In a note verbale, the United States (US) informed the President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on 20 of June 2018 that they have ‘resigned (their) membership in the Human Rights Council, effective at 1700 Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2018’ and that ‘the United States will not participate further in the June HRC session or future sessions and will not serve out the remainder of its term’. Upon receipt of the formal notification, the US ceased to be a member. As from that date onwards, they were considered an Observer State to the HRC.
In a debate, the Geneva Academy introduced a legal discussion on the US’ decision to leave the HRC. Experts and participants discussed the legal consequences of this withdrawal, its impact on the functioning and credibility of the HRC, as well as the extent will the decision affect US’ collaboration with UN Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review. They concluded that the US might come back any time through new elections, although the question about their human rights commitments remains open. They also underlined that US' engagement with other mechanisms like UN Special Procedures or the Universal Periodic Review remains open.
Panelists discussed the legal consequences of the US' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council for the functioning and credibility of this major human rights body, and for the promotion and protection of human rights. They also addressed the extent to which this decision will affect US’ collaboration with UN Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review, as well as the impact on the UN and multilateral diplomacy.
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.
On 8 and 9 October, academic experts, members of United Nations (UN) specialized bodies, UN Special Rapporteurs, members of UN treaty bodies, representatives of other international organizations, law enforcement officials, experts in police oversight, non-governmental organizations and civil society met to consult states and to discuss revisions made to a proposed text of guidance on less-lethal weapons and related equipment in law enforcement.
This symposium, co-organized with the Department of International History of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, will discuss recent and ongoing research related to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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 short course provides participants with a comprehensive introduction to both substantive human rights law as well as the functioning of international mechanisms for the protection of human rights.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.
UN Photo / Pierre Albouy
This project, launched in 2016, examines different concepts of universality, maps contemporary challenges to the principle of HR universality in the context of specific themes covered by the HRC and discusses the role of the HRC in the promotion and protection of universally guaranteed HR.