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Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Human Rights

UNCSD logoActivities related to Human Rights issues

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s (FES) Department of Global Policy and Development runs offices in New York and Geneva, which keep a close working line with the United Nations and related international organizations. Geneva is considered to be the world capital of human rights and humanitarian activities. FES-Geneva is, therefore, predestined to predominantly deal with human rights issues. From 2014 on, FES-Geneva serves as main location for any such issues within the FES-family.

FES Human Rights Team Geneva:

The current Human Rights Team Geneva comprises Hannah Peters hpeters@fes-geneva.org, Ira Engel iengel@fes-geneva.org and Hubert Schillinger hschillinger@fes-geneva.org.

Contents

Geneva Human Rights Bulletin
Human Rights and Climate Change
The Universal Periodic Review
UN Special Procedures
Business & Human Rights
Human Rights Training Courses
Geneva HR events
Additional HR info
Archive

 

New Human Rights Publication available:

Evolution Not Revolution. The First Two Cycles of the UN Human Rights Council
Universal Periodic Review Mechanism

 

Edward R. McMahon / Elissa Johnson
published by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
September 2016

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process, initiated in 2007, in which all UN member states’ human rights performances are examined over a four-and-a-half year period (»cycle«) by other states. The UPR’s stated purpose is to promote and deepen respect for human rights through the provision of feedback to UN member states on their human rights performance. The fundamental, underlying question is to what extent is this a meaningful exercise, or, by contrast, a feel-good exercise without substance?
Based on the analysis of the first two cycles of the UPR, this paper suggests that the mechanism does appear to be generating some traction in promoting human rights. Key indicators include the number and types of recommendations being made, the kinds of issues being raised, and the levels of acceptance of recommendations by states.

Download

New Video available: Public Side Event on the Universal Periodic Review of Tanzania

09 May 2016, Palais des Nations, 12:40 - 14:00, Room XXIII, Geneva, Switzerland

Tanzania was reviewed during the 25th Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on May 09, 2016. Civil society representatives from Tanzania invited to a panel discussion, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations.

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Geneva Human Rights Bulletin

As a new instrument of communication the FES HR-Newsletter GENEVA HUMAN RIGHTS BULLETIN was designed to inform about the latest Geneva HR events and to give an overview on the Human Rights work of FES Geneva office.

2016

April issue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

June issue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human Rights and Climate Change

Tackling climate change through immediate and drastic emission reduction while mitigating the already apparent and future impacts of climate change is one of the most pressing challenges faced by the international community today.
 
Under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) countries committed to creating a new international climate agreement at the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015 (COP 21).
At COP 21, state actors from developed, developing and emerging countries are called upon to use this opportunity to clearly define internationally binding targets on carbon emission reduction, energy efficiency and adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change. In order to and make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change while simultaneously promoting growth and development the outcome agreement needs to be based on consultations with actors from civil society and local communities.
 
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung supports the process of rapprochement of different positions and interests by strengthening the dialogue between social and political actors from industrialized, developing and emerging economies as well as civil society actors.
 
In the field of human rights and climate change FES Geneva works in the following areas:

    - The Geneva Climate Change Concertation Group (GeCCco): As an informal roundtable for improved networking and coherence between NGOs working in the field of human rights and climate change, GeCCco was launched in 2014 by FES, Earthjustice and Ciel. This platform offers exchange opportunities on ongoing processes not only in relation to COP 21 and the ADP drafting process but also to the Human Rights Council and Special Procedures.

    - Cooperation with UN Treaty Bodies and Special Rapporteurs to move debates on the topic of climate change from a human rights perspective forward.

    - Development of strategies for further anchoring the topic of climate change and related issues in the Human Rights Council, namely by organizing side events during the sessions.

     

    New Videos available: Climate Change and Human Rights

    Climate change is likely to constitute one of the greatest human rights challenge of the century. Incorporating an effective human rights dimension in the universal and legally binding Agreement under negotiation at COP21 in Paris (30 November – 12 December 2015) is thus of crucial importance. But how does climate change affect the enjoyment of different human rights, and what human rights language do the different human rights constituents call for in the Paris agreement?

    Watch these short Calls for Paris to find out:

    Human rights as integral part of the Paris agreement
    Joachim Rücker, Current Human Rights Council President

     

     

    Call for a just transition:
    Sharan Burrow, International Trade Union Confederation

     

     

    Threat on food security
    Aurelie Ceinos, CARE International

     

     

    The call of faith based organisations
    Valeriane Bernard, Geneva Interfaith Forum

     

    Recent Human Rights and Climate Change Events

     

    COP21: United Nations Conference on Climate Change

    30 November - 11 December 2015, Paris, France

    The aim of COP21 was to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement, applicable to all 195 States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The main objective is to keep global warming below 2°C by reducing greenhouse gases and through decarbonisation of the world economy.

    The Paris Agreement - the first universal climate agreement - was adopted on the 12th of December 2015.

    Find more information at the official website of COP21

     

     

Side Event at COP21: Climate Change: one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time

10 December 2015, 11:30 - 13:00, Paris, France

Climate change is an issue of justice and inequality for those experiencing severe impacts of climate change. These impacts — as well as responses taken to address them — threaten internationally recognized human rights. In light of these threats, the Paris Agreement must take steps to address these harms. This side event at the United Nations conference on climate change COP21 thus lended support for the core human rights language in the operative text of the agreement.  High-level state, UN and civil society representatives provided a unique perspective on why human rights protections are critically needed as part of the climate change agreement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Geneva to Paris: One voice on rights for a just climate agreement

24 September 2015 – 10:00 - 11:30, Room XXIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

In its last Resolution on climate change the HRC has “expressed concerns that climate change has contributed to the increase of both sudden-onset natural disasters and slow on-set events, and that these events have adverse effects on the full enjoyment of all human rights”. Incorporating an effective human rights dimension in the universal and legally binding Agreement under negotiation at COP21 in Paris is now of crucial importance. This side event offered an opportunity to hear the joint call of constituencies of the civil society to include strong and effective human rights language in the Agreement in Paris and views of the States leading the UNFCCC process.

Background paper: Last HRC Resolution

NGO breakfast discussion: On the road to Paris: Where are the TNCs?

07 July 2015, 8:30 am, Centre d’accueil de la Genève international (CAGI), Geneva, Switzerland

In the context of the Climate Conference COP 21, taking place this December and on the occassion of the meeting of the IGWG on an International Legally Binding Instrument on TNCs we discussed on ways to ensure that states and business corporations take human rights into account when taking measures on climate change. Furthermore we debated on the emerging approach of states to transfer an increasing amount of capacity and responsibility to act to local or private actors.

Flyer (including map of the venue)

Public Side Event at the 29th Session of the HRC: Corporate Action for Climate Justice and Human Rights

17 June 2015, 13:00 - 15:00 pm, Palais des Nations, Room 3025, Geneva, Switzerland

At this Side Event we discussed the human rights risks and challenges for business created by climate change.  The meeting was organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

Practitioners from business, trade unions, governments, human rights organizations shared their experience and ideas for effective approaches to injecting human rights in climate change actions in the lead-up to the Paris conference.  

Confirmed speakers included:

  • H.E. Ambassador Cecilia Rebong, Ambassador of the Philippines and Chair of Climate Vulnerable Forum
  • Alison Tate, Director of Economic and Social Policy, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Kristin Casper, International Legal Counsel, Greenpeace
  • Matthias Thorns, Senior Adviser, International Organisation of Employers

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Expert Workshop: Corporate Action for Climate Justice and Human Rights

17 June 2015, 09:00 - 12:00 am, Geneva, Switzerland

In the run-up to the COP 21 climate conference in Paris at the end of this year, the Business and Hphoto Side eventuman Rights Resource Centre and FES Geneva organized an expert workshop to discuss human rights risks and challenges for business created by climate change. While the main obligations are on governments, companies are in a powerful position to mitigate the disproportionate impact of climate change on the most vulnerable and help them adapt. The framework for this event was existing and future business efforts necessary to address climate change; and calls from labour and civil society for business and governments to put human rights at the heart of their climate strategies.

Participation was by invitation only

 

 

 

 

Human Rights and Climate Change - Side Event to the 28th session of the HRC

6 March 2015, Room XXVII, UN Palais des Nations, Geneva

photo Side eventOn 6th of March the HRC held a full-day panel in the official program of the HRC addressing the issue of climate change. To complement the governmental discussions, FES, jointly with many NGOs active in this field, hosted a Side Event to offer civil society perspectives and debate claims on future action by the HRC and the UNFCCC to strengthen policy coherence and human rights protection in climate related action.

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Report

 

 

 

 

NGO coordination meeting on the UNFCCC ADP negotiations

06 February 2015, 1.00-3.00 pm, CAGI conference room, Geneva

photo Side event

FES, Earthjustice and CIEL, as initiators of the GeCCco (Geneva Climate Change concertation group) organized a coordination meeting at the occasion of the Geneva session of the UNFCCC ADP negotiations that took place from 8-13 February. The meeting helped to coordinate the NGO communities focused on the HRC and the UNFCCC respectively.

