping operations. Deadline May 15, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment – Call for inputs on human rights, transformative actions and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Deadline May 15, 2022. Read more.

Intergovernmental Working Group on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action – Call for inputs on the UN General Assembly’s global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. Deadline May 16, 2022. Read more.

Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent – Call for inputs on the human rights situation of Children of African descent. Deadline May 16, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants – Call for inputs on the impact of climate change and the protection of the human rights of migrants. Deadline May 16, 2022. Read more.

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – Accepting submissions for U.S. Review in August 2022. Deadline May 17, 2022. Submissions should be sent to the CERD Secretariat: ohchr-cerd@un.org.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights – Call for inputs on the impact of toxics on Indigenous peoples. Deadline May 23, 2022. Read more.

Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations – Call for contributions on taxation, illicit financial flows and human rights. Deadline May 30, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health – Call for inputs on racism and the right to health. Deadline June 2, 2022. Read more.

This information was compiled from https://www.ohchr.org/en/calls-for-input-listing.

May 3, 2022 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Event 4/26: Current Human Rights Developments and Challenges in the World: A conversation with Michelle Bachelet

On Tuesday April 26, 2022, at 9am ET, the American Society of International Law's Human Rights Interest Group will hold the next event of their series "Human Rights Talks", in which the presidents or heads of regional and universal human rights bodies are invited for keynote speeches and conversations on current human rights developments and challenges, and on the response from the institutions that they lead. This event will focus on the Universal System of Human Rights. Some of the important current human rights topics in the world include Peace and Security, Development, Non-Discrimination and Accountability.

During this online event, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will refer to the main current human rights developments and challenges in the world, and to the response of her office, in terms of priorities and work plan.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Honorable Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Interviewer:

  • Professor and Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman, Member of the United Nations International Law Commission

This session is organized by ASIL’s Human Rights Interest Group and co-sponsored by the Government Attorneys, Migration Law, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law, and Women in International Law Interest Groups.

For more information and to register for this online event, visit: https://www.asil.org/event/current-human-rights-developments-and-challenges-world-conversation-michelle-bachelet-united

April 19, 2022 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 14, 2022

New Article: Funding Global Governance

Kristina B. Daugirdas, Funding Global Governance, Law & Economics Working Papers. 216 (Oct. 1, 2021). Abstract below.

Funding is an oft-overlooked but critically important determinant of what public institutions are able to accomplish. This article focuses on the growing role of earmarked voluntary contributions from member states in funding formal international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Heavy reliance on such funds can erode the multilateral governance of international organizations and poses particular risks for two kinds of undertakings: normative work, such as setting standards and identifying best practices; and evaluating the conduct of member states and holding those states accountable, including through public criticism, when they fall short. International organizations have devised strategies for mitigating these risks, but those strategies are generally not codified in formal policies and are not visible to the public. This Article argues that more formal regulations are needed and outlines some possibilities for the form they might take.

April 14, 2022 in Books and articles, Global Human Rights, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

February-March Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following calls for inputs have been issued by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in February-March 2022 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - Call for inputs for report on internet shutdowns and human rights. Deadline February 10, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the issue of child, early and forced marriage. Deadline February 15, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl. Deadline February 18, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS. Deadline February 20, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery - Call for inputs on contemporary forms of slavery as affecting persons belonging to ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority communities. Deadline February 20, 2022. Read more.

Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises – Call for inputs on practical application of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the activities of technology companies. Deadline February 23, 2022. Read more.

Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises - Call for inputs on the mandate of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Deadline February 24, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on summary executions – Call for inputs on knowledge and implementation of the Minnesota Protocol. Deadline February 25, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights – Call for inputs on “secondary sanctions, civil and criminal penalties for circumvention of sanctions regimes, and over-compliance with sanctions” and “Unilateral sanctions in the cyber world”. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.

