45TH SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The UN Human Rights Council held its forty-fifth regular session from 14 September to 7 October 2020 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on human rights

At the opening of the session, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights updated Council members on the situation of human rights worldwide, the activities of her Office, and addressed the human rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The oral update was followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue, as mandated by the presidential statement adopted in May 2020, the statement also calls on the High Commissioner to produce a report on the matter which will be presented at the 46th session.

In a statement delivered on 15 September, during the enhanced interactive dialogue in response to the High Commissioner’s update, GANHRI underlined the commitment that NHRIs in all regions are demonstrating and the critical contributions they have in this process.

GANHRI members have identified common gaps, such as insufficient attention to situations of vulnerability; lack of effective parliamentary and judicial oversight over states’ responses; and discriminatory impacts of COVID-19 states measures.

Thematic discussions

The Council discussed a variety of issues through dedicated debates with Special Procedure mandate holders, several NHRIs participated in the dialogues via video statements, including with the:

  1. Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes 
  2. Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation
  3. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, where the National Human Rights Council of Qatar delivered a video statement on the country mission report.
  4. Working Group on People of African Descent, where the Defensoría del Pueblo of Ecuador delivered a video statement on the country mission report.

In addition, the Council held dedicated debates on the rights of specific groups including a panel on the rights of indigenous peoples and an Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, where a video statement was delivered on behalf of the GANHRI WG on ageing.

A total of 15 NHRIs delivered pre-recorded video statements under different agenda items during the session.


Reprisals

On 30 September, the Council held an Interactive Dialogue on the Secretary General’s report on cooperation with the United Nations its mechanisms and representatives in the field of human rights. GANHRI’s incoming Chairperson, Dr. Freddy Carrion, delivered a video statement highlighting how NHRIs have also been subject to reprisals or other acts of intimidation as a result of the mandated work they are undertaking, including in cooperation with the United Nations.

GANHRI also expressed deep concern about ongoing attacks on defenders and reprisals against those who engage or seek to engage with UN bodies and mechanisms and called for UN channels for cooperation and participation to remain open and effective, especially during the COVID-19 global health emergency.

Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration

In a video statement delivered on 30 September, GANHRI’s Secretary, Dr. Ali Al-Marri, welcomed the Secretary General’s reports on national human rights institutions and the activities conducted by GANHRI in accrediting NHRIs and stressed the critical role that a strong and well-resourced NHRI can play in assisting states meet their international human rights obligations, and in realizing the SDGs.  This has been particularly critical during the ongoing health crisis.


Country specific situations

The HRC held an urgent debate on Belarus and adopted a resolution mandating the High Commissioner to monitor and report on the situation in the near future and addressed serious country specific situations including in Yemen, China, the Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, Egypt, Burundi and Myanmar.

Adoption of UPR reports

The Council adopted the UPR working group reports on Kyrgyzstan, Guinea, the Laos, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Kiribati and Guyana.

The NHRIs of Armenia and Kenya delivered pre-recorded video statement on the adoption of the reports.

Resolutions

Members of the Council adopted by consensus the Australia-led resolution on national human rights institutions, along with other 34 resolutions.

The text of the resolution can be found here.

 

Watch the HRC45 UN Webcast


HRC45 NHRIs Statements

[expand title=”ITEM 2: Enhanced ID on Covid-19″]

Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)
Speaker: Katharina Rose, GANHRI Geneva Representative
Download 

Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
Speaker: Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit
Download[/expand]


[expand title=”ITEM 3: ID with the WG on Arbitrary Detention”]

National Human Rights Council-Qatar
Speaker: Amna y. Alobaidan

Country Mission Report Download [/expand]

[expand title=”ITEM 3: ID with IE on the Rights of Older Persons”] Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
Speaker: Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit

On behalf of the GANHRI Working Group of older persons
Download

Download

[/expand]

 
[expand title=”IITEM 3: ID with the SR on hazardous wastes”]

Scottish Human Rights Commission
Speaker: Ms. Lauren Bruce
Download [/expand]

 
[expand title=”ITEM 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development”]

National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria
Speaker: Tony Ojukwu
Download [/expand]


[expand title=”ITEM 5: ID with ASG on SG Report on Cooperation with the UN, its Representatives and Mechanisms in the field of Human Rights”]

Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)
Speaker: Dr. Freddy Carrión Intriago, GANHRI Chairperson
Download

Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
Speaker: Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit
Download

[/expand]

[expand title=”ITEM 9: ID with the WG on African Descent”]

Defensoria del Pueblo de Ecuador
Speaker: Dr. Freddy Carrión Intriago

Country Mission Report
Download

[/expand]


[expand title=”ITEM 10: ID on HC oral update on Ukraine”]

Ombudsman Office of Ukraine
Speaker: Ms. Liudmyla Denisova
[/expand]

 

[expand title=”ITEM 10: Enhanced ID on HC report on the DRC and final report of the experts on Kasai”]
Commission Nationale des Droits de l’Homme- RDC
Speaker: Mr. Mwamba Mushikonke Mwamus
Download

[/expand]

 
[expand title=”ITEM 10:  GD on presentation of HC/SG country reports”]

Public Defender’s Office of Georgia
Speaker: Lara Jamarauli
Download

Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
Speaker: Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit
Download

[/expand]


 
[expand title=”ITEM 6: UPR Outcomes”]

UPR Adoption Kenya

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
Speaker: Dr. Benard Mogesa
Download

UPR Adoption Armenia

Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia
Speaker: Mr. Arman Tatoyan
Download [/expand]

[expand title=”ITEM 4: Urgent situations that require the Council’s attention”]

Greek National Commission for Human Rights
Speaker: Maria Gavouneli
Download

[/expand]


[expand title=”ITEM 7:  Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”]

Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights
Speaker: Mr. Issam Younis
Download [/expand]


[expand title=”ITEM 8:  Annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of OHCHR and the SG”]

Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)
Speaker: Dr. Ali AL-Marri, GANHRI Secretary
Download [/expand]


[expand title=”Annual Panel on Rights of Indigenous Peoples”]

Defensoria del Pueblo de Ecuador
Speaker: Dr. Freddy Carrión Intriago
Download

[/expand]

For more information please contact:  info@ganhri.org