Thank you for so many reactions to our 24 March Message of solidarity, commitment and hope in these global health and economic crises ! As a training organisation, GHR wishes to continue contributing to the reflection on the dramatic human rights impacts of Covid-19.
The present edition of our Newsletter is again devoted to this pandemic. It presents the action of UN High Commissioner Bachelet, a compilation of statements made by Special Procedures, EMRIP and treaty bodies, and an innovative proposal of our treaty bodies expert Penny Parker for States to report to the Committees on their management of the crisis.
Unfortunately, as expected, vulnerable persons, groups and communities in the industrialized world pay the highest price, and the worst is to be feared with the pandemic affecting gradually all the countries in the South.
Obviously, It is too early a stage to draw conclusions. But some lessons can already be learned from these painful months. Firstly, as long as inequalities and extreme poverty are not seriously tackled at national and international levels, a repetition of such human disaster seems to be unavoidable. Secondly, our Governments did not listen to dozens of scientists and experts. Shouldn’t we listen now to experts on climate change ? Thirdly, reliable information is critical. It is not ‘official’ information (the Chinese Government did not tell all the truth). It depends on good governance, transparency, full access to all the sources, and monitoring by the civil society. Fourthly, the functioning of our societies has to be reviewed. We cannot simply start again with business-as-usual.. ‘Human rights’ is not a matter of GNP or stock exchange: our economic and financial systems will have to change.
We’ll have to evaluate the UN human rights system as well. In this crisis, the action of the High Commissioner and her Office, of the special procedures and treaty bodies have been significant, was it only to remind States on their obligations and to limit the damage. Some suggest convening a special session of the Human Rights Council. This would make sense only if such a session would focus on the fate of the most vulnerable, be based on reports of OHCHR and thematic procedures, and be open to full and active participation of civil society representatives from the regions and from the most vulnerable groups.
16 April 2020.
- 2021-03-18 Geneva Academy -Lessons learned from the Commission for the HR-Council status reviewVirtual Side Event to the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council At this side event, John Pace, Secretary of the former United Nations (UN) Commission on Human Rights will present his recent OUP book The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a Very Great Enterprise, which provides a detailed account of the work of […]
- 2021-09 GSC 50 – 50th Geneva Course
- 2021-02 GSC 49 – Course For Defenders From The RegionsOn the occasion of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council 49th Training course for defenders from the regions ‘Course on the Human Rights Council, international human rights and humanitarian law, international procedures and diplomacy’ (Online Course, 22 February to 10 March 2021) Geneva for Human Rights – Global Training (GHR) conducts its […]
- 2020-12 GSC 48 – Geneva Course ‘‘Mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council (Forums 2020 and EMRIP)From 30 November to 4 December 2020, Geneva for Human Rights (GHR) conducts its 48th Geneva Course for human rights defenders on ‘Mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council (Forums 2020 and EMRIP)’ We are happy to offer training places on our next Geneva Course for defenders entitled ‘Mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council […]
- GHR’s Second Message on the Covid-19 PandemicDear friends, Thank you for so many reactions to our 24 March Message of solidarity, commitment and hope in these global health and economic crises ! As a training organisation, GHR wishes to continue contributing to the reflection on the dramatic human rights impacts of Covid-19. We received many feed-backs and reports confirming the worsening […]
- Invitation to endorse GHR’s letter to HR Council Presidency24 April 2020 Dear friends, Last 24 March 2020, in view of the spread of Covid-19, Geneva for Human Rights (GHR) addressed the human rights movement a message of solidarity, commitment and hope. We received many feed-backs and reports on the worsening human rights situation in all the regions. Unfortunately, as expected, vulnerable persons, groups […]
- 2020-04-22 Letter to the President of the Human Rights Counciltranslation available soon in : FRENCH – SPANISH – RUSSIAN – ARABIC – TAMIL
- EDITORIAL GHR’S NEWSLETTER 2020-04-19Dear friends, Thank you for so many reactions to our 24 March Message of solidarity, commitment and hope in these global health and economic crises ! As a training organisation, GHR wishes to continue contributing to the reflection on the dramatic human rights impacts of Covid-19. The present edition of our Newsletter is again devoted […]
- COVID-19 YET ANOTHER CHALLENGE FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLESUN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) 6 April 2020 The global reach of the COVID-19 virus affects us all, but some groups will suffer disproportionately and in different ways. Indigenous peoples are such a group. Many indigenous peoples live in remote regions difficult to access and often inaccessible. Even prior to […]