Working Group on the use of mercenaries – Call for inputs on victims of mercenaries, mercenary related actors, and private military and security companies. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on racial discrimination – Call for inputs on combatting glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants – Call for inputs on human rights violations at international borders: trends, prevention and accountability. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the right to development – Call for inputs on the right to development COVID recovery plans and policies and the right to development. Deadline March 1, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on racial discrimination – Call for inputs on SDGs and the fight against racial discrimination. Deadline March 1, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights – Call for inputs on Mercury, artisanal and small-scale gold mining and human rights. Deadline March 7, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery - Call for inputs on contemporary forms of slavery in the informal economy. Deadline March 15, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the question of the death penalty. Deadline March 18, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on violence against women - Call for inputs on violence against women and girls in the context of the climate crisis, including environmental degradation and related disaster risk mitigation and response. Deadline March 31, 2022. Read more.

February 9, 2022 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 14, 2022

January-March Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following calls for inputs have been issued by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in January-March 2022 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence – Call for inputs on roles and responsibilities of non-state actors in transitional justice processes. Deadline January 14, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for comments and textual suggestions on Draft Convention on the Right to Development. Deadline January 16, 2022. Read More.

Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health – Call for contributions for report on violence and its impact on the right to health. Deadline January 18, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions – Call for input on the state of knowledge and implementation of the United Nations Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions [The Minnesota Protocol]. Deadline January 30, 2022. Read more.

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for submissions. Report on the militarization of indigenous land. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for submissions for study on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, between indigenous peoples and States, including peace accords and reconciliation initiatives, and their constitutional recognition. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children – Call for inputs on report on trafficking of persons in the agricultural sector. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.

Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity – Call for inputs on report on the realization of the right of persons affected by violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, in relation to Sustainable Development Goals. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association – Call for inputs on the trends, developments, and challenges to the ability of civil society organizations to access resources, including foreign funding. Deadline February 2, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - Call for inputs for report on internet shutdowns and human rights. Deadline February 10, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the issue of child, early and forced marriage. Deadline February 15, 2022. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl. Deadline February 18, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights – Call for inputs on “secondary sanctions, civil and criminal penalties for circumvention of sanctions regimes, and over-compliance with sanctions” and “Unilateral sanctions in the cyber world”. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.

Working Group on the use of mercenaries – Call for inputs on victims of mercenaries, mercenary related actors, and private military and security companies. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the right to development – Call for inputs on the right to development COVID recovery plans and policies and the right to development. Deadline March 1, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights – Call for inputs on Mercury, artisanal and small-scale gold mining and human rights. Deadline March 7, 2022. Read more.

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – Shadow reports for review of the U.S. due March 21, 2022. Read more.

This information was compiled by Khala Turner, a 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.

January 14, 2022 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 6, 2021

December and January Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following calls for inputs have been issued by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in December 2021 and January 2022. Law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission.

Special Rapporteur of the Independence of Judges and Lawyers – Call for inputs on report on Protection of lawyers. Deadline December 6, 2021. Read more.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for contributions on report on normative standards and obligations under international law in relation to the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons. Deadline December 6, 2021. Read More.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on Thematic studies of the expert mechanism on the right to development. Deadline December 31, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation – Call for input to 2022 reports: indigenous peoples and people living in rural areas. Deadline December 31, 2021. Read more.

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – The U.S. will be reviewed at the 10th session of CERD in April 2022. Civil society submissions for the List of Themes will likely be due in mid-January 2022. and shadow reports will likely be due sometime in March 2022. Check the CERD webpage for updates.

Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence – Call for input to 2022 report on the roles and responsibilities of non-state actors (armed groups and other NSAs) in transitional justice processes aimed at addressing the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in conflict and authoritarian settings. Deadline January 14, 2022. Read more.

Working Group on the Right to Development – Call for comments and textual suggestions on the Draft Convention on the Right to Development. Deadline January 16, 2022. Read more.

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for inputs on 2022 report on the militarization of indigenous land. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for inputs on student on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, between indigenous peoples and States, including peace accords and reconciliation initiatives, and their constitutional recognition. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons especially women and children – Call for inputs on trafficking of persons in the agricultural sector. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.

This information was compiled by Khala Turner, a 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.

