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New Resolution Forms Expert Group to Probe Racism in Policing

The United Nations Human Rights Council recently adopted a milestone UN resolution to create an independent mechanism, made up of three experts, to investigate the root causes of systemic racism and police violence. Brought forward by the Group of…
Demonstrators kneel outside the Long Beach Police Department in Long Beach, California during a protest on May 31, 2020. 
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Unanimous Resolution Brings Scrutiny to Global Violations

The United Nations Human Rights Council is moving against systemic racism and police violence – including in the United States. On June 19, the 47-member council unanimously passed a resolution mandating that the UN high commissioner for human…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Ruling means justice for victim, first step toward directing policy changes

In a landmark ruling – its first on a domestic violence case in Russia – the European Court of Human Rights found that Russia’s lack of legislation to combat domestic violence, as well as the absence of protection orders, indicated a…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
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Sri Lanka— Summary of Main Issues of Concern The Sri Lankan government has failed to advance justice for the victims of the country’s 26-year-long armed conflict in the three years since the war ended. The government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation…
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Council of Europe Convention calls for hotlines, shelters, medical and forensic services

Hamiyet, a member of Turkey’s Kurdish minority, was a 15-year-old newlywed when her husband began beating her every evening after work. He hit her when she was pregnant with each of their nine children, and he raped her almost nightly. She sought help…
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April 2011

Although Singapore's constitution guarantees rights to free expression, peaceful assembly, and association, these rights are severely restricted in practice. Government-dominated control of media outlets is exacerbated by an interlocking system of laws…
News

October 2010

Singapore has been governed since 1959 by the People's Action Party (PAP), which currently occupies 82 of 84 parliamentary seats. During that period, the government has maintained a carefully crafted legal and policy structure that reinforces its power…
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As a candidate, Barack Obama signaled his clear intention to break with the Bush administration's abusive counterterrorism policies. Once sworn in as president, Obama immediately issued executive orders that set a course toward reform. Human Rights…
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Fact sheet issued by IHRA, Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Institute

IHRA, Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Institute distributed this fact sheet on why Drug Policy is an issue for the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to members of the council at its March 2009 session.
News

Revise Policies to Ensure Fair Hearing

(London) - The ruling today by the European Court of Human Rights on the United Kingdom's detention policy for foreign terrorism suspects confirms that indefinite detention violates basic rights, Human Rights Watch said. The court ruled that the…
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UPDATE: Sri Lanka was defeated for re-election to the Human Rights Council in the General Assembly vote held on May 21, 2008. This website will not be further updated, but the Coalition's statement following the election is available here. U.N. Members…
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 On May 21, 2008, the UN General Assembly will elect fifteen new members to the UN Human Rights Council. NGOs from around the world are engaged in the electoral process to ensure that members of the Council meet the standards stipulated in resolution 60/…
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On September 19, a majority of US senators voted to approve an amendment that would restore the right to habeas corpus, one of the oldest and most important checks on the arbitrary exercise of government power. Last year’s Military Commissions Act…
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On June 8, the Council of Europe released a report confirming allegations first made by Human Rights Watch in 2005 that the CIA used locations in Poland and Romania for the secret detention of terror suspects. During several years of research, we combed…
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On May 17, the United Nations General Assembly rejected a bid by Belarus, which has an appalling human rights record, for a seat on the Human Rights Council, signaling that the rights records of Council members matter. Working with a global coalition of…
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(New York, May 10, 2007) – On May 17, the United Nations General Assembly will hold elections for 14 of the 47 seats on the new Human Rights Council. Shockingly, among the states seeking election is Belarus, a state that does not come close to meeting the…
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Integrating the Human Rights of Women

The Human Rights Council faces many challenges. One crucial challenge is to develop its work methods in a manner true to the sentiment repeated annually by the Commission on Human Rights: “acknowledging the need to integrate the gender perspective in a…