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Human Rights Council Adopts Seven Resolutions, Extends Mandates on the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism, Iran and Myanmar

April 4th, 2024  •  Author:   Human Rights Council  •  13 minute read
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The Human Rights Council this morning adopted seven resolutions, extending the mandates of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, the independent international fact-finding mission on Iran, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

Other resolutions concerned combatting discrimination, violence and harmful practices against intersex persons, the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, freedom of religion or belief, and human rights and a culture of peace.

The Council decided to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism for a period of three years, on the same terms as provided by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 46/12 of 23 March 2021. It also called on all States to cooperate fully with the Independent Expert in the discharge of the mandate and to give serious consideration to responding favourably to her requests to visit their countries and to consider implementing her recommendations.

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, 8 against and 15 abstentions, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, and requested the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Council at its fifty-eighth session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-ninth session. The Council also decided to extend the mandate of the independent international fact-finding mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, to ensure that evidence of human rights violations related to the protests that began on 16 September 2022, is fully documented, verified and preserved. The fact-finding mission is requested to present its report and recommendations to the Council at its fifty-eighth session, during a joint interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As for the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year; requested the Special Rapporteur to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-sixth session and to submit a report to the Third Committee of the General Assembly at its seventy-eighth session and to the Council at its fifty-eighth session; and also requested the Special Rapporteur to continue to monitor the situation of human rights in Myanmar and the implementation of the recommendations made by the mandate holder and by the independent international fact-finding mission and to make recommendations on additional steps necessary to address the ongoing crisis.

In a resolution on combatting discrimination, violence and harmful practices against intersex persons, adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, none against and 23 abstentions, the Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a report, to be presented at its sixtieth session, drawing upon the expertise of the Advisory Committee, examining discriminatory laws and policies, acts of violence and harmful practices against persons with innate variations in sex characteristics, in all regions of the world, and their root causes, and also examining best practices including legal protection and remedies, when it came to realising the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The Council also decides to convene a panel discussion on this topic at its sixtieth session.

Concerning the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, the Council called upon States to undertake initiatives to ensure that persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities were aware of and able to exercise their rights as set out in the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and in other international human rights commitments. The Council also requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to present an annual report to the Council on activities undertaken by the Office of the High Commissioner at headquarters and in the field that contributed to the promotion of and respect for the provisions of the Declaration.

Regarding freedom of religion or belief, the Council requested the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief with all the human, technical and financial assistance necessary for the effective fulfilment of the mandate. It also requested the Special Rapporteur to report annually to the Council and to the General Assembly.

As for the issue of human rights and a culture of peace, the Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organise two half-day workshops in Geneva, in a hybrid and fully accessible format, on human rights and a culture of peace and to prepare a summary report on them. The Council also decided to hold an interactive expert panel discussion, fully accessible to persons with disabilities, at its sixty-first session, on human rights and a culture of peace.

The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s fifty-fifth regular session can be found here.

The Council will reconvene this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. to continue to act on draft resolutions and decisions before concluding its fifty-fifth session on Friday, 5 April.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item Three on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development

In a resolution (A/HRC/55/L.9) on Combatting Discrimination, Violence and Harmful Practices against Intersex Persons, adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, none against and 23 abstentions, the Council requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a report, to be made available in accessible formats and to be presented at its sixtieth session, drawing upon the expertise of the Advisory Committee, examining discriminatory laws and policies, acts of violence and harmful practices against persons with innate variations in sex characteristics, in all regions of the world, and their root causes, and also examining best practices including legal protection and remedies, when it came to realising the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The Council also decides to convene a panel discussion on this topic at its sixtieth session, accessible to persons with disabilities and open to the participation of States, the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, relevant treaty bodies and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, United Nations agencies, civil society, including organizations representing intersex persons, and other relevant stakeholders.

The results of the vote are as follows:

In favour (24): Albania, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, India, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, United States and Viet Nam.

Against(23): Algeria, Bangladesh, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Paraguay, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan and United Arab Emirates.

