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MENA training - UN Special Procedures

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What are the UN Special Procedures? Quelles sont les procédures spéciales de l'ONU? Their importance for SOGI.

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MENA training - UN Special Procedures

  1. 1. The Special Procedures/Procédures spéciales
  2. 2. What are the UN Special Procedures ? Quelles sont les procédures spéciales de l'ONU?  independent experts (not UN employees)  tasked to monitor and report on human rights violations (either thematically or by country – UN only)  receive urgent appeals, communicate concerns to States, seek their response  Report to UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly  can also raise awareness through public statements, country visits, participation in panels and expert seminars (eg Yogyakarta Principles)  experts indépendants (pas le personnel de l'ONU)  surveiller et écrire des rapports sur les violations des droits humains (par thème ou par pays uniquement ONU)  recevoir des appels urgents, communiquer les préoccupations aux États, demander leurs réponses  Rapport au Conseil des droits humains de l'ONU et à l'Assemblée générale  peut également sensibiliser à travers des déclarations publiques, des visites par pays, la participation à des panels et des séminaires spécialisés (par exemple, les principes de Yogyakarta)
  3. 3. Types of Communications Types de communication There are three main kinds of communications available to the Special Procedures. All types of communication may be sent by individual Special Procedure or by a combination of them.  Allegation letters - deal with human rights situations that have already occurred. They outline the allegations involved and then request information from the government on those allegations as well as on any measures taken to provide redress to victims. They may make suggestions as to actions the government should take following on from the incidents they describe. They can deal with cases involving violations against individuals or groups and can also address more general concerns about the human rights situation in a country. Il existe trois principaux types de communication disponibles pour les procédures spéciales. Toutes sortes de communication peuvent être envoyées par une procédure spéciale individuelles ou par une combinaison de celles-ci.  Les lettres d'allégation - traitant des situations de droits humains qui ont déjà eu lieu. Ils décrivent les allégations, puis demandent des informations au gouvernement concernant ces allégations, ainsi que toute mesure prise pour fournir aux victimes des recours légaux. Ils peuvent faire des suggestions sur les mesures que le gouvernement devrait adopter à partir des incidents qu'ils décrivent. Ils peuvent traiter des cas d'infraction à l'encontre de personnes ou de groupes et peuvent également susciter des préoccupations plus générales concernant la situation des droits humains dans un pays.
  4. 4. Types of Communications Types de communication  Urgent appeals, by contrast, are designed as emergency tools, to bring a halt to ongoing violations or prevent violations likely to occur. The Special Procedures aim to transmit such appeals very soon after having received information and request clarification on the status of individuals, or groups, as well as reminding governments of their responsibilities towards those persons.  Policy/legislative communications are a relatively new form of communication and are sent to register concern that an existing or proposed policy or piece of legislation has or will impact on the enjoyment of rights by certain members of the population.  Les appels urgents, d'autre part, sont conçus comme des outils d'urgence pour arrêter les violaions en cours ou prévenir les violations susceptibles de se produire. Les procédures spéciales visent à transmettre de telles plaintes très peu de temps après avoir reçu des informations et demandé des éclaircissements sur le statut des individus ou des groupes, ainsi que pour rappeler aux gouvernements leurs responsabilités vis-à-vis de ces individus.  La communication politique / législative est une forme de communication relativement nouvelle et est envoyée pour faire face au fait qu'une politique ou une législation existante ou proposée a affecté ou affectera la jouissance des droits de certains membres de la population.
