50th session of the Human Rights Council
The 50th session of the Human Rights Council took place from 13 June to 8 July 2022
Urgent debate on the situation of the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan
On June 15th, 2022, the Human Rights Council convened an urgent debate on the human rights situation of women and girls in Afghanistan. Although the Human Rights Commission in Afghanistan was recently dissolved by the Taliban, its former chair, Shaharzad Akbar, delivered a powerful statement during this debate on the behalf of Women’s Forum on Afghanistan.
Reports by UN appointed International Commissions
Oral updates and country reports delivered by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the work their Office covered country situations in the Syrian Arab Republic and Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. Furthermore, the 50th session of the Human Rights Council also set the stage for the presentation of an oral briefing by the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia. Presenting further opportunities for NHRI engagement:
The State of Palestine’s Independent Commission for Human Rights gave their statement during the interactive dialogue with the ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission included their statement in the interactive dialogue on the oral briefing of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia.
Interaction with Special Procedures mandate holders
The Human Rights Council engaged in interactive dialogues with a variety of Special Procedures mandate holders. Many NHRIs participated in these dialogues via oral and video statements, including:
- Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, to whom the NHRIs of Burundi and Armenia delivered statements.
- Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, to whom the Commission Nationale Indépendante des droits de l’homme of Burundi delivered a statement.
- Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, to whom the National Human Rights Commission of India delivered a statement.
- Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, to whom the Commission Nationale Indépendante des droits de l’homme of Burundi delivered a statement.
- Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, to whom the Commission Nationale Indépendante des droits de l’homme of Burundi delivered a statement.
- Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, to whom the NHRI, Human Rights Defender of Armenia delivered a statement.
- Special Rapporteur on the right to education to whom the National Human Rights Commission of India delivered a statement.
- Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, to whom the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal delivered a statement.
Panels and Annual Discussions
The 50th Session of the Human Rights Council saw the emphasis of panels and discussions taking place on the protection and promotion of women’s rights as well as the issues faced by the digitalization in the the protection and promotion of human rights. NHRIs engaged in the following discussions:
- The National Human Rights Council of Morocco delivered two statements during the Annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women and the high-level panel discussion on countering the negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment and realization of human rights and on ensuring a human rights-based response.
NHRIs’ engagement and participation in such discussions constitutes an important aspect of the global response to cross-cutting human rights issues. Furthermore, the Human Rights Council emphasized the need for international cooperation on this matter, in addition to protecting and ensuring the rights of those individuals and groups who have been made vulnerable due to on-going political conflicts.
Adoption of UPR reports
The Council adopted the UPR Working Group reports on Myanmar, Togo, the Syrian Arab Republic, Iceland, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Lithuania, Uganda, Timor-Leste, the Republic of Moldova, Haiti, Sudan and South Sudan.
The NHRIs of Togo and Lithuania delivered statements upon the adoption of the reports concerning their countries.
GANHRI’s engagement with the Human Rights Council and support to NHRIs
During the 50th session of the Human Rights Council, GANHRI has continued its work and commitment in addressing the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment by engaging in the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. Reiterating the commitment NHRIs pledged to, as an outcome of the 2020 Annual Conference, in promoting a human rights-based climate action through their monitoring, reporting, advisory and awareness-raising functions, both domestically and internationally.
GANHRI welcomed Ian Fry, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Climate Change and his presentation at the interactive dialogue during which he introduced his report on the initial planning and vision for the mandate and the six thematic priorities that he will focus on during his mandate. Reflecting on the wide-ranging climate change related human rights impacts NHRIs have identified in their national context.
The statement, in response to the SR’s report, was delivered on behalf of GANHRI by Hannah Cecilie Brænden, Advisor at the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution, during which she highlighted how this commitment induced the establishment of Climate Caucus consisting of several NHRIs from all around the world working specifically on climate change and human rights.
Furthermore, throughout and a fore time the 50th session of the Human Rights Council, GANHRI’s Head Office supported NHRIs to engage with the Human Rights Council providing guidance and timely response to inquiries from NHRIs for the drafting and delivery of their video-statements. Emphasizing the importance of collaboration and coordination efforts for the effective implementation of international human rights standards at the national and international level.
Resolutions adopted by the Human Rights Council at the 49th Session
The Human Rights Council (HRC) 23 resolutions and one decision; 6 were adopted by a recorded vote, including “Mandate of Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity” and “Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights.”
The remaining resolutions were adopted by consensus, such as “Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls” and “Access to medicines, vaccines and other health products in the context of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” The text of the resolutions and the results of vote are available here.
In the resolution on the situation Situation of human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan (A/HRC/50/L.62) the HRC called for measures to ensure that local women’s rights organizations and local organizations led by women can continue to carry out their work all over Afghanistan and support women and girls. The HRC also encouraged measures to ensure that victims of sexual and gender-based violence have access to justice and to an effective remedy and reparations, with a human rights and gender perspective.
The HRC further called for the reinstatement of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission or the establishment of a similar independent institution in compliance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles) and the reinstatement of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
The HRC in the Human rights and climate change (A/HRC/50/L.10/Rev.1) stressed the importance of States that had not yet ratified the Paris Agreement to do so and called upon all States to adopt a comprehensive, integrated, gender-responsive, age-inclusive, and disability-inclusive approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation policies. In addition, the HRC decided to incorporate the resolution into its programme of work for its fifty-third session, a panel discussion focusing on the adverse impact of climate change on the full realization of the right to food for all people, as well as the its annual programme of work, beginning in 2023, at a minimum a panel discussion, with sufficient time to discuss different specific themes on the adverse impacts of climate change on human rights
The HRC also underlined the importance of national human rights institutions, established and operating in line with the Paris Principles. In light of the numerous and interrelated forms of discrimination, the HRC emphasized the need for disaggregated data and greater national statistical capabilities. The HRC highlighted the efforts OHCHR and UNDP are taking to improve UNCT and NHRI’s capabilities for SDG and prevention monitoring in this regard.
The HRC urged States to resolve their differences through dialogue and peaceful means, and prevent the impact on socioeconomic conditions of family members, particularly women and children, adversely affected by unilateral coercive measures.
The HRC urged States and other stakeholders to promote and preserve multilateralism and to take the measures necessary to strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation aimed at addressing the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the full enjoyment of all human rights.
HRC50 NHRIs and GANHRI Statements
High level discussion on countering negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment of Human Rights (HRC res. 49/21)
Morocco: Conseil National des Droits de l’Homme
Speaker: Ms. Zahira Fountir
ITEM 4 : ID on oral briefing of the International commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (res. S-33/1)
Ethiopian Human Rights Commission
Speaker: Mr. Daniel Bekele Mulugeta, Chief Commissioner
ITEM 2 : ID with COI on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in Israel (res. S-30/1)
State of Palestine: Independent Commission for Human Rights
Speaker: Mr. Issam A. A. Abualhaj, Commissioner General