 

 

More information on UNFCCC ADP

Report

 

 

 

 

 

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a new and unique mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, which consists of the review of the human rights practices of all UN Member States, once every four years and a half. In 2012 the first four-year cycle of the procedure has been completed and the second started. Again, all 193 member states will be reviewed by the international community. NGOs have the opportunity to submit reports reflecting civil society perspectives. Despite the weaknesses of the process this mechanism is the sole opportunity to combine and evaluate information from government, civil society and UN treaty bodies.

What FES-Geneva offers
Before the review we offer substantive help in recommending trainers for national workshops.
During the review we organize incomings.    

Tentative UPR Timetable 3rd cycle (2017 - 2021)

 

Read more on the UPR process:

A first-class information platform with practical tips for NGOs and documentation of all previous review is the Geneva-based NGO UPR Info:
http://www.upr-info.org/
 
UN website on the UPR process of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:
 http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx

 

 

Upcoming UPR Events

 

28th Session of the UPR Working Group

13 - 17 November 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

Timetable for the 28th session

 

Recent UPR Events

 

27th Session of the UPR Working Group

01 - 12 May 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

Timetable for the 27th session

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Side Event on the UPR of Paraguay

20 January 2016, 12:30 - 14:30, Room XXII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

On the occasion of the 24th UPR session, held between 18 and 29 January 2016, Paraguay was reviewed by the Human Rights Council. The aim of the side event was to present key concerns regarding the human rights situation in Paraguay, to analyse the recommendations received through the UPR and to discuss strategies for implementation at the national level. This event was co-organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Coordinadora Derechos Humanos Paraguay and the International Service for Human Rights.

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Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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UPR Pre-Session of Paraguay

17 December 2015, 12:00 -12:30, CICG, Geneva, Switzerland

The Geneva based NGO UPR Info is organizing UPR pre-sessions to bring together Permanent Missions, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to discuss the human rights situation of States one month prior to their review at the UPR Working Group. To the 12th round of the pre-sessions, FES Geneva invited a NGO representative from the Paraguayan human rights coalition Coordinadora Derechos Humanos Paraguay (CODEHUPY). He presented recommendations of the civil society report that was submitted to the Human Rights Council.

Timetable of UPR Pre-Session

CODEHUPY NGO Report (Spanish)

CODEHUPY NGO Report (English)

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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23rd Session of the UPR Working Group

02 - 13 November 2015 , Geneva, Switzerland

Timetable for the 23rd session

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records were reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon invited to a panel discussion prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


Flyer

 

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Public side event on the UPR of Nepal

04 November 2015, 10:00 - 12:00, Palais des Nations, Room XXIII, Geneva, Switzerland

On the occasion of the 23rd UPR session held between 02 – 13 November 2015, Nepal was reviewed by the Human Rights Council. At a public side event the panelists presented key topics of the civil society report that was submitted to the HRC as background information for the states participating in the review.

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22nd Session of the UPR Working Group

04 - 15 May 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Timetable for the 22th session

 

 

 

 

Public UPR Side event on Workers’ Rights in Panama and Honduras

07 May 2015, Palais des Nations, 12:30 - 14:30 Room XXIV, Geneva, Switzerland

On 6 and 8 May, Panama and Honduras underwent their second UPR review. FES supported civil society actors in both countries in submitting reports to the review, in both cases focusing on workers’ rights. The joint side event discussed the submissions as well as the human rights performances of both governments.

INTERPRETATION ENGLISH<>SPANISH AVAILABLE
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UN Special Procedures

TheSpecial Procedures of the Human Rights Council consist of independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective (as Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts or in Working Groups). The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 October 2013 there are 37 thematic and 14 country mandates.


With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.

To know more about the Special procedures at the UN, please click here
 
Already existing relations with UN Special Procedures:

Briefing Note: Submitting information on human rights violations related to climate change to the United Nations Special Procedures

Compiled and endorsed by: Earthjustice, Franciscans International, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Geneva, World Council of Churches, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

Climate change has increasing impacts on the enjoyment of human rights as recognized by the Human Rights Council in multiple resolutions and in the 2008 study prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the request of the Human Rights Council on the relationship between climate change and human rights. Yet, within the UN human rights protection system no central location exists, where all the information about such climate change related violations can be collected. Therefore, in order to document human rights violations caused directly or indirectly by climate impacts as well as measures taken to mitigate or adapt to these impacts, it is important for the time being to use the different existing procedures.
The purpose of the note is to explain to all stakeholders why, how and where to address such communications to the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council.

Briefing note: Submitting information on human rights violations related to climate change to the United Nations Special Procedures

 

Recent FES Geneva Events with UN Special Procedures

Joint Action by Special Procedure Mandate Holders

02 September 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

In 2014, a number of Special Procedures (SP) mandate holders in the field of economic, social and cultural rights have reached the end of their terms and “hand the baton” on to their newly appointed successors. This expert meeting intended to facilitate informal exchange between the outgoing and incoming mandate holders around the achievements, but most importantly on emerging opportunities and forward-looking strategies to advance economic, social and cultural rights through the work of Special Procedures. One area explored in more detail was the opportunities and limits of joint action by SP mandate holders, with a discussion on climate change as a case in point. The conference was co-organized by the Geneva Academy and ESCR-Net.

Program

 

 

 

 

Consultation on Relation Between Human Rights and Climate Change

15-16 July 2014 , Les Praz, France

There can no longer be serious doubt that climate change, like other environmental harms, can and does interfere with the enjoyment of human rights recognized and protected by international law. The effects of climate change on human rights have been recognized by the Human Rights Council, the principal UN human rights body. The question then arises: what duties does human rights law place on States with respect to climate change? 

This consultation aims to examine the relationship between human rights obligations and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change. It also constitutes a continuation of FES’ efforts to foster dialog between experts addressing debates at the HRC and the UNFCCC respectively with the aim to strengthen the human rights dimension in climate change policies.

Program

 

 

 

 

Business and Human Rights

UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

In 2011 the UN Human Rights Council decided as per HR Council resolution17/4 to establish a Forum on Business and Human Rights under the guidance of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises to “discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles [on Business and Human Rights] and promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights, including challenges faced in particular sectors, operational environments or in relation to specific rights or groups, as well as identifying good practices.”

The Forum is open to all relevant stakeholder groups, including States, the United Nations system, intergovernmental and regional organisations, businesses, labour unions, national human rights institutions, NGOs, and affected stakeholders, among others.

 

Recent Business & Human Rights Events

 

Access to remedy: Roles and responsibilities of interested states in relation to cross-border business related human rights abuses

28 - 29 January 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

This workshop was the first of a series of workshops with government and civil society actors in support of OHCHR’s Accountability and Remedy Project. The workshop series is intended to explore current state approaches, attitudes and barriers to more effective action in the case of business related human rights abuses, as well as potential points of agreement that could help inform future practical and legal developments. This first workshop was aimed at clarifying roles and responsibilities between home, host and other interested states in such situations and comes a month prior to a stakeholder consultation on OHCHR’s draft recommendations.

Participation was by invitation only

Read more:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/OHCHRstudyondomesticlawremedies.aspx

 

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Utilizing the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) in the context of extractive industries – Benefits and challenges

18 November 2015, 15:00 - 16:30, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

This side event to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, co-organized with the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association, brought together business, civil society and UN representatives to analyze experiences of different stakeholders with the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The session particularly focused on the examination of current practice of states and business enterprises in the area of extractive industries andl outlined the potential and remaining challenges for the UNGPs in the context of stakeholder consultations. As such, the session aimed to contribute to the strengthening of multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement among communities, corporates and governments.

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Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mining communities in post-conflict settings: New challenges and opportunities for peace keeping

17 November 2015, 13:30-15:00, UN Library, Building B, Floor 1, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

For a number of conflict regions, particularly in Africa, the current concepts designed to prevent or halt natural resource exploitation as funding sources for war and insurgencies appear to be outdated. Sanctions regimes to prevent natural resources from fuelling armed conflict, as devised by the United Nations, as well as due diligence schemes such advised by the OECD or made mandatory for US companies by the Dodd-Frank Act, appear to be behind the curve of the actual developments.

As part of the Geneva Peace Week this session, jointly organised with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, aimed to analyse and update conceptions and unintended consequences on the ground.

Flyer of the event

 

 

 

 

Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights

06 - 10 July 2015, Palais des Nations, room XX, Geneva, Switzerland

At its 26th session, on 26 June 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 26/9 by which it decided “to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, whose mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.”

The Human Rights Council also decided that the first two sessions of the open-ended intergovernmental working group “shall be dedicated to conducting constructive deliberations on the content, scope, nature and form of the future international instrument.”

More info on the first session of the WG

 

 

 

 

NGO breakfast discussion: On the road to Paris: Where are the TNCs?

