What has been said in the 43th Human Rights Council before it suspension?

Because of Covid-19 last week, the Human Rights Council suspended the current session.

Due to this fact, OIDEL has decided to compile the reports of the special reports that were discussed during the weeks in which the Council continued its normal operation so that our readers can know the latest news that was released at the 43rd CDH.


It started with the high-level meeting, from this point we already made a blog post, then, as usual, gave way to item 2 “Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports from the Office of the High The Commissioner and the Secretary-General”; later item 3 of the program on “Promotion and protection of all human, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.”; Item 4 “Situations of human rights that require the attention of the Council.“; ítem 5. Human rights bodies and mechanisms; finally item 6. “Universal periodic review” This was the last of the points that could be carried out because, due to the coronavirus, it had to be cancelled.

We include summaries of special reporters’ reports below.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belie

The Special Rapporteur began saying that there is a multitude of use and misuse of religion or belief to execute violence and discrimination based on gender. He also expressed his concern because of the rise in political and religious or belief-based campaigns aiming to regress human rights that are fundamental to gender equality. The Special Rapporteur concluded with the responsibility of States to create enabling environments for the non-discrimination and freedom of religion or belief rights of women, girls and LGBT+ persons. This report has been highly problematic and criticized by faith-based organizations.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment

The Special Rapporteur described good practices followed by States in conceding the right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and in implementing the procedural elements, like the access to information, public participation and to justice and effective remedies. This fundamental human right is recognized by more than 80% of the State Members.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. 

The Special Rapporteur said that many of the preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) programs implemented lack a consistent rule of law or human rights grounding. Negative human rights practice may contribute to the conditions conducive to terrorism and violent extremism rather than prevent them. The lack of a clear definition of “violent extremism” has led a few countries to adopt definitions of extremism extended to practices and rights protected and international law. He also highlighted the concerning commodification of women and girls to advance policy. To achieve P/CVE’s goals, State and international programs must be empirically based and consistent with the rule of law and human rights.


Report of the Special Rapporteur 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. 

The Special Rapporteur reported that private debt and public debt are intertwined. He also said that private indebtedness is on the rise due to two factors:

  • The flourishing supply side of various financial debt products
  • The general consideration of human rights as commodities in laws, policies and programs paralleled by a colossal failure of the State to ensure economic, social and cultural rights for all.

For them, private debt can be both a cause and a consequence of human rights violations.


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

The Special Rapporteur talked on how negative perceptions about persons with disabilities and their value are reflected in legislation, policies, customs and practices. These negative perceptions are related to ableism, which is a value system that considers that certain standards of appearance, functioning and behavior are necessary to live a fulfilling life. These beliefs have led societies to favor disability prevention and cure of impairments over the access and inclusion of persons with disabilities. The Special Rapporteur highlighted the need to develop and implement legal and policy reforms that embrace disability as part of human diversity and promoting their participation in decision-making.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues

The Special Rapporteur set out the topic of the language dimension of education for minorities. He clarified the parameters of the application of human rights to the principles of equality without discrimination, as of primary importance for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education for all, including linguistic minorities such as users of sign languages. He recommended a series of practical guidelines to provide guidance on the content and implementation of the human rights of minorities on the field of languages. This special rapporteur presented a report on his visit to Spain highly controversial.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food

The Special Rapporteur concluded that the achievement of the right to food remains a distant reality for far too many. She highlighted the roles and responsibilities of the main actors in advancing the right to food. She invited the members to mention examples of positive practices about:

  1. To address food insecurity, poverty, inequality, and the inequitable distribution of food and productive resources, particularly of marginalized populations.
  2. To adopt nutrition policies aimed at dealing with all forms of -malnutrition – including stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiency, and the universal threat of obesity.
  3. To transform current food systems to more resilient and sustainable practices, free from dangerous pesticides, which promote smallholder farmers, including women and young farmers, protect farmworkers from dangerous and unhealthy working environments, incentivize local food systems and sustainable agriculture strategies, most importantly agro-ecological and traditional production systems.
  4. To implement a human rights-based approach to food security policies that provide right holders with access to decision making processes and justice.


