5 February 2021
Dr Amna Nazir is a Lecturer in Law and Associate Director of the Centre for Human Rights at Birmingham City University, in the United Kingdom, and holds an Editorship at Harvard Law School’s renowned Program in Islamic Law. Her research and teaching expertise lies in international human rights law and Islamic law, with a particular focus on the UN’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism. She has engaged in consultancy work with government officials and NGOs and continues to provide expert submissions in the UN arena.
She just started as Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Academy, working remotely from Birmingham, and will stay with us until the end of March 2021.
The Geneva Academy’s global network of leading researchers alongside its close interactions with international organizations, civil society, governments and the private sector has been the key factor in undertaking a fellowship here. It is a unique opportunity to engage with academics and professionals in my field and gain unrivalled feedback on my work.
A number of OIC states are regularly scrutinized for their inadequate protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief with some states criminalising certain acts such as apostasy. These states must be urged to uphold this fundamental human right, without discrimination, in accordance to their international human rights obligations. One such way is through the UN Human Rights Council’s innovative mechanism, the UPR, which evaluates the human rights commitments of all Member States.
The aim of this research is twofold. First, to contribute to the evolving scholarship in this area and, second, to inform policymaking. It is hoped the research will influence the work of all actors involved in promoting freedom of religion or belief at both the domestic and international level. In particular, stakeholder submissions to the UPR of an OIC state can utilize findings of this research project to strengthen their submissions.
I hope to share my ideas and theories to world-leading experts at the Geneva Academy and gain valuable insight and feedback. Potential collaboration with Geneva Academy would also be a very welcome result.
At the online meeting of the Chairpersons of UN human rights treaty bodies, the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform reiterated the importance of conducting dialogues with state parties concerning their reports at the national or regional level.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform is collaborating with the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and OHCHR in the development of an online database aimed at assessing the impact of the UN human rights treaty body system.
The 2021 Annual Conference will discuss the connectivity between national human rights actors and the Geneva-based international mechanisms.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform contributes to this review process by providing expert input via different avenues, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the development of a follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.
UN PHOTO /Jean Marc Ferre