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Human Rights in the context of the UN Reform and The HR Protection Systems Session 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Rights in the context of the UN Reform and The HR Protection Systems Session 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Rights in the context of the UN Reform and The HR Protection Systems Session 1

2 Session objectives To provide information about the key milestones and influence of the human rights agenda in UN reform To explain the relevance of human rights protection systems and the value they bring to country analysis and the UNDAF To introduce the distinction between human rights and human rights-based approach

3 ...To achieve international cooperation…in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms… --UN Charter, art. 1 Human rights in the UN

4 Milestones of HR Mainstreaming in UN

5 UN Charter UDHR Cold War Development Human Rights Copenhagen Cairo Vienna Beijing UN Reform Agenda 1997/2010 Peace & Security humanitarian action

6 ‘In Larger Freedom’ Humanity will not enjoy... security without development development without security either security or development without respect for human rights

7 Human development Process of enhancing people’s capabilities Expand choices and opportunities Lead a life of respect and value … and Human rights Claims to be protected from abuses and deprivations Secure the freedom for a life and dignity Requires capacity that development makes possible The linkage between …

8 Similarities Common objectives Tools for accountability Progressive realization Similar guiding principles Gender equality is integral Programming complementarities Align each MDG with HR HR standards add quality to MDGs’ numerical targets HR adds quality to MDG process HR helps reduce disparities MDGs and human rights

9 Gender mainstreaming Requires understanding the causes of discrimination and unequal power relations between men and women Considers implications of any actions on both women and men Ultimate goal: gender equality … and women’s rights CEDAW: requires comprehensive measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all areas of their lives Other standards: ICCPR, ICESCR, ILO C. 111, Regional treaties, etc. Ultimate goal: gender equality and realization of all human rights for both women and men on equal terms The linkages between …


11 Gender Mainstreaming ECOSOC Resolution 2008/34 mandates all UN agencies to mainstream gender perspectives into all policies and programmes of development co-operation. Gender mainstreaming is globally accepted as critical for the achievement of gender equality in the implementation of all internationally agreed goals. Gender Mainstreaming is both a process and a strategy which takes account of the differential impacts of programme interventions on males and females and integrates these into programme interventions with the aim of eliminating disparities.

12 Basic Concepts Associated with Gender Mainstreaming Gender: Societal constructs on the social, economic, cultural and political attributes of males and females, the opportunities, roles and responsibilities that they should have and play in society. Gender Equality: Women and men, girls and boys enjoy equal conditions, treatment and opportunities for realizing their full potential, human rights and dignity, and for contributing to (and benefitting from) economic, social, cultural and political development.

13 Human rights and conflicts Violent conflict prevents the realization of human rights Non-realization of human rights may lead to violent conflict Violation of human rights often represents manifestation of conflict emergence or escalation There is a reciprocal relationship between human rights and conflict prevention. Violations of human rights are a root cause of conflict; they are also a common consequence of it. Secretary-General’s Progress Report on the Prevention of Armed Conflict (2006)

14 Humanitarian law Applies in situations of international or non- international armed conflict Purpose: to limit the effects of war on people and objects … and human rights Applies in any situation, including armed conflict Both aim to safeguard human dignity in all circumstances The linkages between …

15 UN system’s responses Common Understanding on HRBA (2003) Updated CCA/UNDAF Guidelines Action 2 interagency plan (2003-2008) Delivering as One UN Integrated Missions/PKOs Resident Coordinators & Humanitarian Coordinators Agency policies and Guidelines integrate human rights Increasing no. of UNCTs adopting an HRBA Secretary-General: – Policy Committee decision on HR and Development (2008)


17 UN system’s commitment to HR Interagency level: – Secretary-General – UNDG: Common Understanding on HRBA – Action 2 interagency plan – Updated CCA/UNDAF Guidelines Agency level: – HR are integrated in agency policies & guidelines Country level: – Resident Coordinators & Humanitarian Coordinators – UN Integrated Missions/PKOs – Increasing number of UNCTs adopting HRBA

