Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Event 12/6: Prof. Tendayi Achiume Speaks in Honor of Human Rights Day

On December 6, 2022, from 12-1pm ET, please join Northeastern University School of Law, the Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers’ Network and Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) for an event featuring speaker Professor Tendayi Achiume. Professor Achiume will reflect on her time a U.N. Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. This event will be sure to provide a lot of insights for U.S. advocates on working with Special Rapporteurs.

Register for the virtual event here.

November 22, 2022 in Race, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 27, 2022

November 2022-December 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 November-December 2022 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the protection of the human rights of persons living with rare diseases and their families and careers. Deadline November 1, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change – Call for inputs for report on addressing the human rights implications of climate change displacement including legal protection of people displaced across international borders. Deadline November 11, 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 digital innovation, technologies and the right to health. Deadline November 15, 2022. Read more.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse – Call for inputs on reparations for child victims and survivors of sale and sexual exploitation. Deadline November 19, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights – Call for inputs for a report on cultural rights and migration. Deadline November 25, 2022. Read more.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs for report on the adverse impact of climate change on the right to food. Deadline December 9, 2022. Read more.

Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development – Call for Inputs for thematic studies of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development. Deadline December 30, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism – Call for Inputs for Global Study on the Impact of Counter-Terrorism Measures on Civil Society and Civic Space. Deadline December 31, 2022. Read more.

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

October 27, 2022 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

October 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 October 2022 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs: High Commissioner’s report on human rights implications of and good practices and key challenges of equitable and universal access to and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Deadline October 3, 2022. Read more.

Working Group on discrimination against women and girls - Call for inputs from the mandate of the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls for its upcoming report “Human Security of Women and Girls in the Context of Poverty and Inequality”. Deadline October 3, 2022. Read more.

Human Rights Council Advisory Committee – Call for written inputs: Request for inputs on patterns, policies, and processes leading to incidents of racial discrimination and on advancing racial justice and equality. Deadline October 10, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities – Call for inputs: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities to the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council.  Deadline October 14, 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: Women, Girls and the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment. Deadline October 14, 2022. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for submissions of written contributions to the expert workshop on possible ways to enhance the participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Human Rights Council. Deadline October 15, 2022. Read more.

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

September 20, 2022 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Know Better, Do Better: 2022 U.S. CERD Review

By Jennifer Wakefield, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy at Northeastern University School of Law

IMG_0841Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to Geneva, Switzerland for the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)’s review of the United States for its (non)compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Together with Martha Davis, Co-Director of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at Northeastern University School of Law, I attended briefings with CERD members, coordinated with representatives from civil society organizations, and urged members of the US delegation to listen to our suggestions before the official review at the end of the week. The six days that we spent at the United Nations were transformative, illuminating, and empowering, revealing the harrowing realities that people of color experience daily and the inescapable urgency to repair a system designed to create and perpetuate racial injustices.

On Tuesday, members of civil society organizations from across the country filled a conference room in the Palais Wilson to deliver statements to members of the CERD to create a more accurate picture of what is going on in the United States. Due to time constraints, not everyone was able use the microphone, but the sheer number of people in that room spoke volumes. The first hour of the briefing was dedicated to advocating for indigenous rights, with powerful presentations from members of various tribes on environmental racism, reproductive justice, and education equity for indigenous communities. For the remaining two hours, the CERD heard statements on the criminal legal system, voting rights, the child welfare system, gun violence, migrants’ rights, healthcare and reproductive justice, housing and homelessness, reparations, the access-to-justice crisis, and the need for a national human rights institution – and how current policies and practices institutionalized by the federal government in these areas disproportionately impact people of color. Although each person only had two minutes, the short speeches touched on centuries of pain and oppression that the United States created and continues to cause for underserved communities.