  5. 5. Types of UN Special Procedures Types de procédures spéciales de l'ONU  Independent Experts  Special Rapporteurs  Working Group  Experts indépendants  Rapporteurs spéciaux  Groupe de travail
  6. 6. 44 Thematic Special Procedures African Descent, Albinism, Arbitrary Detention, Business, Cultural Rights, Development, Disability, Disappearances, Education, Environment, Executions, Food, Foreign Debt, Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Hazardous Substances, Health, Housing, Human Rights Defenders, Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Indigenous peoples, Internally Displaced Persons, International Order, International Solidarity, Leprosy, Mercenaries, Migrants, Minority Issues, Older Persons, Poverty, Privacy, Racism, Religion or Belief, Sale of Children, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Slavery, Terrorism, Torture, Trafficking in Persons, Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non- recurrence, Unilateral Coercive Measures, Violence against Women, Water and Sanitation, Women in Law and in Practice 44 Procédures spéciales thématiques Albinisme, Alimentation , Ascendance Africaine, Détention Arbitraire, Dette Extérieure, Développement, Disparitions, Droit de Réunion Pacifique et la Liberté d'association, Droits Culturels, Eau Potable et assainissement, Entreprises, Environnement, Esclavage, Exécutions, Femmes dans la Législation et dans la Pratique, Handicap, Indépendance des Juges et des Avocats, Lèpre, Liberté d'opinion et d’expression, Logement, Mercenaires, Mesures Coercitives Unilatérales, Migrants, Ordre International, Orientation Sexuelle et de l'Identité de Genre, Pauvreté, Personnes Âgées, Personnes Déplacées dans leur propre Pays, Peuples Autochtones, Questions Relatives aux Minorités, Racisme, Religion ou Conviction, Santé, Solidarité Internationale,Substance Dangereuse, Terrorisme, Torture, Traite des Êtres Humains, Vente d’enfants, Vérité de la Justice, de la Reparation et des Garanties de non-répétition, Vie Privée, Violence Contre les Femmes
  7. 7. 12 Country Special Procedures: Belarus, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Mali, Myanmar, Occupied Territories of Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Syria 12 procédures spéciales pays: Bélarus, Cambodge, République centrafricaine, République populaire démocratique de Corée, Érythrée, Iran, Mali, Myanmar, Territoires Palestiniens occupées, Somalie, Soudan, Syrie
  8. 8. Special mechanisms of the ACHPR
  9. 9. The first Independent Expert on SOGI Le premier expert indépendant de OSIG June 2016, Human Rights Council 23 for, 18 against and 6 abstentions September 2016, General Assembly 3rd Committee 84 for, 77 against and 17 abstentions (after a hostile amendment was defeated) November 2016, General Assembly plenary 77 for, 84 against and 16 abstentions (this was a hostile amendment vote) November 2016, General Assembly 5th Committee 82 against, 65 for and 16 abstentions (this was a hostile amendment vote) November 2016, General Assembly plenary 65 for, 81 against and 16 abstentions (this was a hostile amendment vote) Vitit Muntarbhorn Juin 2016, Conseil des droits humains 23 en faveur, 18 contre et 6 abstentions Septembre 2016, 3ème comité de l'Assemblée générale 84 en faveur, 77 contre et 17 abstentions (après un changement hostile a été vaincu) Novembre 2016, séance plénière de l'Assemblée générale 77 en faveur, 84 contre et 16 abstentions (c'était un vote de changement hostile) Novembre 2016, 5e Comité de l'Assemblée générale 65 en faveur, 82 contre et 16 abstentions (il s'agissait d'un vote de changement hostile) Novembre 2016, séance plénière de l'Assemblée générale 65 en faveur, 81 contre et 16 abstentions (c'était un vote de changement hostile)
  10. 10. Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions: [The SR] is also concerned about the 2014 amendment to the Criminal on “aggravated homosexuality”[…].The approval of the amendment was followed by rounds of arrests, prosecutions and attacks, and humiliation and even torture of persons, because of their presumed sexual orientation. Country visit to Gambia, 2015 Human Rights defenders: The Special Rapporteur was disappointed to be informed that defenders working on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons face double discrimination on account of their status and a lack of recognition by civil society. He was told about the verbal and telephone threats, cases of extortion and other types of incidents that they face. Country visit to Burundi, 2014 Violence against women: Despite an explicit prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation in the Constitution, lesbian women and other sexual minorities are very vulnerable to extreme forms of violence purported at “correcting” their bodies, including the so-called “corrective rape” often accompanied by a particularly heinous murder. Country visit to South Africa, 2015 Some Relevant Special Procedures: Quelques procédures spéciales pertinentes: Les exécutions extrajudiciaires, sommaires ou arbitraires: [Le RS] est également préoccupé par la modification du code pénal de 2014 sur «l'homosexualité intensifiée» [...]. L'approbation de l'amendement a été suivie de séries d'arrestations, de poursuites et d'attaques, ainsi que d'humiliation et même de torture de personnes sur base de leur orientation sexuelle suspectée. Visite de pays en Gambie, 2015 Défenseurs des droits humains: Le Rapporteur spécial a été déçu que les défenseurs travaillant sur les droits des personnes lesbiennes, gays, bisexuel-le-s, transgenres et intersexués subissent une double discrimination en raison de leur statut et du manque de reconnaissance de la société civile. On lui a parlé des menaces verbales et téléphoniques, des cas de chantage et d'autres types d'incidents auxquels ils étaient confrontés. Visite de pays au Burundi, 2014 Violence contre les femmes: Malgré une interdiction explicite de la discrimination fondée sur l'orientation sexuelle dans la Constitution, les femmes lesbiennes et les autres minorités sexuelles sont très vulnérables aux formes extrêmes de violence présumées «corriger» leurs corps, y compris le soi-disant «viol correctif» souvent accompagné d'un meurtre particulièrement odieux. Visite de pays en Afrique du Sud, 201