07 July 2015, 8:30 am, Centre d’accueil de la Genève international (CAGI), Geneva, Switzerland

In the context of the Climate Conference COP 21, taking place this December and on the occassion of the meeting of the IGWG on an International Legally Binding Instrument on TNCs we discussed on ways to ensure that states and business corporations take human rights into account when taking measures on climate change. Furthermore we debated on the emerging approach of states to transfer an increasing amount of capacity and responsibility to act to local or private actors.

Flyer (including map of the venue)

 

 

 

 

Conference on legal accountability of business for human rights impacts

14 - 15 March 2015, Château de Bossey, Switzerland

The aim of the proposed dialogue was to strengthen NHRIs' capacities to participate effectively in the coming international processes in which the possible development of legal frameworks addressing business' human rights responsibilities will be addressed.

This aim was met by reaching the following objectives:

Allowing for exchanges on NHRIs' knowledge regarding current and future processes that may lead to development of new legal frameworks on business and human rights

Increasing NHRIs' knowledge of research and perspectives relevant to development of new legal frameworks on business and human rights

Strengthening mutual understanding amongst NHRIs of experiences and perspectives on legal frameworks on business and human rights

Identifying common goals amongst NHRIs for the current and future processes towards new legal frameworks

Report

 

 

 

 

BRAINSTORMING SESSION ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
'Access to Justice and Extraterritorial Obligations'

26 February 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva for Human Rights-Global Training and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung jointly organized a Brainstorming Session on Business and Human Rights.

The brainstorming session focused on the access to justice for victims and human rights defenders as well as extraterritorial obligations of State parties. The aim was to sensitize the actors involved, to offer a space for discussion and to exchange views on ways to improve the existing tools, and to carefully prepare the forthcoming first session of the negotiations on the binding instrument.  

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To read the contribution of Prof. Shane Darcy (Irish Center for HR), please click here

To read the contribution of Prof. Sigrun Skogly (ETO consortium / Lancaster University), please click here

 

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Training Courses

Human Rights Training Seminar for activists from the MENA region

Since several years FES Geneva organizes a one-week training seminar for Human Rights activits from the MENA region. The seminar is held in Arabic and focuses on the procedures and mechanisms of the international human rights system. Participants are selected by FES country offices.

Recent MENA Training Course

Arabic Speaking Training Course on International Human Rights Mechanisms

02 - 06 November 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

In cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, FES Geneva organized an advanced training course on human rights and the UN human rights system to participants of previous regional training courses. Topics included in-depth information on the Geneva-based human rights system, meetings with UN and NGO representatives as well as participation at the 62nd session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the 23rd session of the Universal Periodic Review.

 

 

 

 

New Training Concept: Training Course on the International Human Rights System for Representatives of National Human Rights Institutions

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are independent institutions of the State with a constitutional or legislative mandate to protect and promote human rights in line with the United Nations Paris Principles they maintain a significant role, distinct to the role of state parties or civil society actors. In addition, NHRIs are often able to encourage engagement by state and non-state actors within the UN system. As key stakeholders, they are also critical actors in the follow-up to UN recommendations and in monitoring progress in countries.

The new designed Training concept aims to further strengthen the capacity of NHRIs to protect and promote the respect of Human Rights in their respective countries.

Recent NHRI Training Course

2015 Training Course for NHRIs on international human rights mechanisms

04 - 08 May 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

The training, developed especially for staff of National Human Rights Institutions world-wide, supported participants in
• Expanding their knowledge of the functioning of UN human rights mechanisms;
• Identifying concrete opportunities for NHRIs' effective engagement;
• Participating in sessions of UN human rights mechanisms;
• Identifying practical ways of effective engagement with the UN mechanisms, such as report writing and following up;
• Engaging with colleagues from the OHCHR and NGOs as well as with states; and
• Exchanging experiences and best practices with peer NHRIs participating in the training

NHRI Training Course 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Individual Human Rights Training Courses

FES Geneva offers several places for individual Human Rights training courses at partner institutions for one to three week courses.

In 2014 civil society actors from Uganda, Nepal, Panama, Brasil, Mongolia and Ethiopia, recommended by our FES country offices, were selected to participate at Human Rights training courses at our Geneva-based partner organizations Geneva for Human Rights and the Geneva Academy.

What they say - Testimonials from participants:

“The Geneva Course was intensive and interactive as it provided both theoretical knowledge and working field experiences for the participants. It also enabled participants to get more exposed with international human rights diplomacy through the session of the Human Rights Council.” Ariunaa Tumurtogoo, Mongolia, participant at the 33. Training course for defenders from the regions on the Human Rights Council, international human rights and humanitarian law, international procedures and diplomacy’, Geneva For Human Rights

 

 

 

 

 

Archive

 

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

16 October 2015, 12:30-14:30, Auditoire 1 A, Maison de la Paix, Geneva, Switzerland

Shared Responsibility and mutual accountability for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which was agreed in August this year, and have been adopted in its current form at the September session of the GA (25-27 Sept 2015). To attain those goals, the agenda contains further sections: “Means of implementation” to explore how this vision could be realized and a section on accountability to create mechanisms to verify that action is indeed taken regarding the means of implementation. This panel event discussed whether the document provides for sufficient tools to ensure a strong accountability of states to the people, including the “mutual accountability” between states, needed to ensure delivery of the implementation in order to realize the goals in full respect of human rights.

 

Concept Note

 

 

 

 

Conference: Blind spots of the Human Rights Council Agenda - Ways to Move Forward

05 - 06 October 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Organized jointly by FES, the German Institute for Human Rights and the NGO Forum for Human Rights, this annual conference focused on the three main themes climate change, non-state armed actors in conflict situations and their respective impact on the enjoyment of human rights as well the rights of the child. Ways how to integrate these issues more comprehensively in the HRC agenda were analyzed and discussed.

Participation was by invitation only.

 

 

 

 

Public Side Event at the 30th Human Rights Council session: Rights at Work - Rights for Women

Economic Empowerment through decent working conditions

18 September 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Women and girls remain overrepresented in the informal economy, labourintensive and precarious work, and in low-paid jobs. A more transformative approach is required to infuse human rights with women’s perspective to combine economics with social and human development. Economic emancipation of women through participation in the formal economy and decent conditions of work can only be achieved by a concerted effort of the human rights, labour, trade and development sectors. This side event analysed how existing human and labour rights standards and trade frameworks can respectively advance fair working conditions for women and propose a holistic approach to ensuring rights at work for all women workers.

Report

 

 

 

 

UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW), 25th Anniversary event

Step it Up: Dignity - Rights - Development

8 September 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

To mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, FES supported the CMW in holding a half-day panel discussion focusing on the multiple human rights abuses faced by migrant workers as well as challenges for States on how to best address these issues. The discussions focused on migrant workers in the Gulf, unaccompanied children in the Americas, and irregular migration flows in the Mediterranean.

Program

Report

 

 

 

 

 

Framework Forum Roundtable: From the NTP to the UN - Filling the legal gap to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons

01 September 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

photo Side eventCo-sponsored by the Middle Powers Initiative, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Basel Peace Office and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, this forum discussed the outcomes of the NPT 2015 Final Document including the recommendation to establish an Open Ended Working Group to identify effective measures for the full implementation of Article VI of the NPT, including legal provisions required to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Participation was by invitation only

Background paper by Marc Finaud

 

 

 

 

Accountability Mechanisms for implementing the SDGs - Side Event to the 29th session of the HRC

18 June 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

photo Side eventIn the context of the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September 2015, this side event to the 29th session of the HRC discussed the importance of human rights principles in informing the debates on accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting addressed issues of claims and standards for accountability, as per existing international human rights law, as well as considerations how the Universal Periodic Review mechanism currently in place at the HRC could best serve as a model for a future SDG accountability mechanism.

Flyer

Background material:

Background paper: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Contributions of the UN Human Rights Council to the Debate so far. (Julia Kercher)

OHCHR Key message on SDG accountability

Report

 

Please find here below the Audio recording of the event:

Introduction 

Mr. Hubert René Schillinger, Director, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Geneva Office

 

Speakers

H.E. Ambassador David Donoghue, Co-Facilitator for Post-2015 Negotiations and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in New York

 

H.E. Ambassador Joachim Rücker, President of the UN Human Rights Council and Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations in Geneva

 

Ms. Irene Khan, Director-General, International Development Law Organization

 

Mr. Roberto Bissio, Executive Director, Instituto del Tercer Mundo and Coordinator, Social Watch

 

Mr. Craig Mokhiber, Chief, Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch, OHCHR

 

 

 

 

Informal trade union Meeting on CESCR General Comment on “Rights At Work”

12 June 2015

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights published a draft of their upcoming General Comment on ICESCR Article 7 on “just and fair conditions at work,” calling for comments and submissions by all interested stakeholders. To facilitate input by trade unions, FES Geneva offered this informal dialog with Committee Members ahead of the official “Day of General Discussion” on the issue.