December 6, 2021 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 31, 2021

November Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following calls for inputs have been issued by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in November 2021 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities – Call for inputs on Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities on Artificial Intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities. Deadline November 3, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues – Call for inputs on upcoming country visit to the United States of America. Deadline November 7, 2021. Read more.

High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights – Call for inputs on social development challenges faced by persons with albinism. Deadline November 30, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal and Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier de Schutter– Call for inputs on report on Decriminalization of homelessness and extreme poverty. Deadline November 30, 2021. Read More.

Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal and Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier de Schutter – Call for inputs on Decriminalization of homelessness and extreme poverty. Deadline November 30, 2021. Read more.

This information was compiled by Khala Turner, a 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.

October 31, 2021 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 24, 2021

U.S. Elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council That Trump Quit

By Kaeleigh Williams, 2L at St. Louis University School of Law

On Thursday October 14, 2021, the U.N. General Assembly elected the United States to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. The Trump administration quit the 47-member body more than three years ago, after it called the 47-nation council hypocritical and for anti-Israel prejudice. The withdrawal from the council was disappointing for many, who hoped to persuade the U.S. that a multilateral approach to the world’s biggest problem was worth sticking with.  

The U.S. received 168 votes in the secret ballot by the General Assembly. It begins a three-year term on January 1, 2022.  

When President Joe Biden took office in January, he pledged that human rights would be the center of his foreign policy and his administration has not shied away from criticizing China over Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan and calling out Russia.  

"The U.S. will have an opportunity to demonstrate just how serious the Biden administration is about making human rights central to its domestic and foreign policies," said Human Rights Watch U.N. Director Louis Charbonneau. "With a lot of missteps so far, they should use their time on the council to promote human rights among friends and foes alike."  

Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, stated, “We will work hard to ensure the Council upholds its highest aspirations and better supports those fighting against injustice and tyranny around the world. The path towards the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms will be filled with challenges. The United States commits to continue this steadfast pursuit, at every opportunity, with any and all countries that will join us.”  

See President Biden’s statement about the U.S. election to the HRC here.  

October 24, 2021 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 17, 2021

U.S. Reengages with UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The United States was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on October 14, 2021, more than three years after the Trump administration withdrew from the Council.  On the campaign trail President Biden had promised that the United States would week election on the Council and the administration began to reengage with the Council earlier this year as an observer. 

Also noteworthy is that on September 24, 2021, the United States submitted its Sixth Periodic Report to the UN Committee Against Torture concerning the implementation of the United States’ obligations under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in accordance with Article 19 of the Convention. The report covers both domestic and extra-territorial violations of the prohibition against torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment. As reported by Jamil Dakwar, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program, the report was due in 2018 but the Trump administration failed to submit a reply to the Committee’s detailed questions. The organization of this report follows the general guidelines for the preparation of reports by Member States. The U.S. report will likely be reviewed by the U.N. Committee Against Torture in late 2022 or early 2023 depending on the backlog caused by COVID-19.  U.S. civil society organizations (including human rights clinics) may wish to submit shadow reports to the Committee in the coming year.

October 17, 2021 in Convention Against Torture, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Event: 10/4-10/5 UN Office at Geneva and Nizami Ganjavi International Center Webcast on "Peace, Diversity and our Common Humanity"

On October 4-5, 2021, the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Nizami Ganjavi International Center will be holding a webcast on “Peace, Diversity and our Common Humanity”. From the event organizers:

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has just published his report “Our Common Agenda”, calling on the international community to join forces to tackle the rising nationalism, deep-rooted rifts, glaring inequalities and the climate emergency which mark our current world situation, and to strengthen and accelerate multilateral cooperation in the coming years.

The aim of this high-level event is to heed this call and to endorse both multilateralism and the values of peace, human rights, dignity, equality, justice, and solidarity that have underpinned the work of the United Nations for over 75 years. Over the course of the two-day event, different aspects of the current world situation will be discussed in the following four panels: “Peace and Security in a Changing World”, “Diversity in the Context of Our Common Humanity”, “Environment and Climate as All-Encompassing Issues” and “Equality within the Sustainable Development Goals”.

