Intersessional seminars on the contribution of the Human Rights Council to the prevention of human rights violations



On 6 July 2018, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 38/18 on “the contribution of the Human Rights Council to the prevention of human rights violations”. In this resolution, the Council has decided “to convene two intersessional seminars with States and other relevant stakeholders, including the United Nations Secretariat and relevant bodies, representatives of sub-regional and regional organizations, international human rights mechanisms, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations, on the contribution that the Human Rights Council can make to the prevention of human rights violations”.

Resolution 38/18 also asks that due consideration be given as “to how the Human Rights Council can work effectively with all pillars of the United Nations system on the prevention of human rights violations with a view to strengthening system-wide coherence and contributing to sustaining peace and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”, as well as “to the availability in the United Nations system of financial resources for human rights promotion, and for prevention in particular”.


Resolution 38/18 requests the President of the Human Rights Council to appoint a chair-rapporteur and two rapporteurs “to chair and facilitate the two intersessional seminars in Geneva, and to consult and gather the views of relevant stakeholders in Geneva and New York, with a view to presenting proposals on how the Council could effectively contribute in the future to the prevention of human rights violations, in the form of a report for consideration by the Council at its forty-third session”.

On 18 October 2018, the President of the Human Rights Council appointed Ms. Yvette Stevens (Sierra Leone), as chair-rapporteur, as well as Mr. Pablo de Greiff (Colombia) and Mr. Nils Muižnieks (Latvia) as rapporteurs.

Yvette Stevens (Sierra Leone), Chairperson
Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone in Geneva. Previously, Ms. Stevens was Energy Policy Adviser and Director for Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Sierra Leone. Ms. Stevens also served as a Senior Adviser at the United Nations Secretariat for Disaster Risk Reduction (July 2007-July 2009), after her retirement as the United Nations Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva from September 2004 to August 2006. From May 2003 to September 2004, she was Director of the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa at the UN Secretariat in New York; and from November 1999 to April 2003, she was Special Coordinator of the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs also at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Pablo de Greiff (Columbia), Rapporteur
Former Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. Since 2015, he has been Senior Fellow and Director of the Transitional Justice Program at the Centre for human rights and global justice at the School of Law, New York University. From 2001 to 2014, he was Director of Research at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). He was previously an associate professor with tenure in the Philosophy department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he taught ethics and political theory.

Nils Muižnieks (Latvia), Rapporteur
Former Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights (2012- 2018). Previously, he held various posts, including: Programme Director at the Soros Foundation-Latvia; Director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia in Riga (2005–2012); Chairman of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2010–2012); Latvian minister responsible for social integration, anti-discrimination, minority rights, and civil society development (2002–2004); and Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies (now Latvian Centre for Human Rights) (1994–2002).


1st intersessional seminar, 9-10 April 2019, Geneva, Palais des Nations, room XVI

Programme of work: English - Français

This intersessional seminar is the first of the two that the three rapporteurs in charge of implementing resolution 38/18 shall organize. It will consider how the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms have fulfilled, through dialogue and cooperation, their preventive mandate outlined in the General Assembly resolution 60/251, paragraph 5 (f), and how they could prevent human rights violations more effectively in the future.

Participants are invited to register online through the Indico platform which is available at Registration will be open until 8 April 2019.