During the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, CIVICUS and its partners raised a number of pressing human rights concerns requiring the Council’s attention. The joint and individual oral statements, panel discussions and advocacy letters underscored a broad range of thematic and country specific violations gravely undermining fundamental civil society rights. CIVICUS further provided recommendations to create a safe and enabling operating environment for human rights defenders and ensure effective accountability for persistent human rights violations.

Joint and individual oral statements:

  • Belarus: Concerns regarding the failure to accept UN Universal Periodic Review recommendations regarding the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders. 
  • Cambodia: Reviews the declining human rights situation and calls on the Council to increase its monitoring activities in the country.
  • Countries with vulnerable civil society sectors: Highlights routine attacks which undermine the rights of civil society.
  • Interactive dialogue with High Commissioner for Human Rights: Underlines pressing human rights situations in Azerbaijan, Burundi, Sri Lanka and Sudan requiring the Council’s attention.
  • Joint NGO End-of-Session Statement: Underscores the unwillingness of the Council and its member States to address widespread human rights violations perpetrated by its member States, and the failure of the same States to fully cooperate with the Council or adhere to basic membership standards.
  • Reprisals against HRDs: Urges UN Member States to devise a coordinated response to reprisals against human rights defenders and civil society organizations. 
  • Sri-Lanka: Analysis of human rights issues that persist as a result of the of the conflict.
  • Somalia: Concern regarding the regressing situation of violence and abuse towards women  and the extrajudicial killings resulting from military operations against Al-Shabaab.
  • Sudan: Comments on the serious threats to fundamental freedoms, equality and justice in the country.

Joint parallel side events:

  • Azerbaijan:  Calls on the UN Human Rights Council to take concrete steps to address the unprecedented repression against civil society and persecution of political prisoners. 
  • Elections in Africa: Examines the criminalization of civil society activism and persecution of human rights defenders in the context of elections in Africa, including in Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.
  • Ethiopia: Provides an important opportunity to examine the reality of the human rights situation on the ground and Ethiopia’s cooperation with the Council as Ethiopia seeks reelection to the Council. 
  • Right to resources and funding for CSOs: Examines the pressing resourcing needs of civil society across the globe as well as highlights specific measures the international community can take to create a more sustainable funding environment for CSOs. 
  • Saudi Arabia: Addresses the lack of space for civil society in Saudi Arabia and the way in which the legal system is used to target human rights defenders.
  • South Sudan: Highlights issues of accountability and transitional justice for South Sudan, and discusses ways in which the Human Rights Council can take action to fulfill its mandate. 

Joint advocacy letters:

  • Azerbaijan: Expresses deep concern about the worsening human rights situation in Azerbaijan, and urges delegations to support strong attention to the situation by the Human Rights Council through a cross-regional joint statement.
  • Bahrain: Calls on the Council to refocus international attention on human rights in Bahrain and encourages the Government of Bahrain to constructively address its ongoing violations. 
  • Burundi: Urges the Council to adopt a resolution aimed at preventing further serious human rights violations in the context of the mounting political crisis.
  • Sudan: Urges the Council to support the development and adoption of a strong and responsive resolution on the deteriorating human rights situation in Sudan, marked by harsh political repression and continued impunity.
  • Yemen: Calls on the Council to establish an independent, international mechanism to document violations committed by all parties of the armed conflict in Yemen.


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