To register for online participation, please use the following link: https://indico.un.org/event/ 36858/. For any queries, please contact unog.frontoffice@un.org.

September 29, 2021 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 16, 2021

UN experts call for end to police brutality worldwide

UN Special Rapporteurs Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Morris Tidball-Binz, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Clement Nyaletsossi Voulé, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, as well as others, have expressed alarm at what they describe as a “rampant police brutality against peaceful protesters worldwide” and warned States of the grave danger arising from such abuse for human rights and the rule of law. 

“In recent months and years, we have repeatedly voiced our concern over a steady increase in the use of excessive force, police brutality, and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as well as arbitrary detention, against predominantly peaceful protesters in all regions of the world,” the experts said in a statement on August 13, 2021. 

“This trend, often extending to journalists covering protests, has resulted in countless deaths and injuries, often exacerbated through torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearance, and has intimidated, traumatized, and antagonised large segments of society worldwide.”

The experts said the vast majority of these incidents were rooted in political, socio-economic, ethnic, racial, religious, or other tensions specific to particular national or regional situations. “At the same time, there are also relevant, more generic contexts of global reach and underlying reasons of racism, gender-based and other forms of discrimination in law enforcement,” they said.

“Large-scale migration, protests of climate activists, human rights defenders, indigenous peoples and, more recently, the Black Lives Matter movement are affected by excessive use of force and police brutality.

“Additionally, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been numerous reports of security forces employing excessive and often indiscriminate violence resulting in unlawful deaths, injury and psychological trauma, as well as arbitrary detentions, in order to enforce emergency measures for the protection of public health, such asbans on assemblies, lockdowns and curfews.

“Most worryingly, throughout all regions and contexts, these acts of violence and abuse have often been encouraged by divisive, discriminatory and inflammatory narratives spread or condoned by political leaders, local authorities, and parts of the media, and by the resulting atmosphere of near complete impunity for perpetrators.”

The experts said it is the prime responsibility of governments and political leaders to prevent such dangerous developments through non-violent means including, most notably, pro-active communication aiming at de-escalation, reconciliation, and the peaceful exercise of civil and political rights.

“Public confidence in the reliability, legitimacy and integrity of State institutions and their law enforcement officials is the most valuable commodity of any peaceful, just and sustainable society and the very foundation of democracy and the rule of law,” the experts said.

“We therefore urge governments and political leaders not to needlessly squander the trust of their people, to refrain from any unwarranted violence, coercion and divisiveness, and to prioritize and promote dialogue, tolerance and diversity in the common public interest of all.”

August 16, 2021 in Global Human Rights, Lauren Bartlett, Police, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 8, 2021

July & August 2021 Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following UN Human Rights Mechanisms have issued calls for inputs with deadlines in July and August 2021 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Special Rapporteur on racial discrimination - Call for input on combating glorification of Nazim, neo-Nazim, and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. Deadline July 12, 2021. Read more.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for input on analytical report on a comprehensive approach to promoting, protecting, and respecting women's and girls' full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian situations, including good practices, challenges, and lessons learned at the national, regional, and international levels. Deadline July 12, 2021. Read more

Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association - Call for input on thematic report addressing the protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests during crisis situations. Deadline July 31, 2021. Read more

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - Call for comments and textual suggestions for the draft convention on the right to development. Deadline: August 20, 2021. Read more

Special Rapporteur on torture – Call for input for comments on a report on the impact of thematic reports presented by the Special Rapporteur on Torture. Deadline August 31, 2021. Read more.

This information was compiled by Khala Turner, rising 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.

July 8, 2021 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Event: June 24th Discussion on the rights of indigenous women and girls with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will hold a virtual day of general discussion on the rights of indigenous women and girls. The Committee states that "the purpose of the day of general discussion is to stimulate debate and seek inputs for the elaboration by the Committee of a General Recommendation on the rights of indigenous women and girls. The aim of the General Recommendation will be to provide guidance to States parties to the Convention on the measures they should adopt to ensure full compliance with their obligations under the Convention to respect and protect the rights of indigenous women and girls." 

