2021-11-26 Briefing on HR-Council Forums: ‘Minorities & HR and Business’

On the occasion of the 2021 Forums of the UN Human Rights Council

GENEVA BRIEFING for defenders from the regions

 ‘Two Mechanisms of the Human Rights Council: the Forums on Minorities  & on Business and Human Rights

On-line Briefing, 26 November 2021


Traditionally, several mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council (‘HR-Council’) meet in the fall in Geneva. On this occasion, Geneva for Human Rights (GHR) conducts an annual Briefing for defenders from the regions. This year, the Workshop of GHR takes place on 26 November 2021. It focuses on two mechanisms of the HR-Council: the Forum on Minority Issues and the Forum on Business and Human Rights. Due to the new wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the Workshop is on-line only.

Registration & Information


Friday 26 November 2021 (Geneva time)

09.30  Welcome, Registration, Informals
09.45  Opening of the Course, presentation of the participants.

10.00 – 10.30    Introduction to international human rights protection system
10.30 – 11.00    The Human Rights Council and its mechanisms

11.00 – 11.15    Break & Informals

11.15 – 11.40    The UN and minority issues
11.40 – 12.00    The 14th session of the Forum on Minority Issues

12.00 – 12.15    Break & Informals

12.15 – 12.40    Business and Human Rights at the UN
12.40 – 13.00    The 10th session of the Forum on Business and Human Rights

13.00 – 13.30    Q & A and general discussion
13.30 – 14.00    Conclusions, in particular access to the UN meetings




The HR-Council established a diversity of mechanisms to prepare its work, including Working groups to elaborate additional standards and several Forums.

The 14th (virtual) session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP, composed of seven experts) took place from 12 to 16 July 2021. It involved four regional meetings to collect comments on reports prepared by the Group. The Social Forum was held 11 and 12 October 2021 on the ‘good practices, success stories, lessons learned and challenges in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with a special focus on international cooperation and solidarity, and from a human rights perspective’.

The Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (five experts) held its 4th session from 3 to 5 November 2021. The 3rd (biannual) session of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law met on 16-17 November 2021 under the theme: ‘Equal access to justice for all: a necessary element of democracy, rule of law and human rights protection’. And:

  • the 10th session of the Forum on Business and Human Rights will be held from 29 November to 1 December 2021;
  • and the 14th session of the Forum on Minority Issues takes place on 2 and 3 December 2021 under the theme: ‘Conflict prevention and protection of the human rights of minorities’.

Geneva for human rights – GLOBAL TRAINING (GHR)

An international training organization. GHR trains human rights NGOs, defenders, and all those involved in human rights at national level. Aim is to contribute to human rights implementation in the field, to empower defenders in the elaboration and realization of strategies, and in the use of domestic, regional and international human rights procedures.

Since 2006, GHR conducted its Geneva Course at most of the ordinary sessions of the HR-Council. GHR also held with its partners in the field dozens of in-Country Courses for defenders in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Russia, Botswana, Kenya, Bangladesh, Indonesia (Papua), Pakistan, Nepal, India, Thailand and Sri-Lanka. GHR also convenes Workshops and Experts Seminars on the main themes on the HR-Council’s agenda, and gives briefings during the UPR Working group and treaty bodies sessions.


 The (1-3 days) Geneva Briefings are intended for defenders wishing to participate in specific human rights meetings taking place at the UN Headquarters in Geneva. The trainers of GHR introduce the main trends in the UN in the field of human rights, in particular in the HR-Council and in the treaty monitoring bodies, and provide participants with briefings on the background and agenda of the meeting. The Geneva Briefings are also interactive, as GHR aims at combining the theory, the exchanges on the experience of the trainees (field situations) and the exposure to the multilateral reality.

Participants in the GENEVA BRIEFING OF 26 November 2021

With its Geneva Courses and Workshops, GHR aims at promoting a full participation of defenders from the regions in the work of the HR-Council and its mechanisms. This is essential for the quality of the HR-Council’s work. Please, note that non-status NGOs concerned, as well as individual experts and scholars may attend the sessions of these mechanisms. Priority in the selection is given to defenders and NGOs from the regions. GHR also welcomes members of national and regional NGOs delegations attending the sessions, NGOs members working in Geneva.

FINANCE and registration

The schedule of the Briefing (from 10:00 to 14:00, Geneva-time) makes it possible for defenders from Europe, Africa (similar times) and from Asia (afternoon there) to participate.

  • The programme includes for each presentation a short introduction and space for questions and answers and for discussion. GHR enables trainees to intervene on-line and/or to send their questions in advance.
  • Registered participants will receive background material during the Briefing.
  • Exceptionally, the Briefing is on-line only.
  • Deadline for registration is 26 November 2021, at 9 am (Geneva time).
  • You can apply by sending a mail to info@gdh-ghr.org with copy to hps-smt@gdh-ghr.org.
  • The Briefing is free of charge. Obviously donations are most welcome.