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Human Rights Geneva Bulletin FES

UN GenevaEditorial

Geneva, December 2014

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s (FES) Department of Global Policy and Development runs offices in New York and Geneva, which keep a close working line with the United Nations and related international organizations. Geneva is considered to be the world capital of human rights and humanitarian activities. FES Geneva is, therefore, predestined to predominantly deal with human rights issues. From 2014 onwards, FES Geneva serves as main location for any such issues within the FES-family. The current Human Rights Team Geneva comprises Felix Kirchmeier, Noreen Eberle and myself

Additional and up to date information in English is also available at the human rights logo of FES Geneva and in German at
Any comments on our bulletin are most welcome!

Hubert René Schillinger, Director FES Geneva


The Universal Periodic Review
UN Special Procedures
Business & Human Rights
Human Rights Training Courses
Geneva Human Rights Events
International Agenda

 The Universal Periodic Review (UPR)



The Universal Periodic Review (UPR)  is a unique mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, which consists of the review of human rights policy and practice of all UN Member States, once every four and a half years. In 2012 the first four-year cycle of the procedure has been completed and the second started. Again, all 193 member states will be reviewed by the international community. NGOs have the opportunity to submit written civil society reports reflecting civil society perspectives. Despite the weaknesses of the process this mechanism is the sole opportunity to combine and evaluate information from government, civil society and UN treaty bodies.
Calendar of the review of the 2nd cycle (2012-2016)


  Recent Geneva UPR Events

20th Session of the UPR Working Group
27 October - 07 November 2014

During the twentieth session of the UPR Working Group 14 States were reviewed in half-day meetings. States were expected to give account of the actions undertaken to implement the recommendations they received during the first cycle.
NGOs perspectives were reflected in the numerous side events organized throughout the two weeks of the session.

More Information on the 20th UPR Session
Summaries of all other stakeholders written submissions for the 20th Session

UPR Side Event on the Human Rights Situation in Kazakhstan
31 October 2014, 12.30 - 02.00 p.m., Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
 UPR KazakhstanFES Geneva organized a panel discussion with a coalition of national NGOs who submitted reports to the review. Some key issues and suggested recommendations concerning the situation in the country were highlighted.

UPR Side Event on the Human Rights Situation in Iraq
04 November 2014, 12.30 - 02.00 p.m., Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

 UPR IraqThe Friedrich.Ebert-Stiftung, the Alliance for Rights “Houqoq” and the Alliance (ENSAN) for Human Rights invited to a panel discussion with two representatives of these Alliances from Iraq as well as Dr. Abdul Kareem Shallal, the Deputy Minister of Human Rights for the Government of Iraq.
Read more

UN Special Procedures

The UN Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council consist in independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 October 2013 there are 37 thematic and 14 country mandates.

NEW Briefing Note: Submitting information on human rights violations related to climate change to the United Nations Special Procedures
Compiled and endorsed by: Earthjustice, Franciscans International, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Geneva, World Council of Churches, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
The purpose of the note is to explain to all stakeholders why, how and where to submit  information on HR violations related to climate change to the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council.
Click here to download the briefing note


  Recent Geneva Events with Special Procedures

Joint Action by Special Procedure Mandate Holders
02 September 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

In 2014, a number of Special Procedures (SP) mandate holders in the field of economic, social and cultural rights have reached the end of their terms and “hand the baton” on to their newly appointed successors. This expert meeting intended to facilitate informal exchange between the outgoing and incoming mandate holders around the achievements, but most importantly on emerging opportunities and forward-looking strategies to advance economic, social and cultural rights through the work of Special Procedures.

Consultation on Relation Between Human Rights and Climate Change
15 - 16 July 2014, Les Praz, France

HR&CCThis consultation aimed to examine the relationship between human rights obligations and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change. It also constitutes a continuation of FES’ efforts to foster dialog between experts addressing debates at the HRC and the UNFCCC respectively with the aim to strengthen the human rights dimension in climate change policies.
Read more

Business and Human Rights

UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

Forum B&HR In 2011 the UN Human Rights Council decided as per HR Council resolution 17/4 to establish a Forum on Business and Human Rights under the guidance of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The Forum is open to all relevant stakeholder groups, including States, the United Nations system, intergovernmental and regional organisations, businesses, labour unions, national human rights institutions, NGOs, and affected stakeholders, among others.