Wednesday’s meeting at the U.S. Mission began as a formal session for the U.S. delegation to answer previously submitted questions from civil society organizations. After going through metal detectors and leaving all electronics with security guards, we sat in rows facing a panel of delegates from the Executive branch. At the beginning of the meeting, the moderator, Ambassador Michèle Taylor, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council, said they could not field any live questions given the number of written inquiries they received. After the questions were read, the delegates gave their pre-typed, rehearsed answers approved by the agencies in which they worked. But directly impacted people heard the emptiness in these stoic and robotic responses. Disregarding the Ambassador, one by one, about a dozen people took turns standing up to share their personal stories of how the US government has failed them and their communities. The emotion and energy in the room was palpable as the people offering first-hand accounts pleaded and demanded for the delegates to make change. The tears were contagious. Almost every member of the delegation was crying as the undeniable truths filled the air. In that moment, the delegation was confronted with two driving forces – power they yield as federal officials and humanity underlying this experience. There was no script they could read from to hide, no new government initiative they could offer as consolation. Defense and deflection were not an option. Their backs were against the wall, confronted with the consequences of their (in)actions. The bravery and strength of these individuals to be so candid and transparent about their lived experiences as people of color in a country where the odds stacked against them was awe-inspiring. Witnessing these barriers break down was a moment in time that I will never be able to capture in words.

The official review started on Thursday afternoon in the Palais de Nations. After opening statements made by the CERD and the delegation, Faith Dikeledi Pansy Tlakula, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur, began pressing the delegation on their lack of progress eliminating racial discrimination with questions informed by civil society submissions and conversations. In these two days, other Committee members followed suit, asking for answers and explanations for inexcusable racism that persists in the United States. The delegation gave performative responses, lacking any commitment to concrete actionable measures the CERD suggested. Ironically, the delegation also ran out of time to answer.

The CERD will release their Concluding Observations on August 30th, expressing their concerns and providing recommendations. Through speaking with civil society members and the CERD’s review, the U.S. delegation heard about all the work that needs to be done at last week’s review. The question now is whether they were listening. The federal government knows better. It has been, and continues to be, its responsibility to do better.

August 18, 2022 in CERD, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Reflections on the U.S. CERD Review, 2022

By Martha F. Davis

039e1f4e-0d56-46d1-8a13-b332b13259a7Traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, is beyond imagination for many American citizens.  Yet for those who were able to be last week during the UN’s periodic review of U.S. compliance with its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racism (CERD), Geneva was a place for imagining an America where human rights and racial justice are firmly enshrined and respected.

Almost seventy civil society representatives – not just advocates, but many who are directly affected by human rights violations – came from all corners of the U.S.:  from Alaska to Wyoming, from Arizona to Louisiana, from Albany to Chicago.  The U.S. government sent a sizeable delegation numbering over twenty, that included appointees at the Ambassador and Assistant Secretary levels as well as many Deputy Assistant Secretaries from an alphabet soup of agencies (DOI, HHS, DHS, DOE, DOL, State, to name a few).  As in recent years, the U.S. delegation also included local government representatives, this time the Mayor of Atlanta and representatives of the California Attorney General’s office.

A lot has happened in the eight years since the last U.S. CERD review in 2014, and it was a diminished United States that appeared before the CERD Committee.  News reports of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago hung in the air, a reminder of the lasting damage done by the prior Administration.  That damage is not only domestic but also international.  Several members of U.S. civil society were in the room when representatives of the Benin government, also being reviewed under CERD last week, responded to Committee queries about their government by noting that at least they had not had an attempted coup! 

Yet Geneva served its purpose of bringing U.S. civil society and government to neutral ground to air serious concerns, under the moderating guidance of CERD Committee experts from such far-flung places as South Africa, Mauritania, Qatar, and Germany.  The American expert on the Committee, Gay McDougall, was present for the exchanges, but recused from the Committee’s deliberations.

The most remarkable exchange occurred outside of the UN hearing rooms, at an event at the U.S. Mission.  What the government delegation had planned as an orderly, Question-and-Answer session with pre-submitted questions, instead turned into a frank and emotional exchange between those most affected by human rights violations – indigenous peoples denied their autonomy and dignity, those experiencing the legacy of slavery and the reality of ongoing racism – and the government representatives, many of whom identified with these same communities.   For those in the room, it seemed like a watershed moment of speaking truth to power.

At the CERD Committee’s review the next day, some of that spirit carried forward, but for the most part, the review returned to business as usual.  The Committee asked pointed questions about issues such as reparations, indigenous rights, abortion, and human rights abuses at the border, and the U.S. delegation slow-talked through their pre-prepared answers.  