Abstentions (0):

In a resolution (A/HRC/55/L.22) on the Rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to undertake initiatives to ensure that persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities are aware of and able to exercise their rights as set out in the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and in other international human rights commitments, and recommends that all measures taken with a view to implementing the Declaration be developed, designed, implemented and reviewed with the full, effective and equal participation of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. The Council also requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to present an annual report to the Council containing information on relevant developments of United Nations human rights bodies and mechanisms and on the activities undertaken by the Office of the High Commissioner at headquarters and in the field that contribute to the promotion of and respect for the provisions of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

In a resolution (A/HRC/55/L.26) on Freedom of religion or belief, adopted without a vote, the Council urges States to step up their efforts to promote and protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief; urges all Governments to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and to respond favourably to the requests of the mandate holder to visit their countries, and to provide the mandate holder with all the information necessary to enable him or her to fulfil the mandate even more effectively; requests the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the human, technical and financial assistance necessary for the effective fulfilment of the mandate; requests the Special Rapporteur to report annually to the Council and to the General Assembly in accordance with their respective programmes of work; and decides to remain seized of this question under the same agenda item and to continue its consideration of measures to implement the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

In a resolution (A/HRC/55/L.31) on Human rights and a culture of peace, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon all States to support and promote the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and to do their utmost to promote and strengthen a culture of peace through the adoption of appropriate and effective measures at the national, regional and international levels, in line with international human rights law; requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organise two half-day workshops in Geneva, in a hybrid and fully accessible format, on human rights and a culture of peace, and to promote participation by and inputs from interested States, relevant United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders; also requests the High Commissioner to provide for the above-mentioned two half-day workshops all the services and facilities necessary to make the discussions hybrid and fully accessible and to provide webcasting services to facilitate remote active participation from interested delegations in New York; further requests the High Commissioner to prepare a summary report on the above-mentioned workshops, including any recommendations stemming therefrom, and to submit it to the Council at its sixty-first session; decides to hold an interactive expert panel discussion, fully accessible to persons with disabilities, at its sixty-first session, on human rights and a culture of peace, open to the participation of interested States, relevant United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders; requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution and the above-mentioned report to the attention of all States for consideration; and decides to remain seized of the matter.

In a resolution (A/HRC/55/L.33/Rev.1) on the Mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism for a period of three years, on the same terms as provided by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 46/12 of 23 March 2021. The Council also invites the Independent Expert to pay attention to the challenges and needs of persons with albinism in all countries, including low-income countries. Finally, the Council calls on all States to cooperate fully with the Independent Expert in the discharge of the mandate and to give serious consideration to responding favourably to her requests to visit their countries and to consider implementing her recommendations and requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the Independent Expert with all resources necessary for the effective fulfilment of the mandate.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item Four on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention

In a resolution (A/HRC/55/L.6) on the Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, 8 against and 15 abstained, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Council at its fifty-eighth session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-ninth session. The Council also decides to extend the mandate of the independent international fact-finding mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, to ensure that evidence of human rights violations related to the protests that began on 16 September 2022, is fully documented, verified and preserved. The fact-finding mission is requested to present its report and recommendations to the Council at its fifty-eighth session, during a joint interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The results of the vote are as follows:

In favour (24): Albania, Argentina, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Paraguay, Romania, Somalia and United States.

Against (8): Algeria, Burundi, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Indonesia, Sudan and Viet Nam.

Abstentions (15): Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Georgia, Ghana, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Qatar, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates.

In a resolution (A/HRC/55/L.17) on the Situation of human rights in Myanmar, adopted without a vote (as orally revised), the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year, requests the Special Rapporteur to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-sixth session and to submit a report to the Third Committee of the General Assembly at its seventy-eighth session and to the Council at its fifty-eighth session, and also requests the Special Rapporteur, supported by additional human rights experts, to continue to monitor the situation of human rights in Myanmar and the implementation of the recommendations made by the mandate holder and by the independent international fact-finding mission and to make recommendations on additional steps necessary to address the ongoing crisis. The Council also requests the Secretary-General to call the continued attention of the Security Council to the situation in Myanmar and to continue with concrete recommendations for action towards resolving the humanitarian crisis, establishing the conditions for the safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable return of all refugees and forcibly displaced persons, including Rohingya, and ensuring accountability for those responsible for mass atrocities and human rights violations and abuses.


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