Today, 27 February, the UN Human Rights Council begins its 34th Session (HRC34) in Geneva – over the next four weeks the UN’s top human rights body is expected to act on some of the world’s most pressing freedom of expression violations and abuses.
The agenda is tightly packed: this Session kicks off with the UN Secretary General and high level representatives of the world’s governments setting out their visions for human rights in 2017. Under the multi-coloured ceiling of the Human Rights Council chamber, a month of debates and discussions on human rights will follow, with hundreds of parallel negotiations and meetings taking place alongside.
The Session will culminate on the 23 and 24 of March: States will adopt resolutions with commitments to act against human rights violations and abuses, including of the right to freedom of expression.
ARTICLE 19 will be present throughout the Session to advocate for progressive free expression standards, and to hold States to account where they are failing to live up to their obligations and commitments.
Our priorities for HRC34 are:
Though many of these issues were raised in Geneva last March, 2017 is a new year with a new Human Rights Council membership. The 47 member-states with voting powers include some of the world’s worst violators of freedom of expression: it is therefore essential that other States stand up for freedom of expression and ensure accountability for violations and abuses.
This is an excerpt of an article published on Article 19 website on February 27, 2017.
A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. Various jurisdictions have enacted statutes to prevent discrimination based on a person's race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin, and in some instances sexual orientation.
Source: Cornell University Law School