Here’s What to Expect at HRC 49

Published on February 24, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions have meant that the HRC 49 will be held in a hybrid format with online and in-person modalities for informal negotiations, voting and statements. 

The 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place from 28 February to 1 April. 

Below you can find information about:

  • Anticipated sexual rights-related resolutions, panels and reports
  • UPR outcomes
  • SRI’s online events taking place during the 49th session 

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

The latest information about the session will be available on OHCHR’s HRC49 page.

Access the full programme of work for HRC49

Access the HRC49 schedule meeting calendar

  • Sexuality in the time of the pandemic: taking stock of comprehensive sexuality education

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality. Over the past two years the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on education in every country of the world with much of it moving online. However, despite the ‘COVID connectivity boost’, 2.9 billion people still have never used the internet. 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 lack internet access at home. The gender divide in internet access is around 17% and in the world's least developed countries it's up to 43%. Girls and women are also less likely to own their own devices to connect to the Internet. Even when continuing CSE online might have been a possibility, the lack of adequate institutional support and teachers’ struggles to adapt academic teaching to online platforms has led to a deprioritisation of CSE, as a nice-to-have instead of an essential part of young people’s education.

The side event explores the significance of CSE, the impact during the pandemic and strategies moving forward. 

Read more below and stay tuned to register for this side event

  • Participation of persons with disabilities in sport, importance of data collection and statistics (Mexico, New Zealand)
  • ​Rights of child on the theme of family reunification especially in cross border settings (EU and GRULAC)
  • Human rights defenders in conflict and post-conflict settings (Norway)
  • Ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic (Ecuador and Azerbaijan on behalf of Non-Aligned movement )
  • ​​Role of states in countering the negative impacts of disinformation on human rights (Ukraine)
  • ​​Adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to non-discrimination in this context (Germany, Brazil, Finland, Namibia)
  • The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights (Azerbaijan on behalf of NAM)
  • Commemoration of the 35th anniversary on the Declaration on the right to development (Azerbaijan on behalf of NAM)
  • The effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States (Cuba)
  • Right to food (Cuba)
  • Cultural rights (Cuba)
  • Promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights and addressing inequalities (China, Bolivia, Egypt, Pakistan)

 

Annual high-level panel discussion on human rights mainstreaming

Theme: The contribution of universal participation to the mainstreaming of human rights throughout the United Nations system on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the Work of the Human Rights Council

Time: Monday, 28 February 2022, 4 to 6 p.m 

Download the concept note »

Meeting on enhancing technical cooperation and capacity-building in promoting and protecting the human rights of persons in vulnerable and marginalized situations in recovery efforts during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

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

Time: Monday, 7 March 2022, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Download the concept note »

Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child

Theme: The rights of the child and family reunification

Time: Wednesday, 9 March 2022, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.

Download the concept note »

Panel discussion on ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Time: Thursday, 10 March 2022, 9 to 11 a.m. 

Download the concept note »

Annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities

Theme: Statistics and data collection under article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 

Time: Monday, 14 March 2022, 4 to 6 p.m. 

Download the concept note »

Panel discussion on the importance of robust public policies and services for the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in contributing to the COVID-19 pandemic recovery

Time: Tuesday, 22 March 2022, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Download the concept note »

Debate in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

Theme: Voices for action against racism

Time: Monday, 28 March 2022, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Download the concept note »

See the list of all panels and concept notes

A/HRC/49/28

Report of the Secretary-General.

Question of the realization in all countries of economic, social and cultural rights

Read the report when it becomes available » 

A/HRC/49/29

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Summary of the outcome of the consultation on ways to harmonize laws, policies and practices relating to mental health with the norms of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and on how to implement them

Read the report when it becomes available  »

A/HRC/49/30

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Meeting on the role of poverty alleviation in promoting and protecting human rights

Read the report » 

A/HRC/49/31

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Rights of the child and family reunification

Read the report when it becomes available »

A/HRC/49/32

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Intersessional seminar on the challenges and opportunities of young people in the field of human rights

Read the report » 

A/HRC/49/35

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human rights implications of the lack of affordable, timely, equitable and universal access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and the deepening inequalities between States

Read the report when it becomes available  »

A/HRC/49/37

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Comprehensive approach to promoting, protecting and respecting women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian situations 

Read the report » 

A/HRC/49/38

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Freedom of opinion and expression

Read the report » 

A/HRC/49/40

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Impact and repercussions of measures taken by Governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on the safety and work of journalists and media workers 

Read the report when it becomes available» 

A/HRC/49/47

Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights

Taking stock and identifying priority areas: a vision for the future work of the mandate holder

Read the report »

A/HRC/49/48 

Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context 

Spatial segregation and the right to adequate housing

Read the report when it becomes available »

