During the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 8-27 September 2014, CIVICUS and its partners made a number of interventions to promote the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society and human rights defenders. CIVICUS co-organized several panel discussions focusing on unwarranted restrictions on the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression requiring the Council’s further attention. In addition, eight joint and stand-alone oral statements were issued to highlight pressing thematic and country specific human rights concerns.
In parallel to the Council session events, CIVICUS co-organized six panel discussions to help identify emerging global trends in civil society restrictions and reflect on the essential measures States and the UN must take to protect the spaces in which civil society operate. The events, including on Bahrain, Ethiopia, and Yemen, provided crucial ingresses for human rights defenders to discuss the challenges they face at the national level and examine their governments’ adherence to international human rights obligations.
• Human Rights in Ethiopia: Government Repression and Failed Commitments
• Tracking Bahrain’s UPR Inaction through 2014
• Assessing Cooperation between OHCHR & YEMEN and Addressing Ongoing Challenges
• Human Rights in the Gulf: Special Focus Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
• Human Rights Defenders in Cambodia: A Call for Action
• Egypt: A Human Rights Emergency: The need for an international response to repression and impunity
Through eight oral interventions CIVICUS encouraged the Council and relevant UN human right mechanisms to take concerted action to address undue restrictions on fundamental democratic freedoms. CIVICUS and its partners raised concern about ongoing attempts by a number of governments, including South Sudan, Egypt and Vietnam, to limit the space for civil society and independent dissent.
• Intimidation and reprisals against HRDs who engage with the UN
• UNHRC panel on the situation in South Sudan
• Joint oral statement on panel discussion on civil society space
• Egypt and Bahrain: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
• Situation of Human Rights in Yemen
• Adoption of Cote d’Ivoire’s UPR Report
• Adoption of Ethiopia’s UPR Report
• Opening statement of the new High Commissioner for Human Rights