Participation by invitation only.

Read more

 

 

 

 

Ensuring the Right to Food through Human Rights Impact Assessments - Side Event to the 28th session of the HRC

11 March 2015, Room E 3023, UN Palais des Nations, Geneva

At this expert round-table, we presented and discussed the results of the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA)-study “Owning seeds, accessing food”. Following recent experiences in implementing HRIA in practice, the panelists discussed the strengths and shortcomings of the HRIA approach and identified challenges for future HRIAs. The discussion also focused on the potential role of the UN human rights system in strengthening HRIAs and in supporting its use in public policy making.

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Human Rights and Climate Change - Side Event to the 28th session of the HRC

6 March 2015, Room XXVII, UN Palais des Nations, Geneva

A full-day panel in the official program of the HRC addressed the issue of climate change. To complement the governmental discussions, FES, jointly with many NGOs active in this field, hosted a Side Event to offer civil society perspectives and debate claims on future action by the HRC and the UNFCCC to strengthen policy coherence and human rights protection in climate related action.

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Report

 

 

 

 

BRAINSTORMING SESSION ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
'Access to Justice and Extraterritorial Obligations'

26 February 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva for Human Rights-Global Training and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung jointly organized a Brainstorming Session on Business and Human Rights.

The brainstorming session focused on the access to justice for victims and human rights defenders as well as extraterritorial obligations of State parties. The aim was to sensitize the actors involved, to offer a space for discussion and to exchange views on ways to improve the existing tools, and to carefully prepare the forthcoming first session of the negotiations on the binding instrument.  

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To read the contribution of Prof. Shane Darcy (Irish Center for HR), please click here

To read the contribution of Prof. Sigrun Skogly (ETO consortium / Lancaster University), please click here

 

 

 

 

NGO coordination meeting on the UNFCCC ADP negotiations

06 February 2015, 1.00-3.00 pm, CAGI conference room, Geneva

FES and Earthjustice and CIEL, as initiators of the GeCCco (Geneva Climate Change concertation group) organized a coordination meeting at the occasion of the Geneva session of the UNFCC ADP negotiations that took place from 8-13 February. The meeting helped to coordinate the NGO communities focused on the HRC and the UNFCCC respectively.

More information on UNFCC ADP

Report

 

 

 

 

21st Session of the UPR Working Group

19 - 30 January 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Tentative timetable for the 21st session

 

 

 

 

The Audio files of the Side Event at COP 20:

Climate Change Threatening Human Rights: Challenges and Actions

10 December 2014, 11.30 am – 01.00 pm, Lima, Peru

A public side event at the climate negotiations in Lima (COP 20) on UN Human Rights Day discussephoto Side eventd the impact of climate change on human rights and how human rights law can actually inform the climate debate. Three Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council spoke about climate change impacts on the fields of their mandates and explored how a human rights based approach could lead to better outcomes of the climate negotiations, leading up to a legally binding document in 2015.

Flyer

More information on COP 20

 

Audio Recording of the Side Event:

Introduction: Yves Lador, Earthjustice:

 

John Knox, UN Independent Expert on Environment and Human Rights:

 

Rev Henrik Grape, Church of Sweden:

 

Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food:

 

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples:

 

Questions and Answers:

 

 

 

 

20th Session of the UPR Working Group

27 October - 07 November 2014

Information on the 20th UPR Session

Summaries of all other stakeholders written submissions for the 20th Session

 

 

 

 

20th UPR Session: Side Event on the Human Rights Situation in Iraq

During this 20th session of the UPR Working Group, Iraq was among the countries that presented their reports for review by the Council. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Alliance for Rights “Houqoq” and the Alliance (ENSAN) for Human Rights invited to a panel discussion with two representatives of these Alliances from Iraq as well as Dr. Abdul Kareem Shallal, the Deputy Minister of Human Rights for the Government of Iraq.

More Info on the UPR of Iraq

Flyer to the Side Event on the UPR of Iraq

The event was live-webcast in English and Arabic.

 

 

 

 

Climate Change Threatening Human Rights: Challenges and Actions

10 December 2014, 11.30 am – 01.00 pm, Lima, Peru

A public side event at the climate negotiations in Lima (COP 20) on UN Human Rights Day discussed the impact of climate change on human rights and how human rights law can actually inform the climate debate. Three Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council spoke about climate change impacts on the fields of their mandates and explored how a human rights based approach could lead to better outcomes of the climate negotiations, leading up to a legally binding document in 2015.

Flyer

More information on COP 20

 

 

 

 

Third UN Forum on Business & Human Rights

01-03 December 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

The third Forum was held in Geneva from 1-3 December 2014 under the leadership of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights. About 2000 persons registered from more than 100 countries. The theme of the 2014 forum was "Advancing business and human rights globally: alignment, adherence and accountability". The Forum examined key strategic issues informed by the current business and human rights agenda and the wider global context.

For information about the 2014 Forum on Business and Human Rights, click here.

 

 

 

 

Discussing Case Studies – Triggering Change

01 December 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

In collaboration with the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, German Forum Human Rights (FMR), in cooperation with CounterCurrent and ESCR-Net, organized a panel discussion at the 2014 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights themed “Discussing Case Studies, Triggering Change”.
The leading question was the following: How can the UNGPs be applied in concrete cases to uphold human rights? All three pillars of the UNGPs were taken into account: the state obligation to protect, the business responsibility to respect and access to effective remedy.

Flyer

Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Socially Sustainable Development Goals

25 November 2014, Geneva, Switzerland


The Roundtable Meeting of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, addressed the input of and evaluation by the Committees of the current draft SDGs. The participants elaborated how this framework will impact on the work of CESCR and CEACR. Additionally, the current imitative of CESCR towards a General Comment on Article 7 on “just and fair conditions at work” gave an topical and specific angle to look at the current version of the SDGs.

Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

 

 

 

 

Arabic Speaking Training of Trainers Seminar on the UN Human Rights System

03 - 07 November 2014

In cooperation with the Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Geneva Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) offered this training of trainers seminar to selected participants of regional trainings. The training focused on the instrument of the Universal Periodic Review.

 

 

 

 

20th UPR Session: Side Event on the Human Rights Situation in Kazakhstan

31 October 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

During the 20th UPR Session Kazakhstan was reviewed by the Human Rights Council. FES Geneva corganized a panel discussion with a coalition of national NGOs who submitted reports to the review. Some key issues and suggested recommendations concerning the situation in the country were highlighted.

More Info on the UPR of Kazakhstan

Flyer to the Side Event on the UPR of Kazakhstan

 

 

 

 

 

Public Debate:

Germany's Growing International Responsibility in a Human Rights Perspective / Die wachsende internationale Verantwortung Deutschlands in menschenrechtlicher Perspektive

06 October 2014, Berlin, Germany

Panel

Christoph Strässer, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Federal Governemnt

Pregs Govender, Deputy Chairperson, South African Human Rights Commission (tbc)

Beate Rudolf, Direktorin, Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte

Tilman Evers, Vorstandsmitglied, Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst

Michael Krennerich, Forum Menschenrechte und Vorsitzender, Nürnberger Menschenrechtszentrum

Program of the panel discussion (In German)

 

 

 

 

Protection of Human Rights is indispensable – German Policy in the UN Human Rights Council

06 - 07 October 2014, Berlin, Germany

In a series of conferences, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the German Forum Human Rights (FMR) and the German NHRI – German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR) are discussing annually the performance and impact of the UN Human Rights Council.

This year’s conference will specifically focus on the challenges for Germany, as its candidature for the presidency of the HRC in 2015 seems to be successful. The conference will, in particular, evaluate the current mechanisms and instruments of the HRC with a view to critically reflect on obstacles and opportunities in effectively protecting human rights. Failings and gaps will be discussed and options for responding to them assessed, with a focus on the challenges for the HRC Presidency in 2015.

Read the complete conference programme here.

Podcasts (in German)

Photo Gallery

+++ Expert Meeting on invitation only +++ A cooperation between FES, German Institute for Human Rights and Forum Menschenrechte +++

 

 

 

 

"Making the Right Impact?": Expert Workshop on Evaluating Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIAs) in Trade and Investment Agreements

17 - 18 September 2014, Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland

UNCTADIn the area of HRIAs, there are no common methodologies and no uniform content, so the assessments depend largely on the nature, size, type of actor carrying it out and the objectives of the assessment. In trade and investment contexts, a variety of checklists, tools and guidance for HRIAs are available, but meta assessment of whether HRIAs work, or rather which elements work and which do not, is still wanting.

This workshop, organized by OHCHR jointly with FES, aimed to create an opportunity for more in-depth analysis of how HRIAs in trade and investment work in practice and what opportunities exist for the future.

Agenda

Report

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Council: 27th regular session

08-26 September 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

At the 27th Human Rights Council Session 32 resolutions and 18 decisions (14 related to the UPR) were adopted. The debates on civil society space (resolution A/HRC/27/L.24) as well as the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity (resolution A/HRC/27/L.27/Rev.1) dominated the discussions throughout the session.