- MAIN APPEALS OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS AND WORKING GROUPSStatement of 17 mandate holders (16 March)  ‘While we recognize the severity of the current health crisis and acknowledge that the use of emergency powers is allowed by international law in response to significant threats, we urgently remind States that any emergency responses to the coronavirus must be proportionate, necessary and non-discriminatory’. ‘Declarations of […]
- TREATY BODIES AND CORONAVIRUS — NEXT STEPSby Penny Parker  Several treaty bodies have already issued Covid-19 statements. It makes sense that government responses to the coronavirus pandemic should now be taken up by the human rights treaty body system. The state reporting function of the treaty bodies is especially well suited for this task. Here’s one suggestion to begin the […]
- UN HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES CALL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH IN FIGHTING COVID-19GENEVA (24 March 2020) – The Chairpersons of the 10 UN Treaty Bodies on Tuesday urged global leaders to ensure that human rights are respected in government measures to tackle the public health threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Only by including all people in COVID-19 strategies can the pandemic be combatted,” said Hilary Gbedemah, […]
- HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: ‘ VIRTUAL INFORMAL CONVERSATION’ WITH HIGH COMMISSIONER BACHELETCOVID-19 pandemic – Informal briefing to the Human Rights Council – Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 9 April 2020 Madam President, Excellencies, Colleagues and Friends, Indeed this is an important meeting, at a time that none of us may ever forget. The COVID-19 pandemic is generating suffering and damage in […]
- COVID-19: UN HIGH COMMISSIONER BACHELET’ S LEADERSHIPSince the beginning of the pandemic, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, assumes a leadership in this crisis. She already addressed an appeal at the Human Rights Council. On 6 March 2020, she urged Member States to protect the ‘society’s most vulnerable citizens from the health threat posed by COVID-19, and also from any […]
- 2020-03-24 Uma Mensagem de Solidariedade, Compromisso e Esperança da GHR: Propagação do COVID-19Uma crise global volátil e imprevisível, mas provavelmente de longa duração, começou. Em todas as regiões, ela é já está a mudar as nossas vidas, por vezes de forma abrupta. As próximas semanas e meses serão difíceis para muitos de nós. Vai levar tempo, mas nós vamos superar! Como uma organização de direitos humanos, Geneva […]
- 2020-03-18 IOM – ‘Treat migrants with dignity and respect during pandemic’Main recent public statements from Geneva-based officials and bodies. (UNNews – 18 March 2020) The importance of treating migrants with dignity and respect has not changed, UN migration agency (IOM), spokesperson Joel Millman has told UN News, adding that the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on migrants, highly represented in the food industry, which is […]
- 2020-03 Coronavirus COVID-19: the HR Council suspends its 43rd session.During the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (from 24 February to 20 March 2020), the coronavirus rapidly spread in Europe. At the beginning of the second week of the Council, in her letter to the Council dated 2 March, Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG), […]
- 2020-03 UN HR Special Procedures: 19 Experts appointed during 43rd session by HR CouncilCOVID-19 – Main recent public statements from Geneva-based officials and bodies. Before suspending its 43rd session because of Covid-19 crisis, the Human Rights Council adopted the proposals of its Chairperson, Austrian Ambassador, Ms. Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, and appointed the following 19 experts. Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development • member from African States: Mr. Bonny IBHAWOH […]
- 2020-03-18 ILO – ‘Swift policy action, strong leadership save jobs, ‘avert the worst’ amid covid-19 pandemic’COVID-19 Main recent public statements from Geneva-based officials and bodies. (UNNews – 18 March 2020) As dire forecasts about the global economy add to the anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN’s labour agency (ILO) on Thursday offered a range of urgent measures, which, if governments act quickly, can help to protect workers in the workplace, […]
- 2020-03-19 Experts on ‘Covid-19: governments must promote and protect access to and free flow of information’COVID-19 – Main recent public statements from Geneva-based officials and bodies. (OHCHR, Geneva / Washington / Vienna, 19 March 2020) In light of the growing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the monitors for freedom of expression and freedom of the media for the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, and the Representative on […]
- 2020-03-16 UN HR SP Covid-19: States should not abuse emergency measures to suppress HRCOVID-19 – Main recent public statements from Geneva-based officials and bodies. (OHCHR News, Geneva, 16 March 2020) UN human rights experts* today urged States to avoid overreach of security measures in their response to the coronavirus outbreak and reminded them that emergency powers should not be used to quash dissent. “While we recognize the severity of […]