The discussion will take place online on Thursday June 24, 2021, from 12:30pm-2:30pm and from 4:00pm-6:00pm (Geneva time)/ 6:30am-8:30am and 10:00am-12noon (Eastern time). (Link to be posted here at a later date).

The Committee welcomes written submissions which should be sent electronically in Word format to Marco Zanin, Human Rights Officer, at mzanin@ohchr.org, indicating "Submission - General discussion on GRIWAG" in the subject. Submissions must not exceed a maximum of 3,300 words and must be received by June 18, 2021 at the latest.  

If you wish to deliver a brief oral statement during the discussion, it must not exceed 3 minutes and you must indicate your intention to do so and must send your statement electronically in Word format to Marco Zanin at mzanin@ohchr.org by June 18, 2021 at the latest, indicating "Registration - General discussion on GRIWAG"in the subject. 

More information on this event is available here.

June 10, 2021 in CEDAW, Lauren Bartlett, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

June & July 2021 Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following UN Human Rights Mechanisms have issued calls for inputs with deadlines in June and July 2021 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Special Rapporteur on the right to everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health – Call for inputs on the right to sexual and reproductive health–challenges and possibilities during COVID-19. Deadline Jun 10, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants - Call for inputs on the impact of COVID-19 on the human rights of migrants. Deadline June 14, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression - Call for submissions on gender justice and the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Deadline June 14, 2021. Read more.

Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order – Call for inputs on the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a serious test to multilateralism, laying bare its weaknesses and how it could be the opportunity for a strengthened, more effected and inclusive multilateralism. Deadline June 18, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism Call for inputs on the human rights dimensions of technical assistance and capacity building in the counter-terrorism and countering/preventing violent extremism areas. Deadline June 30, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association – Call for inputs on the protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests during crisis situations. Deadline July 31, 2021. Read more.

This information was compiled by Khala Turner, rising 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.

June 9, 2021 in Lauren Bartlett, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 8, 2021

April-May 2021 Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following UN Human Rights Mechanisms have issued calls for inputs with deadlines in April and May 2021 and law professors whose research and scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery – Call for inputs on the role of organized criminal groups with regard to contemporary forms of slavery. Deadline April 16, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights – Call for inputs from States and Stakeholders to inform a thematic report on the lifecycle of plastics and human rights. Deadline April 21, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on violence against women – Call for inputs to inform the Special Rapporteur’s report on femicide. Deadline April 30, 2021. Read more.

Independent Expert on human rights and the environment – Call for inputs on healthy and sustainable food: reducing the environmental impacts of the global food system on human rights. Deadline May 1, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the sale of children – Call for inputs on the gender dimensions of the sale and sexual exploitation of children and the importance of integrating a human rights-based and a non-binary approach to combating and eradicating sale and sexual exploitation of children. Deadline May 10, 2021. Read more.

This information was compiled from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.

April 8, 2021 in Lauren Bartlett, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 22, 2021

News: Is there a New Era For Human Rights on the Horizon?

JoAnn Kamuf Ward and Jamil Dakwar, Is there a New Era For Human Rights on the Horizon? What We Can Learn from the Biden-Harris Administration’s First UN Appearance, Just Security (March 19, 2021), https://www.justsecurity.org/75429/is-there-a-new-era-for-human-rights-on-the-horizon/

"It’s been a busy week for the Biden-Harris administration on the global stage. On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris made the first official administration statement to the United Nations, speaking at the annual U.N. Commission on the Status of Women to underscore U.S. commitments to democracy and gender equality. Wednesday morning, the new administration made its first formal appearance at the U.N. Human Rights Council, as part of a review of the U.S. human rights record, known as the Universal Periodic Review, or UPR. This appearance was followed by an unprecedented racial justice event, co-sponsored by the U.S. Mission in Geneva and featuring prominent racial justice advocates, including Black Lives Matter founder Opal Tometi and Gay MacDougall, the current U.S. nominee to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

...This week’s UPR appearance is significant because the Biden-Harris administration is representing the United States to articulate which of the recommendations the government is committed to implementing, which recommendations it will reject, and why."