Documents of the 27th session

Report

 

 

 

 

EIUC/ FES Expert meeting on business actors and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

24-25 July 2014, Brussels

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is the UN treaty body overseeing the national and international implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Recently, the Committee has more frequently addressed various aspects of the obligations of States Parties to ensure the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in the context of activities by corporate actors carried out domestically and globally. This has prompted the Committee to embark on exploring the possibility of drafting a General Comment on the issue with a view to developing interpretation inter alia of the legal provisions of the ICESCR addressing obligations of State Parties relating to business actors. The expert meeting focused on issue areas for the possible General Comment

Program

 

 

 

 

Consultation on Relation Between Human Rights and Climate Change

15-16 July 2014 , Les Praz, France

There can no longer be serious doubt that climate change, like other environmental harms, can and does interfere with the enjoyment of human rights recognized and protected by international law. The effects of climate change on human rights have been recognized by the Human Rights Council, the principal UN human rights body. The question then arises: what duties does human rights law place on States with respect to climate change? 

This consultation aims to examine the relationship between human rights obligations and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change. It also constitutes a continuation of FES’ efforts to foster dialog between experts addressing debates at the HRC and the UNFCCC respectively with the aim to strengthen the human rights dimension in climate change policies.

Program

 

 

 

 

Rooting the Post-2015 Development Agenda's Gender Equality Goal in CEDAW Provisions

27 June 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

In September 2014 the UN General Assembly will move into a one year intergovernmental process defining new development goals to lead the development agenda from 2015 onwards. Among those Sustainable Development Goals, one goal focuses on Gender Equality, additionally to mainstreaming this concern throughout all the goals. This expert meeting helped to consolidate the position of the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to further inform the definition of SDGs, their targets and indicators.

As a result of the discussion the attendants (Committee members, representatives of the Women’s Major Group and UN Women as well as experts from NGOs) reached the agreement that CEDAW will design an open letter to the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. This letter was sent to the Co-Chairs of the WG on the 17th of July and reflects and summarizes the discussion of the expert meeting on the SDG process and bundles CEDAW key-principles.

Program

Report

Draft - Post2015 Development Agenda

Open letter from the Chair of the CEDAW Committee to the Co-Chairs of the WG on Sustainable Development Goals (Annex 3, page 14)

Further Info on CEDAW

 

 

 

 

Statement on the adoption of the UPR outcomes of the Dominican Republic at the 26th regular session of the HRC

20 June 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Mr. Ambiorix Felix made a public statement at the UPR adoption session of the Dominican Republic at the HRC on behalf of Fundación Comunidad Esperanza & Justicia Internacional (FUNCEJI) and FES.

Among other topics the statement raised concerns about security issues, forced disappearances, and the abolishment of the automatically bestowing citizenship principle to anyone born in the Dominican Republic.

 

 

 

 

Statement on the adoption of the UPR outcomes of Uruguay at the 26th regular session of the HRC

19 June 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Amnesty International presented a public statement at the UPR adoption session of Uruguay at the 26th session of the Human Rights Council.

Public statement

Further Info on the Session

 

 

 

 

FES Uruguay: Public dialogue on the adoption of the UPR working group report of Uruguay before the HRC at its 26th session regular session

16 June 2014, Montevideo, Uruguay

FES Uruguay and Amnesty International Uruguay held a public dialogue session in Montevideo, Uruguay to facilitate dialogue among all key actors involved in the UPR process at the national level - state, civil society organizations, NHRI and the UN office in Uruguay.

After being reviewed on 29th of January 2014 at the 18th UPR session, Uruguay's working group report was formally adopted by the HRC on 19th June 2014.

In order to effectively monitor the implementation of the 187 accepted recommendations, the public dialogue aimed to be the starting point of a national dialogue to promote good practices and to explore opportunities to design a UPR follow-up mechanism. About 15 representatives of a wide range of OSC took the opportunity to communicate their views to representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the UN Regional Office, the National Human Rights Institution and the Interinstitutional Commission on Human Rights (Comisión Interinstitucional de DDHH).

Further information (Spanish)

 

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Council: 26th regular session

09 June 2014 to 27 June 2014, Geneva Switzerland

Information on the 26th regular session

There is also the possibility to follow the meetings through the

live UN-Webcast of the Human Rights Council

 

 

 

 

Training Course for NHRIs on international human rights mechanisms

05 to 09 May 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

The training, developed especially for staff of National Human Rights Institutions world wide, supported participants in

  • Expanding their knowledge of the functioning of UN human rights mechanisms;
  • Identifying concrete opportunities for NHRIs' effective engagement;
  • Participating in sessions of UN human rights mechanisms;
  • Identifying practical ways of effective engagement with the UN mechanisms, such as report writing and following up;
  • Engaging with colleagues from the OHCHR and NGOs as well as with states; and
  • Exchanging experiences and best practices with peer NHRIs participating in the training

Draft Program

Press release ICC

Press release UNITAR

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Council: 25th regular session

03 March 2014 to 28 March 2014

Information (English)

 

 

 

 

18th UPR Session: Side Event on the Human Rights Situation in the Dominican Republic

04 February 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

During the 18th UPR Session the Dominican Republic was reviewed by the Human Rights Council. FES Geneva co-organized a panel discussion with a coalition of national NGOs who submitted reports to the review. Some key issues and suggested recommendations concerning the situation in the country were highlighted.

Information

 

 

 

 

18th UPR Session: Side Event on the Human Rights Situations in Chile and Uruguay

30 January 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

During the 18th UPR Session Uruguay and Chile were reviewed by the Human Rights Council. FES Geneva organized this panel discussion with National NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions on key issues and suggested recommendations concerning the situation in the countries. The governmental delegations were invited to comment on the acceptance of recommendations received in the UPR process.

Information

Report

 

 

 

 

Realizing the Right to Development: Round Table of Authors

4 December 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

This Author Roundtable preceded an official book launch by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, at the same day. The book features ten essays in commemoration of 25 years of the United Nations Declaration of the Right to Development.

Program

Webcast

 

 

 

 

2nd UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

02 to 04 December 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

The Forum was established by the Human Rights Council and is under the guidance of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. It provides a global platform for the promotion and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Principles, unanimously endorsed in 2011 by the Council, are the first globally accepted standards on the responsibilities of States and businesses for preventing and addressing business-related human rights abuse.

FES Geneva supported a number of civil society activists to attend the Forum.

Information on the Forum

Information on the UN Working Group

Information on the Guiding Principles

Program of the Forum

 

 

 

 

"Protect, Respect and Remedy” in the Field of ESC and Labour Rights

27 November 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

The Roundtable Meeting of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, with special participation of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, addressed the respective roles and approaches at the ILO and the UN in the field of business and human rights. The discussions took place against the background of the opportunities raised and challenges faced by the respective Committees and the Working Group in this context as well as the growing awareness and calling-in of States obligations related to the impact of the corporate sector on the implementation of economic and social rights.

Information & Program

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

 

 

 

 

The Optional Protocol of the Social Pact

18 November 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Social Pact) has been strengthened by the Optional Protocol which was put into force in May 2013. A panel discussion took place to evaluate this new instrument and to launch the respective Geneva Academy In-Brief booklet.

Information

Academy In-Brief N° 2

 

 

 

 

Arabic Speaking Training Course on International Human Rights Mechanisms

11 to 15 November 2013, Geneva

In cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the NGO Geneva Institute for Human Rights, FES Geneva offered this advanced training course to selected participants of regional trainings that had been provided by FES in Jordan and Morocco. Topics included in-depth information on the Geneva-based human rights system, meetings with officials and NGOs and participation at a session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Program

List of Participants

 

 

 

 

The Human Rights Council: A Way to Justice?  

07 to 08 October 2013, Château de Bossey, Switzerland

In cooperation with the German Institute for Human Rights and the German Forum Human Rights, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organizes each year a conference on the Human Rights Council, its developments and tendencies as well as its potential use and benefits for non-state actors. This year’s topics included the tendency of constraining civil society space and increasing pressure on NGOs and the role of NGOs to strengthen human rights in the construction of a Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Program

List of Participants

 

 

 

 

Side Event to the 24th Session of the Human Rights Council: "UPR - Do NGO Recommendations Matter?"

17 September 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

NGO submissions are an integral part of the UPR. In many countries, civil society is picking up this new instrument of participation, hoping to benefit from the UN human rights system for the protection and promotion of their rights. The paper discussed at this meeting examined the extent to which state recommendations made in the UPR reflect draft recommendations proposed by NGOs. It finds that state recommendations significantly encompass NGO recommendations: two-thirds of NGO recommendations are reflected in state recommendations.