  11. 11. The MENA Region (countries here) is currently represented by: - Mr. Saad ALFARARGI (Egypt)(Special Rapporteur on Right to Development) - Ms. Houria ES SLAMI (Morocco) (Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances) - Mr. Idriss JAZAIRY (Algeria) (Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights) - Ms. Emna AOUIJ (Tunisia) (Working Group on Discrimination of Women in Law and Practice) - Mr. Suliman BALDO (Sudan)(Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali) The MENA Region (countries here) is previously represented by: - Mr. Mohammed AYAT (Morocco)(Independent Expert on capacity-building and technical cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire in the field of human rights) - Ms. Najat MAALLA M'JID (Morocco) (Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography) - Mr. Osman EL HAJJÉ (Lebanon) (Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances) - Mr. Abdelfattah AMOR (Tunisia)(Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief) - Mr. Francis DENG (Sudan)(Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons) - Ms. Fatma-Zohra OUHACHI-VESELY (Algeria)(Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes)
  12. 12. Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Laws and policies that criminalize consensual same-sex relations are part of the background environment that leads to violence and discrimination. Some 70 countries criminalize same-sex relations, with a particular impact on men who have sex with men. Some 40 countries criminalize same-sex relations in regard to women who have sex with women. The death penalty awaits in some countries. There are other laws and policies of a more indirect nature, which might also be negatively applied against certain groups and persons in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. They include laws based on public decency, public health and security, at times in the guise of local criminal laws and regulations. There are equally challenging implications from various religious laws when applied strictly. Some countries also criminalize cross-dressing, such as where men dress up as women and vice versa, even the criminalization violates the person’s self-identified gender. http://bit.ly/2sDRl8S
  13. 13. The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned about the continuing denigration campaigns and the violent threats against defenders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. The right to peaceful assembly is also often denied to defenders working on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues or, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders: alternatively, the police does not provide adequate protection for such demonstrations. Complaints related to violence and attacks are often not taken seriously by the police and are not always investigated properly. … killings of LGBT human rights defenders were alleged in five communications, with rape and sexual violence, including against males, being reported in a further six. Various other communications detailed many instances of threats, death threats, physical attacks and violence, and stigmatization. Further, the criminalization of homosexuality has in some countries led to alleged arrests, torture and ill-treatment, including of a sexual nature, while in other countries it effectively prevented defenders from engaging in any advocacy for LGBT rights.
  14. 14. 77. Children who are born with atypical sex characteristics are often subject to irreversible sex assignment, involuntary sterilization, involuntary genital normalizing surgery, performed without their informed consent, or that of their parents, “in an attempt to fix their sex”, leaving them with permanent, irreversible infertility and causing severe mental suffering. Special Rapporteur onTorture: 78. In many countries transgender persons are required to undergo often unwanted sterilization surgeries as a prerequisite to enjoy legal recognition of their preferred gender. In Europe, 29 States require sterilization procedures to recognize the legal gender of transgender persons. In 11 States where there is no legislation regulating legal recognition of gender, enforced sterilization is still practised … Some domestic courts have found that not only does enforced surgery result in permanent sterility and irreversible changes to the body, and interfere in family and reproductive life, it also amounts to a severe and irreversible intrusion into a person’s physical integrity. In 2009, the former Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe observed that “[the involuntary sterilization] requirements clearly run counter to the respect for the physical integrity of the person”. The mandate has noted that “members of sexual minorities are disproportionately subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment because they fail to conform to socially constructed gender expectations.
