The 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place from Monday 14 September to Tuesday 6 October (tentative end date).
Find below information about restrictions to civil society participation this session, anticipated sexual rights-related resolutions, panels and reports, and adoptions of UPR outcomes taking place during the 45th session. Please note that all dates are provisional and subject to change. The latest information throughout the session will be available on the HRC45 page.
#emptychairs campaign: nothing about us without us!
During the resumed 43rd and 44th sessions of the Human Rights Council, travel restrictions and other health measures had an important impact on organisations that are not based in Geneva, particularly organisations based in the Global South and where the COVID-19 pandemic is at its peak, and their ability to participate in the work of the Council. This is likely to be the same for this 45th session.
While remote participation is a much-needed alternative, and its advancement should be encouraged, it should not be understood as a substitute for attending the session in person. The findings from HRCNet’s feedback survey on civil society participation during HRC44 show that the modalities piloted last session should be maintained and strengthened to allow for more effective remote and online participation during and after the pandemic.
SRI signed on to a joint statement on this topic delivered at the pre-HRC45 civil society meeting with the HRC President and will continue to monitor and call attention to these barriers and this exclusion throughout our participation in this session.
We cannot proceed with business as usual. We must defend civil society participation and engagement in the Human Rights Council sessions and work more generally as fundamental to ensuring that states respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all and fundamental freedoms for all. We reiterate the rallying call: Nothing about us without us!
Expected Resolutions Relevant to Sexual Rights
- The resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights (Burkina Faso, Colombia, Estonia, New Zealand) which was initially expected this session has been postponed to the next session.
- Accountability for ensuring women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian settings (Canada, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay, Sweden)
- Discrimination against women and girls in sport (South Africa)
- Rights of the child, focusing on realizing the rights of the child through a healthy environment (GRULAC and EU)
- Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (Spain)
- Inequalities within and among states for the realization of human rights (South Africa)
- Right to development (Non-Aligned Movement)
- Human rights and indigenous peoples (Guatemala, Mexico)
- From rhetoric to reality: a global call for concrete action against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (Burkina Faso on behalf of the African Group)
- Human rights and the regulation of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms (Ecuador, Peru)
- Enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity-building in the field of human rights, focusing on the right to education (Brazil, Honduras, Indonesia, Morocco, Norway, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey)
- Local government and human rights, focusing on the right to equality and non-discrimination (Chile, Egypt, Republic of Korea, Romania)
- The human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation (Germany, Spain)
- Several mandate renewal resolutions, including for the Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures (Non-Aligned Movement), the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes (Burkina Faso on behalf of the African Group), the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (Burkina Faso on behalf of the African Group), the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence (Argentina, Austria, Colombia, France, the Maldives, Morocco, Peru, Switzerland, Uruguay)
Sexual Rights-Related Panels
Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms
Theme: Gender and diversity: strengthening the intersectional perspective in the work of the Human Rights Council (28 September 2020, 4 - 6 p.m.,)
Biennial panel discussion on the right to development [with international sign language interpretation and closed captioning]
Theme: COVID-19 and the right to development: we are all in this together (17 September 2020, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
Annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples [with international sign language interpretation and closed captioning]
Theme: Protection of indigenous human rights defenders (23 September 2020, 4 to 6 p.m.)
Sexual Rights-Related Reports
Follow-up report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Good practices and challenges to respecting, protecting and fulfilling all human rights in the elimination of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights
Negative impact of unilateral coercive measures: priorities and road map
Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences
Impact of the coronavirus disease pandemic on contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like practices
Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
Impact of the use of private military and security services in immigration and border management on the protection of the rights of all migrants
Report of Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation
Progressive realization of the human rights to water and sanitation
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes
Duty to prevent exposure to COVID-19
Report of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
Human rights of older persons: the data gap
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to development
National-level financing for development practices from the perspective of the right to development
Report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order
The interplay between the economic policies and safeguards of international financial institutions and good governance at the local level
Study of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Right to land under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: a human rights focus
The adoption of most outcomes from the 35th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was postponed to this session of the HRC due to the COVID-19 pandemic, except for Spain and Kuwait which took place at the 44th session of the Council.
The UPR outcomes to be adopted this session are Armenia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Sweden and Turkey. The 35th session of the UPR was held in January 2020.
Among the outcomes adopted during this Council session, SRI collaborated with organizations and individuals in preparing four reports for four countries:
Right Here Right Now Kenya, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance Kenya, Network for Adolescent and Youth of Africa, Love Matters Kenya, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, Rutgers, International Planned Parenthood Federation - Africa Region Office and SRI
Topics: Youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services; abortion; comprehensive sexuality education, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression
Youth Approaches to Health Association (YAHA), The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR), SRI
Topics: sexual and reproductive health and rights; youth; refugees; abortion; comprehensive sexuality education.
Women’s Resource Center Armenia, SRI
Topics: Sexual and reproductive health; gender stereotypes; comprehensive sexuality education; abortion; women with disabilities; lesbian, bisexual, and trans* women; child, early and forced marriage; HIV positive women
The Lesotho Collective; Coalition of African Lesbians; SRI
Topics: criminalisation; same sex sexual conduct; sex work; stigma and discrimination; sexual orientation and gender identity; conservative religious, social and cultural norms and stereotypes; limitations of public health approach; sexual and reproductive health and rights.
All Reports from the Working Groups, containing all recommendations received by States Under Review can be accessed here.