Overview of GANHRI’s engagement at the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council

During the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council (28 February – 1 April 2022) GANHRI contributed to discussions on:  

  • The Global Compact for Migration, advocating a human rights-based approach to migrant policies and the vital role of local actors for its implementation. 
  • Urgent debate on Ukraine, calling for respect of international humanitarian and international human rights law  
  • Climate Change and the right to a healthy environment, expressing the need for environmental justice and engagement with relevant communities, states, and UN bodies. 

Throughout the session, GANHRI’s Geneva-based Head Office also supported individual GANHRI members worldwide to engage with the Human Rights Council. 

The Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted 35 resolutions. In particular in the resolution on the situation in Ukraine (A/HRC/49/L.1) the HRC called for immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and to respect the independence of humanitarian agencies and the protection of humanitarian personnel. 

The HRC resolution on human rights defenders (A/HRC/49/L.9) stressed the positive, important and legitimate role of human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, in promoting and protecting human rights, strengthening understanding, tolerance and peace, and contributing to conflict prevention and resolution and post-conflict reconstruction.

The HRC also underlined the importance of national human rights institutions, established and operating in line with the Paris Principles, in the continued engagement with human rights defenders, their role monitoring and making recommendations about the situation of human rights defenders and the need for the protection of NHRIs including in conflict and post-conflict situations. 

GANHRI will continue to support NHRIs worldwide as they fulfil their commitment to uphold the rights and dignity of migrants, individually and collectively

During the General Segment debate, GANHRI focused its intervention on the importance of the Global Compact for Migration, adopted in 2018, and led by a core group of states to formally apply a people-centered approach towards migration policy. The UN Secretary General made a distinctive emphasis on the importance of inclusive societies and the direct impact local-community humanitarianism can achieve in implementing the Global Compact. 

GANHRI’s statement further directed attention to the upcoming International Migration Review Forum in May 2022, recognizing it as an opportunity to pressure states to reaffirm their human rights directive in promoting safe migration.  

It was also highlighted the importance of NHRIs work within the regional networks and with GANHRI to advance global policy development and support NHRI action on the ground. 

National Human Rights Institutions should not be subject to reprisals nor any other form of intimidation as a result of their mandated activities, enjoy freedom from interference and functional immunity in order to perform their functions in conflict areas

In conjunction, the 49th Human Rights Council held an urgent debate on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine on the 4th of March.

During which GANHRI’s statement gave precedence to the health and safety of civilians, calling for an immediate end of hostilities and respect of international humanitarian and international human rights law 

GANHRI brought to the fore its concern over the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights and her staff, who are bravely continuing to monitor and report the human rights situation in-country, despite the dangers. We expressed our solidarity and support to the Parliamentary Commissioner and staff and called for immediate measures for their protection. 

GANHRI will continue working with the Special Rapporteurs, UNDP, OHCHR and UNEP in addressing climate change and environmental issues for the protection and promotion of rights of present and future generations

In response to the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, GANHRI pledged to continue working in addressing climate change and environmental issues at the 49th Human Rights Council. 

GANHRI’s statement aligned with the Special Rapporteur’s Report, which expressed the need for environmental justice over the disproportionate impacts of pollution that certain individuals and groups unjustifiably bear. 

Expanding on the SP’s Report, GANHRI welcomed the emphasis on the vital role National Human Rights Institutions have played in defending the right to a non-toxic environment. 

Implementing its 2020 Annual Conference Statement, GANHRI in partnership with UNEP, UNDP, OHCHR and Special Rapporteurs, will keep supporting member NHRIs from around the world to make progress on promoting human rights-based climate action by providing platforms for exchanging experiences, building capacities and coordinating our collective engagement in various climate change and environmentally related processes. 

All NHRIs statements delivered at HRC49 are available here