51st session of the Human Rights Council
The 51st session of the Human Rights Council took place from 12th September to the 8th of October 2022
Reports by High Commissioner for Human Rights
Oral updates and country reports delivered by the High Commissioner on the work of her Office covered country situations including Ukraine and the Philippines. Offering opportunities for NHRI engagement:
- The Ukrainian Parliament Commission for Human Rights gave their statement during the Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner Oral Update on Ukraine.
- The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines included their statement in the enhanced interactive dialogue on the High Commissioner report on the Philippines.
Furthermore, the High Commissioner for Human Rights shared the office’s inputs in several thematic human rights concerns, including data privacy and the post-pandemic road to recovery and the essential role of civil society.
- The Indian National Human Rights Commission presented their statement at the interactive dialogue on OHCHR report on privacy (res. 48/4)
- GANHRI gave their statement on the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Civil society space: COVID-19: the road to recovery and the essential role of civil society.
Interaction with Special Procedures mandate holders
The Human Rights Council engaged in interactive dialogues with a variety of Special Procedures mandate holders. Amongst mandate renewals for the Special Rapporteur for the rights of indigenous people and the SR on contemporary slavery, GANHRI welcomed the renewal of Ms. Claudia Mahler’s mandate as Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons. Many NHRIs participated in these dialogues via oral and video statements, including:
- Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, to whom the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation delivered a statement.
- Special Rapporteur on Slavery, to whom the National Human Rights Commission of Mauritania delivered a statement.
- Working Group on arbitrary detention, to whom the Burundi Commission Nationale Indépendante des droits de l’homme delivered a statement.
- Independent Expert on older persons, to whom the NHRIs of Burundi, Finland, India and Nigeria delivered their statements.
- Working Group on enforced disappearances, to whom the NHRIs of Burundi and Armenia delivered their statements.
- Special Rapporteur on Burundi, to whom, accordingly the Commission Nationale Indépendante des droits de l’homme of Burundi delivered a statement.
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.
Resolutions adopted by the Human Rights Council at the 51st Session
The Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted 39 resolutions, one decision and one statement by the President; 11 out the 41 adopted texts were adopted by a recorded vote, including “Resolution on national human rights institutions”, “The right to development” and “Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.”
The remaining resolutions were adopted by consensus, such as “The human rights of older persons” and “Strengthening the voluntary funds for the universal periodic review mechanism of the Human Rights Council” and “Neurotechnology and human rights”. The text of the resolutions and the results of vote are available here.
In the resolution on national human rights institutions the HRC welcomed the critical contributions of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in monitoring, reporting and advising governments and other stakeholders on climate action that is based on human rights. The HRC also encouraged all relevant United Nations mechanisms and processes including ECOSOC and HLPF to further enhance NHRIs’ participation in their climate work, and highlighted the important contribution of NHRIs in following-up recommendations of UN mechanism and processes.
GANHRI, with the support of the Permanent Mission of Australia, the Permanent Mission of Timor-Leste, UNEP, UNDP, and OHCHR, hosted a hybrid event on the sidelines of the 51st Human Rights Council and the NHRI resolution on the work of National Human Rights Institutions in connection with climate change.
The HRC also underlined the importance of national human rights institutions, established and operating in line with the Paris Principles. Speakers agreed that the UPR process requires a whole-of-society approach, one that gathers the meaningful and unhindered participation of all stakeholders, including governments, parliaments, National Human Rights Institutions, and civil society.
As acting High Commissioner of Human Rights, Ms. Nada Al-Nashif stressed that the coming months will be a critical to political will. And urged states to uphold their collective commitment to the enduring principle that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
In her statement she expressed that “When galvanised through multilateral and concerted action, by building bridges rather than sowing division, political commitment that is grounded in international human rights standards can propel us forward towards more just and equal societies.”
GANHRI’s engagement with the Human Rights Council and support to NHRIs
GANHRI’s statement in response to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the post-pandemic road to recovery and the essential role of civil society (A/HRC/51/11), highlighted the importance of trustworthy decision-making environments that protect and empower civil society and human rights defenders. GANHRI also expressed its concern for threats and acts of intimidation that weigh more heavily on specific groups and called on states to establish gender-sensitive early warning mechanisms to protect NHRIs and HRDs work.
In the statement for the interactive dialogue on the Secretary-General’s report on reprisals (A/HRC/51/47), GANHRI expressed serious alarm over reprisals against those who engage or seek to engage with UN bodies and mechanisms as well as attacks on the independence of NHRIs and its members. Accordingly, GANHRI called on States and the UN to ensure that protective mechanisms and procedures are established to preserve channels of communication and denunciation between NHRIs and both regional and international human rights mechanisms.
During the General Debate, the Secretary General reported on national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and the activities conducted by GANHRI in accrediting NHRIs in compliance with the Paris Principles. GANHRI welcomed the report (A/HRC/51/52) and the SGs observations on a substantive increase in the engagements of NHRIs with UN human rights system. Throughout its intervention, GANHRI called on states to strengthen their support and provide a safe environment for the effectiveness of NHRIs work and advocated for further establishment of independent and well-resourced NHRIs.
Moreover, throughout and aforetime the 51st 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.
HRC51 NHRIs and GANHRI Statements
ITEM 3: Civil society space: COVID-19: the road to recovery and the essential role of civil society – Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A/HRC/51/13
ITEM 7: General Debate on the Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
ITEM 10 : Enhanced ID on the HC report on the Philippines
ITEM 3: ID with SR on slavery
ITEM 3: ID with IE on older persons
ITEM 4: ID with Commission of Human Experts on Ethiopia
ITEM 3: ID on OHCHR report on privacy (res. 48/4)
ITEM 3: ID with WG on enforced disappearances
Burundi: Commission Nationale Indépendante des droits de l’homme
Speaker: Mr. Sixte Vigny Nimuraba, Chairperson
ITEM 10: ID on HC oral update on Ukraine