The Geneva Human Rights Platform (Geneva HRP), hosted by the Geneva Academy and supported by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, provides a dynamic forum in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of human rights – experts, practitioners, diplomats and civil society – to discuss and debate topical issues and challenges.
Relying on academic research and findings, the Geneva HRP aims at enabling various actors to become better connected, break down silos and, hence, advance human rights.
‘The objective is to foster interactions and discussions on topical issues and challenges through regular events, conferences, expert roundtables and private meetings’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier, Director of Policy Studies at the Geneva Academy.
‘The Geneva HRP aims to increase sharing, exchange and collaboration among different actors by means of its independent, neutral and academic status’ adds Robert Roth, Director of the Geneva Academy.
Specifically, the Geneva HRP concentrates on the current challenges to human rights and the way the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) and other Geneva-based mechanisms address or should address them, as well as on the work of UN treaty bodies.
‘We currently focus on two human rights challenges: use of force and the specific use of less lethal weapons for law enforcement purposes, and human rights and freedoms in the digital age’ underlines Kamelia Kemileva, Executive Manager at the Geneva Academy.
‘We accompany the work of UN treaty bodies via two projects, or sub-platforms, our Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020 which just released its final report, and the Treaty Body Members Platform which connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier.
While the Geneva HRP is up and running since the beginning of the year, it has now a dedicated online presence, on the Geneva Academy website, which provides information about activities, events and related research.
Our new publication Defending the Boundary analyses the constraints and requirements on the use of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), also called ‘killer robots’, under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
On 17–18 October 2018, the two coordinators of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, Felix Kirchmeier and Kamelia Kemileva, participated in Oslo in a conference on the role that domestic human rights actors play towards the 2020 review of United Nations treaty bodies.
This short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
This short course focuses on the functioning and the mechanisms of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as on the dynamics at play in this major human rights body.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.