Flyer

 

 

 

 

Consultation on Fiscal Policy, Poverty, and Human Rights

16 to 17 September 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

The recent financial and economic crisis, and measures to respond to it, have created severe fiscal shortfalls that highlight the inequitable impacts of such measures, especially on the poorest and most vulnerable. In June 2014, at the 26th session of the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, will submit a report concerning fiscal policy and the human rights of persons living in poverty.

This consultation brought together about 25 experts working on issues related to fiscal policy, finance, and human rights to share their experience and knowledge, and to contribute to the preparation of the report.

Report

List of Participants

 

 

 

 

Lunch-time briefing on Gender and Development

12 July 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

There is plenty of declaratory language on the role of women in development and the importance of gender-sensitive development strategies for the realization of women’s human rights. Yet, reality in all countries differs in varying degrees from the aspirations laid down in those texts. In this briefing, we had a twofold look at the impact CEDAW may have on development planning and, on the other hand, how the Committee could integrate a development perspective in their state dialog. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the respective UN-Convention.

Information on the event

Information on CEDAW

Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

 

 

 

 

German-Chinese Dialogue on Human Rights

10 to 13 June 2013, Geneva, Switzerland, and Berlin, Germany

This dialogue between German and Chinese political representatives, civil society stakeholders, and academics is based on the principle of a partnership dialogue on an equal footing. The event is an essential supplement of the official Human Rights Dialogue of the Federal Government of Germany, but is operated and coordinated exclusively by political and civil society stakeholders.

In 1999 the German-Chinese Dialogue on Human Rights was jointly initiated by the Chinese Foundation for the Development of Human Rights, the Chinese Association for International Understanding, and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Being hosted alternating in Germany and China, the partners extended the 11th Human Rights Dialogue symposium to Geneva (10 to 11 June) and continued in Berlin (11 to 12 June).

The Dialogue on the Rule of Law has been agreed in November 1999 between the Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and was signed by Herta Däubler-Gmelin, then Federal Minister of Justice, and Yang Jingyu, then Minister of the Legal Office, on June 30, 2000.

Concept

Agenda

 

 

 

 

The Issue of Corporate Actors within the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)

23 May 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

The Covenant on ESCR applies predominantly to signatory states rather than private actors. In 2011, the Committee on ESCR nevertheless stated that it had “frequently observed that corporate activities can adversely affect the enjoyment of Covenant rights.” On 23 May, an informal discussion among members of the Committee and other experts will tackle the question of what could be done in the realm of the Committee to address and remedy those violations.

Agenda

 

 

 

 

Publication Launch: A Framework Convention on the Right to Development

13 May 2013, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

On 4 December 1986, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development. Since then, the debate about its implementation has continued.

In his recent publication, Koen De Feyter argues for a “framework convention”-approach to unlock the debate and move towards a realization of this fundamental human right.

As a side event to the 14th session of the UN Working Group on the Right to Development, FES Geneva invited delegations, NHRIs and civil society to discuss this progressive avenue.

Information

Report

Download the Publication

 

 

 

 

Informal NGO Meeting on Human Rights Obligations Related to Environmental Protection

07 March 2013, FES Geneva Office, Geneva, Switzerland

In 2012, the Human Rights Council established a Special Procedure on human rights and the environment and mandated Professor John Knox as Independent Expert. This meeting at FES premises in Geneva brought together various NGOs to discuss with John Knox the scope, direction and possible outcomes of this new mandate.

Preliminary Report by John Knox

Program

 

 

 

 

Side Event at the 22nd Session of the Human Rights Council: A Critical Review of MDG Targets for Human Developments and Human Rights

04 March 2013, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

This public side event provided opportunities to discuss human rights in the post-2015 MDG process. Not only can human rights provide guidance as cross-cutting issues or in the form of specific goals, but they are also of prime importance in the formulation of targets and indicators of any follow-up development framework after the MDGs.

Information

Presentation by Rolph van der Hoeven

 

 

 

 

A Critical Review of MDG Targets for Human Development and Human Rights

28 February to 01 March 2013, Château de Bossey, Geneva, Switzerland

HRThe purpose of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) is to draw attention to the urgent priority of ending global poverty and to encourage more action. What has been their impact? Did they shift policy priorities of national governments, multilateral agencies, and other stakeholders?  The selection of indicators with regard to the MDGs plays an important role in shaping global development agendas. They influence how priorities are defined, resources are allocated, incentive policies are formulated, and narratives are created. Negligent formulation of indicators can thus even have negative effects.

In the post-2015 goal-setting process, it is important to consider the selection of indicators more carefully on the basis of more rigorous criteria than it was done when the MDGs were first developed.  This review tried to undertake an evaluation of criteria and, in doing so, to contribute redefined criteria to current debates about a post-2015 agenda and to the setting of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Participation was by invitation only.

Program

 

 

 

 

Access to Justice for Women

18 February 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

International human rights conventions are by nature very general. To apply them in concrete cases requires further interpretation. Concerning the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted in 1979, the UN Committee overseeing its implementation is also undertaking this authoritative interpretation. Most recently, the Committee elaborates the specific requirements for “Access to Justice for Women”, thus a very fundamental issue of the Convention. In this process, the Committee called for expert advice from UN agencies and civil society. FES, together with the International Commission of Jurists, submitted the following paper on “Women’s Access to Justice for Human Rights Abuses committed by Business Actors” focusing especially on a very difficult issue under international law, as the role of the business sector vis-à-vis international human rights law is still blurry and requires further clarification.

Paper

Further information

 

 

 

 

Side Event on the Human Rights Situation in Botswana at the 15th session of the UPR Working Group  

22 January 2013, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

On the occasion of the 15th UPR session Botswana was reviewed by the Human Rights Council. National NGOs presented key issues and suggested recommendations concerning the situation in the country; amongst them a recommendation for a comprehensive human rights strategy linked to the national development principles and priorities of a people-centered, pro-poor, sustainable development agenda. The side event was attended by Dikgakgamatso Ndelu Seretse, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security of Botswana, who assured the audience that the Government of Botswana was willing to engage with local and international partners in order to develop a comprehensive strategy and action plan on human rights.

Pictures

GroupMinister of JusticePanelMakhumalo

Information

Latest Press Statement

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Forum on Business and Human Rights

04 to 05 December 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

The United Nations decided to hold its 1st Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, 4-5 December 2012, to discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Ruggie-Principles). The forum was open to all stakeholders and intended to become an important place for information exchange and discussion. FES-Geneva was given the task to enable a number of activists from the Global South to be present at the forum.

Further information

Upcoming Human Rights Events

 

Arabic Speaking Training Course on International Human Rights Mechanisms

13 -17 November 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

In cooperation with the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, FES Geneva organizes an advanced training course on human rights and the UN human rights system to participants of previous regional training courses. Topics included in-depth information on the Geneva-based human rights system, meetings with UN and NGO representatives as well as participation at the 28th session of the Universal Periodic Review as well as meetings of the UN Treaty Body system.

Participation is by invitation only

Forging Social Contracts to Prevent Violent Conflict, to Protect Human Rights and to Sustain Peace: Bringing our Strategic Approaches and Resources to Bear

9 November 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

The international community has faced challenges in finding winning collective formulas to support the prevention of violent conflict and achieving and sustaining of peace in light of the profound complexities of any given country situation. In response, the new ‘sustaining peace’ approach at the UN recognizes that ‘development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing’ and calls for a comprehensive and system wide approach to sustaining peace. As part of the 2017 Geneva Peace Week this event will bring together experts from the field and academia to discuss current fragmented policy approaches and identify innovative policy and practice at international, national and local levels.

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Recent Human Rights Events

 

Approaching New Realities: Human Rights in Conflict Situations - Expanding the Scope of the Human Rights Council

16 - 17 October 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

This expert seminar, jointly organized by FES Geneva, the German Institute for Human Rights, Forum Menschenrechte and the Geneva Academy will examine the role of the Human Rights Council in bridging international human rights and humanitarian law. Issues discussed include the question of what kind of instruments already exist within the framework of the HRC that could be developed in order to include armed groups as well as an analysis of common issues and conflicting areas between the Human Rights Council and Security Council.

Programme

 

Tomorrow’s world of migration and mobility

9 October 2017, Room XVII Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

The aim of this meeting was to present a summary of the outcomes of a two-year scenario building initiative the International Organization for Migration, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Global Future have engaged in to generate thinking about the future of migration and mobility. The scenarios on tomorrow’s world of migration and mobility seek to inform the migration debate among relevant stakeholders and to inspire possibilities to prepare and actively work towards desired futures for migration. A comprehensive publication on the scenario process and its outcomes is forthcoming.

Scneario Summary

Parliaments and Civil Society as Relevant Stakeholders for Universalization and Implementation of the ATT: the (West) African Experience

13 September 2017, 13:15-14:45, ATT third Conference of State Parties, CICG, Room 6, Geneva, Switzerland

Despite the relatively fast pace of ratifications of the Arms Trade Treaty, universalization in certain regions and implementation is still a pending task. Parliaments still have to review and adapt local legislation, allocate budgets and increase oversight regarding government compliance with the ATT.  This side event, jointly organized with the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Lights Weapons will discuss implementation and universalization of the ATT looking at the (West) African experience. The discussion will highlight importance of civil society and parliaments in this process, the role of Regional Economic Communities in ensuring universalization as well as the importance of national strategies linked to national political priorities and relevant international frameworks such as the Agenda 2030 and the UNPOA.