Of course, the U.S.’s complicated federal system sometimes ties the hands of the Executive.  On abortion, for example, the Biden administration defended the fundamental right in court, and has made efforts to use what federal power is available to maintain abortion access in some form.  The current Supreme Court majority has shown little interest in human rights law, and the states that have banned abortion since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision feel no compunction about defying human rights norms.  And in retrospect, members of civil society could have done more to protect the federal right while it was standing.  Yet in the CERD forum, it is the Biden Administration – not the Courts, Congress, the states, or civil society -- that must respond to Committee criticism about the U.S. backsliding.

While the Administration’s hands are tied in some areas, there was hope that the CERD review could be the occasion for a special announcement or a new initiative, such as a National Plan of Action on racial justice.  Instead, the Administration often responded to CERD Committee questions with anecdotes of cases that showed positive outcomes for individuals, but did not address system-wide issues that plague areas such as education, labor, health, immigration, indigenous rights, and so on.

In the end, then, Geneva is a place for imagining, a place where civil society and government representatives are all far from home and off-balance, and are perhaps therefore able to hear more completely and speak more openly. Those moments of clarity are valuable.  But what ultimately matters is what happens when everyone involved returns to face the realities at home.  Will the CERD review serve as an organizing tool, or a basis for following up with government representatives, including the mayor of Atlanta and the California Attorney General?  Will the U.S. Government’s listening lead to action?  If the impact of the CERD review remains in Geneva, it will have been a wasted effort on all sides.              

August 16, 2022 in CERD, Martha F. Davis, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 12, 2022

August - October 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 August-October 2022 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights – Call for inputs on study on a proposed non binding set of practical guidelines for efficient asset recovery. Deadline August 15, 2022. Read more.

Committee on Enforced Disappearances – Call for inputs on draft statement on non-state actors and enforced disappearances in the context of the Convention of the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearances. Deadline August 30, 2022. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on draft guidance on Mental Health, Human Rights, and Legislation (published jointly by WHO and OHCHR). Deadline August 31, 2022. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on Human Rights Council resolution 49/12 on the rights of persons with disabilities. Deadline September 1, 2022. Read more.

Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families – Call for submissions on concept paper and draft outline for its draft General Comment No. 6 on the Convergence of the Convention and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Deadline September 12, 2022. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights – Call for contributions toward a universal system of monitoring to assess the human rights impact of unilateral sanctions. Deadline September 30, 2022. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for submissions of written contribution to the expert workshop on possible ways to enhance the participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Human Rights Council. Deadline October 15, 2022. Read more.

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

August 12, 2022 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

UN General Assembly Recognizes Human Right to Healthy Environment

By Anezka Krobot, rising 2L at St. Louis University School of Law

Last week, on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 76/300 with 161 votes in favor and 8 abstentions, recognizing the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, gave the following statement in support of the resolution:

“This decision reflects that all rights are connected to the health of our environment. Every person, everywhere, has a right to eat, breathe and drink without poisoning their bodies in doing so, and to be able to live harmoniously with the natural world, without constantly growing threats of ecosystem collapse and climate catastrophe. Today is a historic moment, but simply affirming our right to a healthy environment is not enough. The General Assembly resolution is very clear: States must implement their international commitments and scale up their efforts to realize it. We will all suffer much worse effects from environmental crises if we do not work together to collectively avert them now. To survive and thrive, we must invest in environmental and social protection centered in human rights; hold governments and businesses duly to account for environmental harms; empower all people to act as agents of change for a healthy environment; and recognize and uphold the rights of those most affected by environmental degradation.”

This resolution is a huge step forward for both environmental and human rights policy, but it remains to be seen whether countries will step up to make real change. As Bachelet herself said, “Today’s decision by the General Assembly marks the culmination of many years of advocacy by activists from all corners of the environmental justice movement. We know the scale of the dangers we face. If we are to protect our planet for present and future generations, it is now time for truly bold action by governments and the private sector as well.  And for all of us to stand together to make the right to a healthy environment our lived and shared reality.”

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

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)