18 UNDG Human Rights Mainstreaming Mechanism (UNDG-HRM) Senior-level UNDG mechanism to institutionalize support to RC/UNCTs on HR Objectives: Policy and operational coherence on human rights and development Support to RC and UNCT Leadership on human rights Strengthen UNCT support to national capacity building efforts on human rights Promoting system-wide advocacy on human rights

19 Opportunities and challenges HRBA can contribute to: Strengthening normative and operational linkages Increasing coherence at country level Increasing UN’s effectiveness, impact and added value

20 Conclusion  The normative value  The political environment  Substantive linkages  The institutional response

21 Three concepts: 1.Rights 2.Human rights 3.Global, Regional and National Protection systems

22 “That which a person is entitled to have, to do, or to receive from others, and which is enforceable by law.” What is a right?

23 Universal legal guarantees Civil, cultural, economic, political and social Protect human values (freedom, equality, dignity) Inherent to individuals and, to some extent, groups Grounded in international norms and standards Legally binding on States What are human rights?

24 Civil and Political Economic, social & cultural Specific groups Collective rights Life, security, integrity, fundamental freedoms… Education, health, work, food, housing, participation in cultural life… Women’s right, rights of indigenous, children’s rights, rights of persons with disabilities, rights of migrant workers Free determination, development, environment

25 “Protection systems” “Legal frameworks, institutions, procedures and actors to ensure that international human rights norms and standards are promoted, respected, protected and fulfilled”

26 UN Charter UDHR ICCPRICESCR CERDCEDAW CATCRC National Constitutions and Laws CMW Other International Instruments (humanitarian, specialized agencies) Regional instruments CRPD Human rights instruments CPED Fundamental Labour Conventions OPs

27 International human rights mechanism

28 OriginMechanismCompositionCoveragePeriodicity Treaties Treaty Bodies (Committees) ExpertsStates Parties 4 Years Charter HRC Special procedures (Special Rapporteurs, Working Groups...) ExpertsUniversal Universal Periodic Review State representatives Universal4 Years Fundamental Labour Conventions ILO Committee of Experts on Application of Conv and Recom ExpertsStates Parties 2 Years Other universal instruments of specialized agencies E.g., UNESCO Committee on Conv and Recomm/Ex Board/General Conference State representatives States Parties 4 Years

29 MechanismIssue country Recommendations Further define the content of standards Treaty BodiesConcluding observationsGeneral comments Special ProceduresMission reportsThematic reports Universal Periodic Review UPR recommendations----- ILO CommitteesObservations and direct requests/Conclusions General observations/ and general surveys/digest of decisions Other mechanisms under specialized agencies (e.g. UNESCO Committee on Conventions and Recommendations Reports----- Main Functions


31 Promotes universal protection Addresses and prevents violations Develops international law Reviews compliance of Member States Respond to emergencies International forum for dialogue Human Rights Council (Charter-based bodies)

32 Universal Periodic Review Review the fulfillment of the human rights obligations of all countries All Member States will be reviewed within 4 years (48 States per year) Review will be carried out by “peers” (groups of three Member States)

33 Universal Periodic Review Insert picture of the HR Council UPR Report for the specific country as illustration, as per example of Lao

34 Treaty bodies Treaty bodies monitor and facilitate the implementation of the treaties through:  Reviewing State Party reports and additional sources of information  Adopting observations and recommendations  Adopting General Comments on HR Standards contained in the treaty  Examining individual complaints (some of them)  Making confidential inquiries (some of them)