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Impact of Climate Change on the Rights of the Child

14 June 2017, 13:30 - 15:00, Palais des Nations, Room XXV, Geneva, Switzerland

Children are disproportionately impacted by climate change due to their unique metabolism, physiology and developmental needs says the Analytical Study of the OHCHR on climate change and the rights of the child (A/HRC/35/13). To protect these rights, climate policies and data collection must integrate children rights considerations and that states must ensure that children are effectively empowered to contribute to climate policy and action. This side event, co-organised by the Geneva Climate Change Consultation Group,  aims to take stock of what has been accomplished during this year on the impact of climate change on the rights of the child and to exchange views on next steps.

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Climate induced movement of people – ensuring a human rights based approach

8 June 2017, 09:00-10:30, Palais des Nations, room XXI, Geneva, Switzerland

Climate change has and will continue to have adverse consequences for livelihoods, public health, food security, and water availability, prompting affected communities to leave their homes. Climate change and environmental factors are expected to trigger growing population movements within and across borders. Particular efforts are therefore required to protect the human rights of those most vulnerable to climate change and ensure their meaningful participation in climate actions. This side event aims to outline a human rights based approach to climate induced migration in light of the different international agreements both dealing with migration and climate change.

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2017 Training Course for NHRIs on International Human Rights Mechanisms

01 - 05 May 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

The training, developed especially for staff of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) world-wide, aimed to support participants in
• Expanding their knowledge of the functioning of UN human rights mechanisms;
• Identifying concrete opportunities for NHRIs' effective engagement;
• Identifying practical ways of effective engagement with the UN mechanisms, such as report writing and following up;
• Engaging with colleagues from the OHCHR and NGOs as well as with states; and
• Exchanging experiences and best practices with peer NHRIs participating in the training.

Participation is by invitation only

Building Capacities for Effective Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty

3-7 April 2017, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

For the second year in a row, FES Geneva is supporting the training course “Building Capacities for Effective Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty” of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. This course is intended to train civil society actors and government officials of states having signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on how to implement its provisions effectively. The goal of the course is to contribute to fulfilling the two main objectives of the ATT: Firstly, to “establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms” and, secondly, to “prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion.

Programme

Beyond the procedure: The UPR as a catalyst for public debate on human rights

17 March 2017, 10.00 – 11.30, Room XXVII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is widely acknowledged as one of the major innovations of the United Nations Human Rights Council. At the outset of its third cycle, it is worth assessing whether the UPR has been delivering on its promise to advance human rights on the ground. Beyond the formalities of the mechanism, the UPR can offer multiple opportunities for protecting and promotion human rights. The objective of the study “Beyond the procedure: The Universal Periodic Review as a catalyst for public debate on human rights” is to assess whether and how the UPR can serve as a catalyst for generating public debates on the situation of human rights in national contexts. The study presents a sample of the type of actions, strategies and methodologies
of information, awareness-raising and social mobilization that has been undertaken by stakeholders using the UPR. This selection of practices illustrates the potential of the mechanism to promote public debate, understanding and protection of human rights at the national level.
The study is the result of a yearlong project between the Geneva Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the International Training Center for Human Rights and Peace Education (CIFEDHOP) on the UPR as a human rights awareness raising process.

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Presentation Publication

Publication

Labour Rights in the Context of Structural Adjustment and Austerity Policy

03 March 2017, 13.00–15.00, Room XXV, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

In response to debt and financial crises States have adopted fiscal consolidation measures, such as reducing the public sector wage bill or the number of people employed in the public sector, and labour market reforms. Such reforms have often reduced the legal protection of workers and affected the bargaining power of trade unions. In a number of cases, these reforms have amounted to violations of human rights obligations and international labour standards. The thematic report by the UN Independent Expert, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, on the impact of structural adjustment and fiscal consolidation policies on labour and human rights submitted to the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council will constitute a basis for this panel discussion (A/HRC/34/57).

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Global Migration Scenarios: Second Scenario Workshop

5 – 8 February 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

This workshop, jointly organized by FES Geneva, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Global Future, a Geneva based NGO, constituted the second meeting of invited experts who take part in the one-year scenario building initiative on Global Migration. The Global Migration Scenarios seek to inform the migration debate among relevant stakeholders and to inspire possibilities to prepare and actively work towards desired futures for migration. This second scenario workshop thus aims to draw on the expertise of invited experts to explore and understand current trends, critical drivers and emerging challenges and opportunities, which may shape the global migration agenda in the future into different directions.

Participation is by invitation only

Sharing the lessons learned: Business&Human Rights, Conflict Sensitivity, Business&Peace

17 November 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

This roundtable, jointly organized by FES Geneva, the Quaker United Nations Office and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, aims to bring together experts from the human rights, environmental rights and peacebuilding communities to share their experiences in engaging with businesses. Both the rights- based and peacebuilding approach have become increasingly established, with ambitions growing from respecting basic human rights and adhering to the “do-no-harm” principle to contributing to just and fair development and building peace with local participation. The aim of this workshop is to share key lessons from these different approaches and identify points of collaboration and mutual reinforcement.

Participation is by invitation only

Report

The Right to Land and other Natural Resources

17 November 2016, Geneva Switzerland

Should the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas include a right to land and other natural resources? Should this right include individual and/or collective entitlements? And does the draft UN Declaration being negotiated at the Human Rights Council contain agreed language on this right? These are some of the questions that will be discussed during the expert seminar on the right to land and other natural resources, jointly organized by FES Geneva, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the Government of Switzerland and the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the United Nations in Geneva.

Participation is by invitation only

Rights and Resources: Embedding Human Rights into Corporate Tax Regimes

14 November 2016, 11:40am – 13:00pm, Room XVII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

As part of the programme of the 5th Forum on Business and Human Rights this session, jointly organized by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), the FES Geneva Office and the Center for Economic and Social Rights, focuses on SDG financing, corporate tax regimes and States’ obligations and companies’ human rights responsibilities in that respect. In considering how best to apply the UN Guiding Principles 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' framework to taxation, the discussion will explore governments’ positive legal obligations to protect and prevent harmful corporate tax practices, the responsibilities of business enterprises to prevent the human rights risks of their tax planning, and discuss possibilities and obstacles available to ensure the provision of effective remedy for tax abuse.

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Inequality as a Danger to Sustainable Peace – Converging Perspectives on Human Rights and Peacebuilding

11 November 2016, 9:30am – 11:20am, Room XIV, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

 

Inequality does not only encompass economic inequality but includes the unequal distribution of resources, gender inequality as well as access to social services and the justice system. Over the last decades, strong evidence has been collected to suggest these inequalities are important drivers of destructive conflict and create new challenges to sustainable peace. Addressing existing socio-economic inequalities is thus not only crucial to ensure economic development of nations and the full enjoyment of human rights by its citizens but also from a peace and security perspective. This event, organized jointly by FES, QUNO and the IPU, will bring together experts to discuss the impacts of societal inequalities on sustainable peace from a human rights and peacebuilding perspective.

Please note that to enter Palais des Nations you need a valid UN-badge. If you don’t hold a badge, please contact Ira Engel (FES) before the 04th of November for accreditation: iengel@fes-geneva.org

Please click here to see the explanation on how to get to room XIV.

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Arabic Speaking Training Course on International Human Rights Mechanisms

31 October - 04 November 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

In cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, FES Geneva organizes an advanced training course on human rights and the UN human rights system to participants of previous regional training courses. Topics included in-depth information on the Geneva-based human rights system, meetings with UN and NGO representatives as well as participation at the 26th session of the Universal Periodic Review as well as meetings of the UN Treaty Body system.

Participation is by invitation only

 

10 Years Human Rights Council – What Difference Has It Made? And What Difference Should It Make In The Future?

10 - 11 October 2016, Berlin, Germany

Organized jointly by FES, the German Institute for Human Rights and the NGO Forum for Human Rights, this annual conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Council provided an opportunity to reflect on the work and effectiveness of the HRC. In exploring the question of how the Council can do better in its second decade than in its first, the conference analyzed central structures of the Council. Potential future relationship of the Council with other relevant human rights institutions and mechanisms – such as National Human Rights Institutions, parliamentarians as well as the Development Agenda 2030 and – were explored. Enhancing cooperation and embedding human rights in the work of international mechanisms and debates is critical to ensure that the respective agendas are complementary rather than entering into competition with each other.

