22nd Special Session: The Human Rights Council requests the OHCHR to urgently dispatch a mission to Iraq

On September 1st, the Human Rights Council held a Special Session on the human rights situation in Iraq in light of the abuses committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and associate groups.

Geneva Centre Meets with Avocats Sans Frontières

ASF is a non-profit organisation which works to contribute the towards the establishment of mechanisms that allow for access to independent and impartial justice, and which are capable of guaranteeing the protection of fundamental rights. The organisation offers support to lawyers and bar associations in countries where human rights are not respected, where political violence and armed conflict reign, and where legal rules are flouted.

“What is a right? Let’s deconstruct what we think we know”: Judge Fatsah Ouguergouz Lectures at the Geneva Centre

Judge Fatsah Ouguergouz, Geneva Centre Senior Advisor and Former Vice President of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, lectures the philosophical justification for rights, the historical origins of human rights, and how these rights are formed and applied in contemporary law.

United Nations Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review of Jordan

H.E. Rajab M. Sukayri, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, said that “Jordan places great importance on human rights advancement, and we welcome the UPR as an opportunity to receive constructive criticism”. The Ambassador reported that Jordan has recently approved the granting of nationality to the children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians and has agreed to grant them civil rights. On the consideration of gender among the criteria of discrimination, he noted that the Jordanian Constitution considers people equally before the law, and said that if gender was not mentioned this did not mean that there was discrimination. When asked about broadening the definition of journalists, Mr Sukatri commented that a relevant Committee had amended the law on the trade union of journalists, and that accordingly the freedom of journalists had been expanded.

The UN Resolution on Human Rights Defenders: A Call for Protection and Enforcement

The use and abuse of national law to impair, restrict and criminalise the work of human rights defenders is a contravention of international law and must be addressed, and greater international attention is urgently needed to ensure the protection of those who risk their lives in the exercise and promotion of human rights.

“We should raise our ambitions beyond just preventing violations”: Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs at the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council

The Minister reaffirmed Bahrain’s commitment to cooperating with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and noted that a delegation from her Office is currently in Bahrain engaging in consultations to draw up a Programme of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building. H.E. Sheik Al Khalifa thanked the High Commissioner for this invaluable support, which will “help [Bahrain] to further incorporate international human rights standards into our national laws and policies” and “promote an enduring human rights culture”.