March 22, 2021 in Lauren Bartlett, United Nations, Universal Periodic Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 8, 2021

March 2021 Deadlines - Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following UN Human Rights Mechanisms have issued calls for inputs with deadlines in March 2021 and law professors whose scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Working Group on the use of mercenaries - Call for inputs for report on the role of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in humanitarian action (to be presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Sep 2021). Deadline March 9, 2021. Read more.

Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity - Call for inputs for report on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity (to be presented to the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, June 2021). Deadline March 14, 2021.  Read more.

Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery - Call for inputs for report on the nexus between forced displacement and contemporary forms of slavery (to be presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Sep 2021). Deadline March 15, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights - Call for input for report the right to benefit from scientific progress and its applications (to be presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Sep 2021). Deadline March 15, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples - Call for inputs for report on the situation of indigenous peoples living in urban areas (to be presented to the 76th session of the General Assembly, Oct 2021). Deadline March 17, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples - Call for inputs for report on Covid-19 recovery and indigenous peoples’ rights (to be presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Sep 2021). Deadline March 17, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders – Call for inputs for report on the long-term detention of human rights defenders (to be presented to the 76th session of the General Assembly, Oct 2021). Deadline March 19, 2021. Read more.

Working Group of experts on people of African descent - Call for inputs for public session and report on Environmental Justice, the Climate Crisis and people of African descent (to be presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Sep 2021). Deadline March 22, 2021. Read more.

Independent Expert on older persons - Call for inputs for report on the causes, manifestations and prevalence of ageism and age discrimination (to be presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Sep 2021). Deadline March 22, 2021. Read more.

Independent Expert on older persons - Call for inputs for report on the intersection between ageing and gender and the specific human rights concerns and challenges faced by older women (to be presented to the 76th session of the General Assembly, Sep 2021). Deadline March 22, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the right to development - Call for inputs for report on the Climate change related policies and projects from a right to development perspective (to be presented to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in 2021). Deadline March 28, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights - Call for inputs for impact analysis of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (a series of meetings with the IMO in Dec 2020). Deadline March 31, 2021. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights - Call for inputs for report on the lifecycle of plastics and human rights (to be presented to the 76th session of the General Assembly, Sep 2021). Deadline March 31, 2021. Read more.

This list was compiled by the International Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA).  To access wonderful monthly updates on UN Human Rights Mechanisms calls for inputs and country visits schedule, visit: https://ilga.org/newsletters.

March 8, 2021 in Lauren Bartlett, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

23 UN Human Rights Experts Issue Statement on Policing and Systemic Racism in the US

On Friday February 26, 2021, 23 UN human rights experts issued a very strong statement on policing and systemic racism in the United States. The statement calls out police use of excessive force against protesters, highlighting the Philadelphia Police Department’s violent crackdown on Black Lives Matter protesters last June. The statement is also the first time international human rights experts have echoed the Black Lives Matter Movement and allied groups in calling to shift resources from police departments to social and economic resources to support communities of color.

This is also very significant because the last time the UN addressed the issue there was outrage after the UN Human Rights Council watered down a resolution on police brutality and racism after George Floyd's murder, removing the language condemning the US and calling for an investigation. 

This statement would not have been possible but for the incredible advocacy of Professors Rachel Lopez and Lauren Katz Smith and their students at Drexel's Kline School of Law, as well as the ACLU of Pennsylvania. 

March 3, 2021 in Advocacy, Community Advocacy, Discrimination, Global Human Rights, Lauren Bartlett, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The UN Makes Unprecedented Response to George Floyd’s Murder

Editors' Note:  We continue our symposium in the aftermath of Mr. Floyd's death with this post on the United Nation's response.