35 Special procedures Country mandates (8) Burundi Cambodia DPRK Haiti Myanmar Palestinian territories Somalia Sudan Thematic mandates (33) ► Adequate housing ► African decent ► Arbitrary detention ► Sale of Children ► Cultural rights ► Discrimination against women in law and practice ► Education ► Enforced Disappearances ► Extrajudicial executions ► Extreme poverty ► Food ► Foreign debt ► Freedom of peaceful assembly & association ► Freedom of opinion & expression ► Freedom of religion ► Health ► Human rights defenders ► Independence of judges and lawyers ► Indigenous people ► Internally displaced persons ► Mercenaries ► Migrants ► Minority issues ► Racism ► Slavery ► International solidarity ► Terrorism ► Torture ► Toxic waste ► Trafficking in persons ► Transnational corporations and business ► Water and sanitation ► Violence against women

36 Recommendations State Civil Society State reports Civil society/NHRIs reports Supports reporting Process Programmes support State implementation Provides its Own input UNCT Awareness raising

37 Regional human rights systems Instruments European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms American Convention on Human Rights and San Jose Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Arab Charter on Human Rights Mechanisms European Court on Human Rights Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Inter-American Court on Human Rights African Commission on Human and People’s Rights African Court on Human and People’s Rights Arab Committee of HR Experts ASEAN intergovernmental Commission on HR (AICHR)

38 National protection system Ensuring sustainable respect for human rights requires: Constitutional and legal framework Effective institutions (parliament, government, judiciary, public administration, human rights institutions) Procedures and processes including effective remedies Policies and programmes, including awareness raising Vibrant civil society and free media

39 Global & regional protection are complementary Global & regional norms require national implementation National norms should be consistent with global and regional standards Links between national, regional and international protection systems

40 Human rights – a closer look

41 Duty-bearers Respect Protect Fulfill Prevent others from interfering with the enjoyment of rights Refrain from interfering with the enjoyment of rights Adopt appropriate measures towards full realization of rights Human rights obligations Right to water Do not disconnect supply without due process Pro-poor price regulation when supply is privatized Ensure, over time, everyone is connected

42 Duty-bearer’s obligation to Respect Protect Fulfill Prevent others from interfering with the enjoyment of a right Refrain from interfering with the enjoyment of the right Adopt appropriate measures towards full realization of the right MoH guidelines, training, supervision to ensure that HIV status is not used to determine access to health care Examples Labour law & MoL guidelines that makes mandatory HIV testing illegal for job applications Reform of property and inheritance rules to help women cope with impacts of HIV and AIDS Right to health UDHR Art. 25, ICESCR Art. 12; CEDAW Art. 12; CRC Art. 24 Right to privacy ICCPR Art. 17 Right to liberty and security of person ICCPR Art. 9 Women’s right to legal capacity and equality in the family CEDAW Art. 16 Right to protection of the family UDHR Art. 16 A range of children’s rights CRC

43 Dimensions/Elements of HR Availability Accessibility – Non-discrimination – Physical accessibility – Economic accessibility (affordability) Acceptability Adaptability Quality Appropriateness

44 Progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights The Covenant provides that States can progressively realize ESC rights: By taking appropriate measures To the maximum of available resources Where needed, through international assistance and cooperation But some aspects need immediate actions: Elimination of discrimination Rights that are not resource- dependent Obligation to ‘take steps’ and have targeted measures, irrespective of resource constraints Avoid retrogressive measures ‘Minimum core obligations’

45 International humanitarian law A set of rules to limit the effects of armed conflict Protects persons who are not or are no longer taking part in hostilities Restricts the means and methods of warfare The Four Geneva Conventions: 1.On the care of the wounded and sick members of armed forces in the field 2.On the care of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of armed forces at sea 3.On the treatment of prisoners of war 4.On the protection of civilians at war Optional Protocols and other instruments

46 …Status of ratification …Whether a Country’s pledge to the HRC exists …Recent Treaty Body concluding observations …Recent State reports to Treaty Bodies …Recent visits of Special Rapporteurs or statements and communications on the country …Calendar of upcoming events and SP country visits …Recent outputs of monitoring mechanisms of specialized agency instruments (e.g. ILO supervisory bodies) Check on….

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