  15. 15. ARC’s guides on UN Special Procedures www.arc-international.net
  16. 16. Sample Appeal to Special Procedures:
  17. 17. Sample Appeal (Continued)
  18. 18. What should be included? The process of submitting information is relatively straightforward and the information that activists or advocates already have can usually be turned into a submission with relatively few resources. For the majority of the Special Procedures the following essential information should be included: - Information about the authors of the communication and the sources of information (which is kept confidential). This should include contact details. - You should state whether the situation is urgent. - The name of victim(s), age, sex, place of origin and/or residence. If the allegation concerns a large group then information should be provided about that body. - Details about the allegation including place and date of violation. This should be kept relatively short but supporting documents and photos can be annexed to provide more information. In the case of communications about a law or policy you should provide details of how it operates and why its impact is concerning. - The perpetrators, including, if possible, names, titles/functions, as well as any possible motive. - Provide any required background such as relevant legal framework etc. This is particularly important in the case of submissions concerning a general situation. - Outline actions taken / remedy already sought at national and international level.
  19. 19. Generally the identity of the source of information is kept confidential. If you would still prefer not to have your name or that of you organization on a submission it is possible to have other NGOs submit on your behalf. In addition, persons submitting information can indicate if they require additional elements of their submission to remain confidential and not to be sent to the government concerned. That said, as the process is based on specific violations and individuals or groups, it can be hard for the Special Procedures to act on a situation if they are not able to transmit detailed information to the government concerned. This means that there is a delicate balance to be struck in sensitive cases between wanting to provide enough information for the Special Procedures to be able to act without creating a risk that the provision of such information might lead to further persecution. Furthermore, although the consent of victims is not a requirement for the submission of information, it is imperative when making a submission that attention be paid to the possible impact on those named. Consequently, NGOs should also indicate in the submission if they have the consent of the individuals or families concerned. Confidentiality
  20. 20. A Case Study: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, A/HRC/16/44/Add.1, 28 February 2011: Jamaica Letter of allegations 1366. On 1 December 2010, the Special Rapporteur sent a letter of allegations to the Government concerning the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J- FLAG), a human rights lobby group which advocates equal rights for lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons in Jamaica. The organisation was previously the subject of a Joint Allegation Letter sent by the then Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and the then Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression on 6 December 2004. As of today, no response has been received by the part of your Excellency’s Government. 1367. According to the information received, on 16 November 2010, J-FLAG was refused permission to hold a meeting regarding LGBTI issues and human rights at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston. 1368. It is reported that on 11 November 2010, J-FLAG made a booking with the said hotel to hold a meeting, on 18 November 2010, with similar organisations and stakeholders with a view to examining LGBTI-related human rights issues in Jamaica. However, on 16 November 2010, the Executive Director of J-FLAG was informed via a telephone call from the hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing that due to the nature of the work carried out by J-FLAG, the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel was unwilling to allow the meeting to take place on its premises. It is alleged that this marks a change in policy on the part of the hotel, which had previously hosted groups including LGBTI persons. Response from the Government 1369. In a letter dated 31 January 2010, the Government responded to the communication dated 1 December 2010. 1370. The allegation by J-FLAG of the refusal of the Pegasus Hotel to honour a reservation to hold a meeting was investigated by the Government. The investigations revealed that the information communicated by J-FLAG to you appears to be factual. The Hotel’s decision was related to a number of concerns, which included the need to protect both the meeting attendees and the hotel, as a prior event hosted by a pro-gay group was marred by unsatisfactory behaviour. 1371. Following the incident, a meeting was convened between J-FLAG and the hotel where an amicable agreement was reached on future arrangements, The parties agreed that a designed member of the hotel staff would address reservation requests from J-FLAG and on confirmation of such requests, consultations will be done on the tilting and listing of the event on the hotel’s notice board. Observations 1372. The Special Rapporteur wishes to thank the Government for responding to her communication dated 1 December 2010. The Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure the existence of an environment which is conducive to the work of all human rights defenders. Link to full text of the report: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/defenders/docs/A.HRC.16.44.Add.1_EFSonly.pdf
  21. 21.  urgent-action@ohchr.org  www.ohchr.org/SP/HRBodies/Pages/HumanRights Bodies.aspx To contact Special Procedures:
  22. 22. Group exercise  Name as many of the Special Procedures Mandates as you can remember (thematic or country) from either the UN or ACHPR.  Name two of the mandates where reports were cited that discuss SOGI issues.  Name or describe one of the types of communications that can be sent to a Special Procedure.

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