Human Rights Council
19 June 2019
The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold its forty-first regular session from 24 June to 12 July 2019 in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will open the session at 9 a.m. on Monday, 24 June and will update the Council on the situation of human rights worldwide and on the activities of her Office. During the three-week session, the Council will examine over 100 reports on a wide range of issues presented by 24 human rights experts, groups, and mechanisms.
One of the issues in focus during the forty-first session will be the human rights of women. The annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women, scheduled on 27 and 28 June, will focus on violence against women in the world of work and on the rights of older women and their economic empowerment. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will present its analytical study on gender-responsive climate action for the full and effective enjoyment of the rights of women, while women’s rights and climate change will be further explored in a panel discussion on 28 June, which will feature as panellist Mary Robinson, the first female President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, currently of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. The Council will examine the impact of migration on migrant women and girls in a dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, and will engage in interactive discussions with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences and with the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice, which will present its report on women deprived of liberty. It will hear the presentation of the report on the activities of the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women and the report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian settings.
In clustered interactive dialogues, the Council will discuss the report on the role of national human rights institutions in the protection of the human rights of internally displaced persons with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons; the report on the issue of the criminalization or suppression of the rendering of humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees who enter a State in an irregular manner with the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity; the report on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity with the Independent Expert on that subject; the report on opportunities and challenges to the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the digital age with the Special Rapporteur on those rights; and the report on key challenges to long-term social inclusion of victims and survivors of trafficking in persons with the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. It will also engage with the Special Rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers, on the right of everyone to health, on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, on the right to education, on extreme poverty and human rights, and on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and will hear from the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
The Council will examine the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry, which will present its oral update. On Myanmar, it will hear the High Commissioner’s update on the situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities and an update by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar. The Council will also be briefed by the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, which will present its oral update, and by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea.
On the human rights situation in Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), the Council will hear the High Commissioner present her report and hold an enhanced interactive dialogue, and will engage in an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic. On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Council will hear the presentation of the report of the team of international experts on the situation in Kasai, the oral update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and will hold an enhanced dialogue. In an enhanced dialogue with the Government of Sudan and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council will discuss the progress towards the opening of a country office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in this country. The High Commissioner for Human Rights will deliver her oral updates on the human rights situation in Nicaragua, and on technical assistance and capacity-building to Ukraine and to Georgia.
The annual thematic discussion on technical cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights, scheduled on 10 July, will address the theme of technical cooperation and capacity-building in the field of human rights of older persons. The Council will consider and adopt the final outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of 14 States: New Zealand, Afghanistan, Chile, Viet Nam, Uruguay, Yemen, Vanuatu, North Macedonia, Comoros, Slovakia, Eritrea, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, and Cambodia. It will hold nine general debates: the general debate on the High Commissioner’s oral update will start on 25 June, and the general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights on 1 July. On 3 July, the Council will hold two general debates, on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, and on human rights bodies and mechanisms. The general debate on the Universal Periodic Review will take place on 5 July, and on 8 July the Council will hold general debates on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and on racism and racial discrimination. The general debate on technical assistance and capacity-building will take place on 11 July.
The Council will take action on decisions and resolutions on 11 and 12 July before concluding the session.
Further information on the forty-first session can be found here, including the annotated agenda, the detailed programme of work, and the reports to be presented.
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system, made up of 47 States which are responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.
The composition of the Human Rights Council at its forty-first session is as follows: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Egypt, Eritrea, Fiji, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Uruguay.
The President of the Human Rights Council in 2019 is Coly Seck, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations Office at Geneva. The Council’s four Vice Presidents are Vesna Batistić Kos of Croatia, Harald Aspelund of Iceland, Carlos Mario Foradori of Argentina, and Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji. Ms. Batistić Kos is also the Rapporteur.
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