By Guest Contributor Prof. Gay McDougall

Senior Fellow and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence
Leitner Center for International Law and Justice/Center for Race, Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law

Former Vice Chair, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

Former UN Special Rapporteur on Minorities



Image1This week governments and civil society around the world joined forces to pressure the UN to adopt a resolution responding to the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed African Americans.  The resolution passed on June 19th, 2020, celebrated by Black Americans as the day of emancipation from enslavement, was historic in many ways and in some ways disappointing. 

The original draft that was introduced by the African Group at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, was a response to a letter from the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and Philando Castile, together with Black Lives Matter, the NAACP and over 670 rights groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S. Human Rights Network, and myself as Senior Advisor, wrote a Coalition Letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council appealing that it swiftly convene a special session to investigate the escalating situation of police violence and repression of protests in the United States.

“Mamie Till Mobley made a decision to open the casket of her son Emmett Till so the world could see the atrocities Black people faced in America. I want people across the world and the leaders in the United Nations to see the video of my brother George Floyd, to listen to his cry for help, and I want them to answer his cry,” said Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd. “I appeal to the United Nations to help him. Help me. Help us. Help Black men and women in America.”

The Coalition Letter warned of an “unfolding grave human rights crisis” in the United States and describes the recent police killings of unarmed Black people as well as police use of excessive force to suppress protests as violations of United States obligations under international law. It called on the U.N. to mandate an independent inquiry into the killings and violent law enforcement responses to protests, including the attacks against protesters and journalists. The letter also calls for a U.N. investigation into President Trump’s order that maximum force be used.

“We are greatly concerned that rather than using his position to serve as a force for calm and unity, President Trump has chosen to weaponize the tensions through his rhetoric, evidenced by his promise to seize authority from Governors who fail to take the most extreme tactics against protestors and to deploy federal armed forces against protestors (an action which would be of questionable legality).”

“Our greatest concern is that the violence and counter-violence are diverting the gaze of the global community away from the pain being expressed by a nation in mourning over the callous manner of the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that ended George Floyd’s life while a group of police stood and watched, about the death of more than 100,000 souls from the coronavirus – disproportionately killing Black, Brown and Indigenous people – and about how injustice never ends and equality never comes. There is serious concern that the tear gas and police-induced havoc will obscure the legitimate passion of these demonstrations. The voices of the demonstrators must be heard. Their demand is that the endemic racism, hatred, fear and disparity finally be confronted.”

The call for a meaningful response from the UN Human Rights Council was joined by other human rights officials: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated that “we need to raise our voices against all expressions of racism and instances of racist behavior.” The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, called for serious action to halt US police killings of unarmed African Americans and a Joint statement by 45 Special Procedures Experts of the HR Council said “[t]he uprising nationally is a protest against systemic racism that produces state-sponsored racial violence, and licenses impunity for this violence.”

The CERD Committee issued a very strong statement under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures expressing grave concern over the “horrific killing of George Floyd” and calls for accountability and immediate and appropriate reforms aimed at eliminating racially disparate impacts or structural discrimination in the police and the criminal justice system.

In a joint OpEd signed by all the Under-Secretary Generals of the UN, they committed to take effective actions that will go beyond words.

And the African Group (which represents 54 UN Member States from the African continent) requested an “urgent debate” during the Human Rights Council session “on the current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protest.”

In an unprecedented move, the Human Rights Council session began with a video appeal from the Special Rapporteur on Racism, Tendayi Achi---, that broke with all traditions of diplomatic double-speak in challenging the Council to not miss this chance to be on the right side of history. That was followed by an impassioned appeal by video from the brother of George Floyd.

As negotiations started on the strong draft resolution submitted by the African Group, it became clear that we were up against formidable headwinds. We were told that representatives of the US were “bullying” delegates: for example, threatening to impact the foreign assistance to their countries unless all references to the US is deleted along with the call for the establishment of a commission of inquiry—even demanding the name of George Floyd be deleted. Over the next few days, the forces against us succeeded in watering down the resolution until only its bare bones remained. 

Still, the final resolution calls on the High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive report on systematic racism, policing practices such as that led to the killing of George Floyd, violence against protesters, and related incidents globally.  This is a significant step forward in a continuing struggle.

June 21, 2020 in Race, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (1)