A/HRC/49/49

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders 

At the heart of the struggle: human rights defenders working against corruption

Read the report »

A/HRC/49/50

Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 

The impact of thematic reports presented by the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 

Read the report »

A/HRC/49/52

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities 

Artificial intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities 

Read the report »

A/HRC/49/53

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment 

The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment: non-toxic environment

Read the report »

A/HRC/49/43

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food

Seeds, right to life, and farmers rights

Read the report »

A/HRC/49/44

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

The rights of persons belonging to religious or belief minorities in situations of conflict and insecurity 

Read the report when it becomes available »

A/HRC/49/46

Report of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues 

Conflict Prevention through the protection of the human rights of minorities

Read the report when it becomes available »

A/HRC/49/54

Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights

Read the report when it becomes available »

A/HRC/49/55

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy

Privacy and personal data protection in Ibero-America: a step towards globalization?

Read the report when it becomes available »

A/HRC/49/86

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief 

Read the report »

See the list of all reports

All 13 of the outcomes from the 40th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will be adopted during this session of the HRC: 

  • Myanmar,
  • Greece,
  • Suriname,
  • Samoa, 
  • Hungary, 
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 
  • Papua New Guinea,
  • Tajikistan,
  • United Republic of Tanzania, 
  • Eswatini, 
  • Antigua and Barbuda, 
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Thailand 
  • Ireland 

The 39th session of the UPR was held from 1-12 November 2021. Sudan was initially slated to be reviewed during the 39th session, but its review was postponed until the 40th session which recently took place. 

Among the 13 outcomes adopted during this session, SRI collaborated with organizations and activists in preparing reports for the UPR reviews of Eswatini, Hungary, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tajikistan, Tanzania and Thailand. 

Eswatini

African Sex Workers’ Alliance (ASWA)

Topics: 

  • Sex work and sex workers’ rights;
  • Right to health;
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • Criminalization of adult sex work;
  • COVID-19 pandemic

Read the submission >>>>

Hungary

PATENT Patriarchátust Ellenzők TársaságaEgyesület / PATENT Association of People Opposing Patriarchy (Budapest)

Topics:

  • Women’s human rights
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Contraception and emergency contraception
  • Abortion
  • Termination of pregnancy
  • compulsory abortion counselling
  • Medical abortion
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Sterilisation
  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Sexuality education

Read the submission >>>>

Papua New Guinea

Kaleidoscope 

Topics:

  • Human rights of LGBTIQ persons

Read the submission >>>>

Samoa

Kaleidoscope

Topics:

  • Human rights of LGBTIQ persons

Read the submission >>>>

Tajikistan

Independent activist and Sexual Rights Initiative 

Topics:

  • Torture 
  • Hate crimes and discriminationon the basis of gender identity and expression
  • Domestic, physical, psychological, and sexual violence against LGBTI persons
  • LGBTI rights inTajikistan
  • Honour killings
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Abortion
  • Comprehensive sexuality education

Read the submission >>>>

Tanzania

Southern African Litigation Centre

Topics:

  • Sex work and sex workers’ rights 
  • Right to health
  • Criminalization of sex work
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Read the submission >>>>

Thailand

Kaleidoscope 

Topics:

  • Human rights of LGBTIQ persons

Read the submission >>>>

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

  • Sexuality in the time of the pandemic: taking stock of comprehensive sexuality education 

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality. Over the past two years the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on education in every country of the world, with much of it moving online. However, despite the ‘COVID connectivity boost’, 2.9 billion people still have never used the internet. 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 lack internet access at home. The gender divide in internet access is around 17% and in the world's least developed countries it's up to 43%. Girls and women are also less likely to own their own devices to connect to the internet.  Even when continuing CSE online might have been a possibility, the lack of adequate institutional support and teachers’ struggles to adapt academic teaching to online platforms led to a deprioritisation of CSE as a nice-to-have instead of an essential part of young people’s education.

Isolated at home with family or strangers, and often enough in unsafe spaces, young people’s need for information and resources increased at precisely the time when their access decreased or even vanished. The actual impact of increased levels of violence in the home and the large-scale disruption to SRH services all over the world still remains to be fully accounted for and will perhaps only reveal itself over time. However, there were also some positive initiatives launched online to address some of these challenges which, if sustained, could also assist in filling the gaps even when there is a full return to classroom-based learning. 

Some of the key questions this panel will explore are:

  • What was the coverage and impact of CSE pre-COVID-19; what were the challenges? 
  • What has been the impact of COVID-19 on CSE, and of the lack of CSE rollout on SRHR of young people; what are the positive developments? 
  • What are the current challenges and opportunities? 
Publication date
UN Mechanism