What to Expect at HRC 48

Published on September 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions imposed by Switzerland have meant that the HRC 48 will be held mostly online with online modalities for informal negotiations, voting and statements. 

The 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place from 13 September to 8 October. 

Below you can find information about:

  • Anticipated sexual rights-related resolutions, panels and reports
  • UPR outcomes
  • SRI’s online events taking place during the 48th session 

Please note that all dates are provisional and subject to change. 

The latest information about the session will be available on OHCHR’s HRC48 page.

Access the full programme of work for HRC48

Access the HRC48 schedule meeting calendar

  • Abortion Statement

Sign on to the joint civil society statement for this International Safe Abortion Day. The statement will be delivered under tem 8 general debate and makes an clear and unequivocal demand for the realisation of our human rights to free, safe and accessible abortion.  

Join the Civil Society Statement on Abortion

  • #EmptyChairs Event at Crear | Résister | Transform

#EmptyChairs is a feminist campaign which seeks to radically transform the United Nations Human Rights System into a People’s Council - a body led and owned by ordinary people all over the world, who set the agenda and make decisions that are then supported and implemented by political leaders. 

Take your place in the People’s Council and join our #EmptyChairs event on 16 September at Crear | Résister | Transform, the festival for feminist movements.

Before the event, join the #EmptyChairs Tweet chat with members of the Campaign on 14 September at 14:00 GMT+2 to learn more and to explore how a People’s Council can advance social justice for all. Follow @SexualRights, @AWID, @CALAdvocacy and @Akahataorg for more details.

  • Elimination of child, early and forced marriage: COVID-19 pandemic (Netherlands, Argentina, Canada, Italy, Honduras, Montenegro, Poland, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, Uruguay,)
  • Right to development (Non-Aligned Movement)
  • Human rights and the environment (Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, Costa Rica)
  • Human rights of indigenous peoples: Disproportionate impact of Covid-19 crisis (Guatemala and Mexico)
  • Right to privacy in the digital age: Collection of sensible health data during the pandemic (Brazil, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Mexico)
  • Ageism and age based discrimination (Argentina)

Biennial panel discussion on unilateral coercive measures and human rights

Theme: Unilateral sanctions: jurisdiction and extraterritoriality,.

Time: Thursday, 16 September 2021, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Download the concept note »

Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms

Theme: The gender digital divide in times of the COVID-19 pandemic

Time: Monday, 27 September 2021, 4 to 6 p.m.

Download the concept note »

Annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples

Theme: The situation of human rights of indigenous peoples facing the COVID-19 pandemic, with a special focus on the right to participation

Time: Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 10 to 12 a.m.

Download the concept note »

Half-day panel discussion on deepening inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and their implications for the realization of human rights

Time: Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 3 to 5 p.m.

Download the concept note »

See the list of all panels and concept notes

A/HRC/48/28

Report of the Secretary-General.

Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights

Read the report when it becomes available » 

A/HRC/48/30

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Rights of indigenous peoples 

Read the report  »

A/HRC/48/31

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Thematic report on the effects of the artificial intelligence on the enjoyment of the right to privacy

Read the report when it becomes available » 

A/HRC/48/32

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Current state of play of the mainstreaming of the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations in the work of the Human Rights Council

Read the report  »

A/HRC/48/50

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of safe drinking water and sanitation

Plan and vision for the mandate from 2022 to 2023

Read the report » 

A/HRC/48/51

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 humanitarian action

Read the report  »

A/HRC/48/52

Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences

Nexus between displacement and contemporary forms of slavery

Read the report » 

A/HRC/48/54

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

Covid-19 recovery and indigenous peoples

Read the report when it becomes available » 

A/HRC/48/56 

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to development 

Climate action at the national level 

Read the report » 

A/HRC/48/58

Report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order

In defence of a renewed multilateralism to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and other global challenges

Read the report »

A/HRC/48/53 

Report of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

Ageism and age discrimination

Read the report »

A/HRC/48/59

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights 

Unilateral coercive measures: notion, types and qualification

Read the report »

A/HRC/48/61

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes

The right to science in the context of toxic substances

Read the report »

A/HRC/48/63

Thematic study by the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development

Operationalizing the right to development in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Read the report »

A/HRC/48/76

Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Read the report when it becomes available»

A/HRC/48/78 

Report of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent 

Environmental justice, the climate crisis and people of African descent 

Read the report when it becomes available»

See the list of all reports

All 14 of the outcomes from the 38th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will be adopted during this session of the HRC: 

  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Palau
  • Paraguay
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia

The 38th session of the UPR was held in May 2021.

Among the 14 outcomes adopted during this session, SRI collaborated with organizations and activists in preparing reports for the UPR reviews of Denmark, Mozambique, Namibia, Paraguay and Somalia. 

Denmark

That’s What She Said

Topics:

  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
  • Sex Work
  • Violence and discrimination

Read the submission >>

Mozambique

Young Feminist Movement of Mozambique, Coalition of African Lesbians

Topics: 

  • Gender based violence
  • Militarization
  • Access to health 
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Right to education
  • Women’s rights

Read the submission >>

Namibia

Positive Vibes Trust (PV), Women’s Leadership Centre (WLC), Young Feminist Movement Namibia (Y-Fem), AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), Coalition of African Lesbians

Topics: 

  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Comprehensive Sexuality Education
  • Abortion
  • decriminalization of adult sex work
  • Bodily autonomy and integrity
  • Social and cultural norms and stereotypes
  • Harmful cultural practices 
  • Forced and child marriage 
  • Sexual violence

Read the submission >>

Somalia 

Somali Women Development Centre, Erica Marsh

Topics: 

  • Gender based discrimination
  • Access to justice
  • Forced marriage
  • Land rights
  • Women’s rights 
  • Sexual violence

Read the submission >>

Paraguay

Aireana-Grupo por los Derechos de las Lesbianas; Panambí; Red contra toda forma de Discriminación; Somos Pytyvöhára; Akahatá- Equipo de Trabajo en Sexualidades y Géneros, Synergia 

Topics: 

  • Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expressiion
  • Comprehensive sexual education
  • Sexual violence
  • Abortion
  • Sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and teenage pregnancy

Read the submission >>

Access all reports from the Working Groups containing all the recommendations received by States Under Review.

#EmptyChairs Event at Crear | Résister | Transform 

#EmptyChairs is a feminist campaign which seeks to radically transform the United Nations Human Rights System into a body led and owned by ordinary people all over the world, who set the agenda and make decisions that are then supported and implemented by political leaders.

The campaign is led by a collective which works with allies to build a People’s Council, which would set and support the advancement of social justice standards so that people who have been systematically exploited, oppressed and left for last can take and live in their power, contribute to shaping its agenda and decisions, and fully exercise all their rights.

Take your place in the People’s Council and join our #EmptyChairs event on 16 September at Crear | Résister | Transform, the festival for feminist movements.

Before the event, join the #EmptyChairs tweet chat with members of the Campaign on September 14 at 14:00 GMT+2 to learn more and to explore how a People’s Council can advance social justice for all.

Follow @SexualRights, @AWID, @CALAdvocacy and @Akahataorg for more details.