  Recent Geneva Business and Human Rights Events

Third UN Forum on Business & Human Rights
01 - 03 December 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

The third Forum was held in Geneva from 1-3 December 2014. About 2000 persons registered from more than 100 countries. The theme of the 2014 forum was "Advancing business and human rights globally: alignment, adherence and accountability". The Forum examined key strategic issues informed by the current business and human rights agenda and the wider global context.
More information about the 2014 Forum on Business and Human Rights

Panel Discussion: Discussing Case Studies – Triggering Change
01 December 2014, Geneva, Switzerland
 B&HRAt this panel discussion at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights two case studies were discussed to explore the potential impacts of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs). The leading question was the following: How can the UNGPs be applied in concrete cases to uphold human rights? All three pillars of the UNGPs were taken into account: the state obligation to protect, the business responsibility to respect and access to effective remedy.
Read more

Geneva Human Rights Training Courses

  Hubert Schillinger Geneva offers 3 different types of trainings:
- NEW: Training Course on the International Human Rights System for Representatives of National Human Rights Institutions
- Human Rights Training Seminar for activists from the MENA region
- Individual Human Rights Training Courses

Recent Human Rights Training Courses

2014 Individual Human Rights Training Courses
In 2014 civil society actors from Uganda, Nepal, Panama, Brasil, Mongolia and Ethiopia, recommended by our FES country offices, were selected to participate at Human Rights training courses at our Geneva-based partner organizations Geneva for Human Rights and the Geneva Academy.

Arabic Speaking Training of Trainers Seminar on the UN Human Rights System
03 - 07 November 2014, Geneva, Switzerland
  MENA TrainingIn cooperation with the Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Geneva Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) offered this training of trainers seminar to selected participants of regional trainings. The training focused on the instrument of the Universal Periodic Review.

Training Course for National Human Rights Institutions on international human rights mechanisms
05 - 09 May 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

The training, developed especially for staff of National NHRI TrainingHuman Rights Institutions world wide, supported participants in expanding their knowledge of the functioning of UN human rights mechanisms and to identify concrete opportunities for NHRIs' effective engagement such as report writing and following up. The participants had the opportunity to engage with colleagues from the OHCHR & NGOs and exchanges experiences with peer NHRIs participatiing in the training.

Read more

HRCMore Geneva Human Rights Events


Recent Human Rights Events

Human Rights Council: 27th regular session
08 - 26 September 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

"Making the Right Impact?": Expert Workshop on Evaluating Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIAs) in Trade and Investment Agreements
17 - 18 September 2014, Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland

   Upcoming Human Rights Events

21st Session of the UPR Working Group
19 - 30 January 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Human Rights Council: 28th regular session
02 - 27 March 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

International Agenda


 HR LogosRecent Events

Public Side Event at COP 20: Climate Change Threatening Human Rights: Challenges and Actions
10 December 2014, 11.30 am – 01.00 pm, Lima, Peru

Protection of Human Rights is indispensable - German Policy in the UN Human Rights Council
06 - 07 October 2014, Berlin, Germany

Additional Human Rights Information


Joachim Ruecker

German UN Ambassador Joachim Ruecker appointed as President of the Human Rights Council
08 December 2014


Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR Website

The Universal Logo for Human Rights Human Rights Logo

United Nations Human Rights Council
United Nations Human Rights Council
FES Global Policy and Development Department - Human Rights Information Website (in German)

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Genfer Menschenrechtsteam /
Geneva Human Rights Team

Hubert Schillinger, Felix Kirchmeier, Noreen Eberle
Geneva Office
6 bis, Chemin du Point-du-Jour
CH - 1202 Geneva
Tel: +41 (0)22 733 34 50
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