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. 

The Special Rapporteur began pointing that there is a global housing crisis, which can be seen with the increase in homelessness or even by the fact that housing has become unaffordable for many. This is the result of the failure of States to effectively implement the right to housing and constitute violations of the right to housing. States have to ensure residents’ participation in all decisions affecting their housing situation and to ensure access to justice for violations of the right to adequate housing.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy 

The Special Rapporteur focused his report on protecting against gender-based privacy infringements. The report outlines detailed recommendations in relations to indigenous, disabilities, children, gender, culture, housing, education, health care, detention, asylum, online violence, digital technologies, security and surveillance and work and employment. The Special Rapporteur has advocated for the right to privacy on a wide range of HR issues, namely concerning the right of privacy of children and sexuality, intersex children and self-determination of gender, gender identity and autonomous decisions concerning their bodies, LGBTQI, same-sex relations, sex workers, removal of barriers of gender-specific regulation in public spaces.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar 

The Special Rapporteur continued to be denied access to Myanmar so she visited Thailand and Bangladesh. She reported that there was a great spirit of optimism, in particular with the transition to democracy but the magnitude and tragedy of what occurred in Myanmar cannot be overstated, like the extreme violence perpetrated against the Rohingya or the armed conflict in Kachin, Shan, Kayin, Rakhine and Chin States, the shrinking of democratic space, lack of rule of law, ongoing land confiscation and the deplorable situations of internally displaced people and refugees. The transition of Myanmar is in its very early stages. She proposed a national dialogue with ways to move towards an equal, tolerant and pluralistic society. She thinks that the end to impunity is essential to ensure human rights over the country and for the successful transition to democracy. She considers that the justice system must be reformed and there must be extensive law reform, including of the Constitution.


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

The Special Rapporteur recognized “psychological” or “mental” torture as an analytical concept distinct from physical torture. This report examines the notion of psychological “torture” only as in practice “torture” and “other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” are closely intertwined. National practice tends to deny psychological torture as what could be described as “torture light” despite “real torture” is understood to require the infliction of physical pain or suffering.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other children sexual abuse material

The Special Rapporteur reflected the emerging trends related to the sale and sexual exploitation of children, their root causes and new manifestations. The Special Rapporteur observed that global developments like the expansion of information and communications technology facilitate conditions in which the sexual exploitation of children can prosper. These crimes appear to be more frequent against marginalized children struck by poverty, conflict, social exclusion and discrimination, children on move, children with disabilities; children living in residential care and children left behind by their parents. The magnitude of the problem is unknown because of the unavailability of centralized and disaggregated data on the different forms of these crimes and on the number of cases identified, investigated and prosecuted. She called on States to accelerate efforts towards achieving comprehensive and child right centered protection systems, support and promote a coordinated global response to eradicate the sale and sexual exploitation of children.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism

The Special Rapporteur talked about women and children impacted by albinism. They suffer multiple discriminations, aggravated by a few factors like gender and age. Mothers of children with albinism are stigmatized throughout life. States needs to take concrete measures in incorporating the situation of albinism into policies on education, health and disabilities to end racial discrimination.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in Occupied Palestinian Territory. 

The Special Rapporteur notices that serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law continued in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Demonstrations known as the Great March of Return at the Israel-Gaza fence continued to take place every Friday and, on some occasions, demonstrators damaged and breached the fence, threw Molotov cocktails or launched incendiary objects. Some Palestinians, including children, were killed by Israeli security forces. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, some cases of excessive use of force by the Israeli security forces were observed. This violence has a big impact on children because of the number of dead and injured. Israel has to conduct effective investigations of these alleged violations, ensure those responsible are brought to justice and if convicted, receive sanctions proportionate to the violations, likewise Palestinian authorities. Victims of these violations and their families need and have the right to have access to effective remedies and full reparation, including the right to truth.

Alexandra Domínguez

Alexandra Dominguez


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