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Human Rights - New York


Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Arguments, Trends and Perspectives

Between 2012 and 2014 OHCHR organised in New York a series of knowledge events on moving away from the death penalty. Four events focused on Lessons from National Experiences, Wrongful Convictions, Deterrence and Public Opinion and Discrimination against Marginalised Groups. These events brought together representatives of Member States, academia and civil society, as well as legal experts and victims of wrongful convictions. This publication consists of a series of articles from the panellists, and reflects a diversity of geographic experiences – Americas and Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe, with articles exploring compelling arguments relevant in deciding in favour of moving away from the death penalty.

Available here in English.



Human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non-United Nations security forces (document A/67/775–S/2013/110)

The policy sets out measures that all United Nations entities must take in order to ensure that any support that they may provide to non-United Nations forces is consistent with the purposes and principles as set out in the Charter of the United Nations and with its responsibility to respect, promote and encourage respect for international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.

Available here in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.



Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Election of Treaty Body Members. A Guide for United Nations Delegates Based in New York

This guide seeks to answer the basic questions that delegates frequently ask of the Secretariat in the context of treaty body elections. It also covers certain other issues which delegates frequently raise in New York with regard to the treaty bodies and their work relating to the General Assembly.

Available in English (PDF)



The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York - brochure 

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York (OHCHR-NY) works for the effective integration of human rights norms and standards in the decision-making and operational activities of United Nations inter-governmental and inter-agency bodies in New York.
OHCHR-NY is organised around three broad areas: geographic issues; global issues; and inter-governmental, outreach and external relations.

Available in English (PDF)



Moving Away from the Death Penalty - Lessons from National Experiences

The large majority of Member States of the United Nations — about 150 out of 193 States — have already abolished the death penalty or observe a legal or de facto moratorium on its use. Since 2007, the General Assembly has also been calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty. Yet, the remaining retentionist states are reported to have carried out more than 600 executions over the course of 2011 alone. The United Nations opposes the death penalty because it negates the right to life and its application raises serious human rights concerns. OHCHR is organising a series of global panel discussions on the abolition of the death penalty. This publication is based on the first of these discussions, held at the United Nations in New York on 3 July 2012.Panelists representing diverse regions, cultures and legal traditions initiated a lively discussion, which was further enriched by an engaged audience of state delegates, legal practitioners and civil society representatives.

Available in English (PDF)



Born Free and Equal: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Human Rights Law

The case for extending the same rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons as those enjoyed by everyone else is neither radical nor complicated. It rests on two fundamental principles that underpin international human rights law: equality and non-discrimination. The opening words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are unequivocal: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Available in English | French | Spanish| Russian| Arabic | Chinese (PDF)

Unofficial translations: Farsi, Fact sheet 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) | Khmer | Portuguese | Turkish | Vietnamese (20Mb, PDF)



30 Years Working for Women’s Rights: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 1982 – 2012

A joint publication of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI).

For 30 years, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has worked with dedication and passion to assist countries in implementing their treaty obligations to protect and promote women’s human rights.

Since its first session in October 1982, the Committee has witnessed tremendous growth in the number of States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and corresponding growth in its workload. The Convention has almost achieved universal ratification with 187 States parties. Through its periodic review of individual country situations through the State party reporting process, the general recommendations it has issued on specific rights and themes, and its growing body of jurisprudence under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, the Committee has provided constructive feedback on how to improve the situation of women in all States parties

Available in English and French (PDF)

Rule of Law Indicators

A joint publication of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Building and strengthening the “rule of law” in developing nations, particularly countries in transition or emerging from a period of armed conflict, has become a central focus of the work of the United Nations. As a result, there is growing demand throughout the United Nations system to better understand the delivery of justice in conflict and post-conflict situations and the impact of developments in this area.

The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in cooperation with other United Nations departments, agencies, funds and programmes, have developed an instrument to monitor changes in the performance and fundamental characteristics of criminal justice institutions in conflict and post-conflict situations. The instrument consists of a set of indicators, the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators. This Guide describes how to implement this instrument and measure these indicators.

Available in English (PDF)

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