Report

Global Migration Scenarios: First Scenario Workshop

26 - 28 September 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

This workshop, jointly organized by FES Geneva, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Global Future, a Geneva based NGO, constituted the first meeting of invited experts who take part in the one-year scenario building initiative on Global Migration. The Global Migration Scenarios seek to inform the migration debate among relevant stakeholders and to inspire possibilities to prepare and actively work towards desired futures for migration. This first scenario workshop thus aimed to draw on the expertise of invited experts to explore and understand current trends, critical drivers and emerging challenges and opportunities, which may shape the global migration agenda in the future into different directions.

Participation by invitation only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side Event to the Human Rights Council

Prevention and Early Warning of Conflict - The Role of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

29 June 2016, 13:00 - 14:30, Geneva, Switzerland

This Side Event aimed to explore the links between economic, social and cultural rights and the prevention of destructive conflict and violence as well as sustaining peace. During the meeting, OHCHR launched its June 2016 Report on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Early Warning of Conflict which demonstrates the links between violations of economic, social and cultural rights and violence, social unrest and conflict. The discussion offered space to analyze the role of violations of economic, social and cultural rights as early warning indicators in effective preventive action of conflict.

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Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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NGO Meeting with CESCR and Human Rights Committee (CCPR)

23 June 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

On occasion of the Joint Committee Meeting between the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Human Right Committee in the afternoon of 23 June, FES Geneva, the Centre for Civil and Political Rights and the Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights invited representatives of civil society to meet with members of both Committee to discuss the importance of civil society engagement with treaty bodies. The meeting in particular focused on mutual practical benefits, implementation and follow-up measures as well as highlighting challenges of engagement and visions for future cooperation.

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Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Expert Seminar on Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals

11 June 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

This expert seminar, jointly organized by FES Geneva, the International Bar Association and the Geneva Academy, aimed to inform the work of the UN human rights mechanisms in addressing the links between the Sustainable Development Goals and human rights, including States’ human rights obligations in the development and implementation of fiscal and economic policies. By bringing together internationally renowned experts the outcome of this meeting intented to assist States in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals from a human rights perspective, with a focus on economic and fiscal policy measures.

Participation was by invitation only.

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Global Migration Scenarios: Scoping workshop

30 - 31 May 201 6, Geneva, Switzerland

This scoping workshop was the first step in a one-year scenario building initiative jointly organized by FES Geneva, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Global Future. The workshop drew on the expertise of selected migration experts to explore and understand critical drivers and emerging challenges and opportunities which may shape the global migration agenda in the future. The workshop was convened to ensure an understanding of the purpose and scope of the scenario planning activity from the outset and was aiming to identify what the scenarios on migration should include as well as to reach an agreement on the final outcome of the process.

Participation was by invitation only.

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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2016 Training Course for NHRIs on International Human Rights Mechanisms

02 - 06 May 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

The training, developed especially for staff of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) world-wide, aimed to support participants in
• Expanding their knowledge of the functioning of UN human rights mechanisms;
• Identifying concrete opportunities for NHRIs' effective engagement;
• Identifying practical ways of effective engagement with the UN mechanisms, such as report writing and following up;
• Engaging with colleagues from the OHCHR and NGOs as well as with states; and
• Exchanging experiences and best practices with peer NHRIs participating in the training

 

 

Participation was by invitation only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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25th Session of the UPR Working Group

02 - 13 May 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

Timetable for the 25th session

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Public Side Event on the UPR of Tanzania

09 May 2016, Palais des Nations, 12:40 - 14:00, Room XXIII, Geneva, Switzerland

Tanzania was reviewed during the 25th Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on May 09, 2016. Civil society representatives from Tanzania invited to a panel discussion, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations.

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Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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The UPR: A Human Rights Awareness-raising Process

19 - 20 April 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

The mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is widely acknowledged as mobilizing the attention of the media and the public of a country. The UPR thus offers a unique opportunity for outreach, information and a public debate on fundamental rights.
This workshop, jointly organized by FES and CIFEDHOP, aimed to bring together actors from civil society and national human rights institutions and discussed various practices employed to use the UPR as a lever of understanding and dissemination of human rights. The workshop aimed to draw up an initial inventory of these practices and to identify the challenges faced and thereby contribute to an understanding how the UPR can add to the understanding of fundamental rights in the public domain.

Participation was by invitation only

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Framework Forum: Issues and proposals for taking forward nuclear disarmament

18 April 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

Prospects for progress on nuclear disarmament in 2016 seem difficult, despite the establishment in 2015 of an Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) with a mandate to recommend measures to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. This roundtable will provide an opportunity to reflect on some of the key issues being raised in the Conference on Disarmament and the OEWG and consider the possibilities for progress on a range of measures, including recommendations for action by non-nuclear, allied and nuclear-armed States.

Report

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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Human Rights Council Side Event: Economic Inequality, Financial Crises and Human Rights

09 March 2016, 14:00 - 16:00, Room XXIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland


This side event will bring together experts to discuss the impacts of inequality in the current economic climate. Topics will include economic inequality from a human rights perspective, the role that austerity measures play in fuelling inequalities that negatively impact social protection, how economic inequality relates to other types of inequality and what needs to be done to create more just societies.

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Statement by Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky (SR Foreign Debt)

 

Power Point presentations:

Isabel Ortiz, Director_ILO

Mark Herkenrath, Alliance Sud

Richard Wilkinson, The Equality Trust

Stephanie Blankenburg, UNCTAD

Human Rights Council Side Event: After Paris -  Continuing the conversation on climate change and the right to health

03 March 2016, 17:00 - 18:30, Room XXIV, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

This side event followed the High Level Panel Discussion on climate change and the right to health and the presentation of the reports by the Special Rapporteur on the environment to the Council in the morning and aimed to outline civil society perspectives. The impacts of climate change on the right to health, human rights obligations by state parties to effectively regulate pollutive industries as well as public health policies were addressed. 

Speakers

  • John Knox, Special Rapporteur on human rights and environment
  • Palash Mondal, CARE Bangladesh - Impacts climate change on community health
  • Yves Lador, Earthjustice – climate change impact on public health policies
  • Budi Tjahjono, Franciscans International – Impact on communities

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More information on the Human Rights Council panel discussion on climate change and the right to health

 

Public side event on the UPR of Lebanon

02 November 2015, 12:30 - 14:15, Palais des Nations, Room XXII, Geneva, Switzerland

Lebanon’s human rights records will be reviewed during the 23rd Working Group session of the Universal Periodic Review, on November 2nd 2015. Civil society representatives from Lebanon cordially invite you to a panel discussion at 12:30, prior to Working Group session, to present their key concerns on the human rights situation on the ground and on the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Lebanon.


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50th Anniversary of the Human Rights Covenants: A Civil Society Perspective on Impact and Contemporary Challenges

01 March, 12:00 - 14:00, Room XXIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50 years ago the General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). But what impact have the Covenants had on the situation of rights holders and what impact do recommendations from the relevant UN Committees have 'on the ground’?This side event strived to explore these questions and further identified current challenges for the Covenants’ implementation from a broad variety of perspectives. Against the backdrop of the universality and indivisibility of all human rights, this interactive discussion further emphasized the interdependence of the two Covenants.

 

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OHCHR Website on the 50th anniversary of the Human Rights Covenants

 

Human Rights Publications

Fighting Climate Change: The Contribution of the Human Rights Council

Yves Lador

published by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
February 2015

This paper reviews the action taken by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on human rights impacts of climate change, as well as mitigation and adaptation measures. The overview shall help decision makers in the fields of climate change and human rights and facilitate integration and coherence between the two debates.

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UN Human Rights Council. Challenges for Its Next Presidency

Theodor Rathgeber

published by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
December 2014

In 2015, Germany holds the Presidency of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Obviously, the HRC, by its very nature, lacks leverage, tools and the ability to change the facts on the ground. While Germany cannot change the weak authority of the HRC simply by decree, what difference can its presidency still make? This publication argues that the German HRC presidency needs to represent global rather than national interests.


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Geneva Human Rights Bulletin

As a new instrument of communication the FES HR-Newsletter GENEVA HUMAN RIGHTS BULLETIN was designed to inform about the latest Geneva HR events and to give an overview on the Human Rights work of FES Geneva office.

Subscribe to our Human Rights Bulletin

2015

June issue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geneva Human Rights Events

 

Human Rights Council: 31st regular session

29 February - 24 March 2016 , Geneva, Switzerland

Draft Program

List of reports for the 31st session

Report

 

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Council: 30th regular session

14 September - 02 October 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Draft Program

Report

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Council: 29th regular session

15 June - 03 July 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Program of work

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Council: 28th regular session

02 - 27 March 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Draft Program

Report

 

 

 

 

21st Session of the UPR Working Group

19 - 30 January 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Tentative timetable for the 21st session

 

 

 

 

Additional Human Rights info

 

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

OHCHR Website

 

The Universal Logo for Human Rights

Human Rights Logo

 

United Nations Human Rights Council

United Nations Human Rights Council

 

Information about Human Rights on the Website of the FES' Global Policy and Development department (in German)

http://www.fes.de/GPol/inhalt/menschenrechte.htm.