Autor: Élise Golay

Rights of peasants: Assessment of the debate at the United Nations

By: Élise Golay   Geneva, 26 May.- The third session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on a UN draft declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas took place between 17th and 20th May. States and civil society organisations engaged in discussions on the relevance of the text as a whole before considering each article in more detail. Those in favour of the declaration, such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, South Africa, Iran and Egypt among others, argued on the importance of filling the gaps in international legislation for the protection of small farmers....

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Protección de defensores de DD. HH.: el debate del Consejo sobre el proyecto de resolución L.28

Texto: Élise Golay Traducción: Carolina Pardal Belinchón   Ginebra, 8 de abril.- Lo que hoy se conoce como Resolución 31/32 sobre la protección de los defensores de derechos humanos fue una vez el proyecto resolución L.28. Presentado por Noruega, el borrador dio pie a un animado debate el jueves 24 de marzo durante la última reunión de la 31 sesión del Consejo de Derechos Humanos. A pesar de que contaba con más de 60 copatrocinadores, el Consejo no tardó menos de tres horas en tomar la decisión final con 33 votos a favor, 6 en contra y 8 abstenciones....

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Protecting human rights defenders: The Council’s debate on draft resolution L.28

By: Élise Golay   Geneva, 8 April – What today is known as Resolution 31/32 on the protection of human rights defenders was once the draft resolution L.28. Submitted by Norway, it was subject to an animated debate on Thursday 24th March, during the last meeting of the Human Rights Council’s 31st session. Despite more than 60 co-sponsors, it took no less than three hours for the Council to finally reach a decision, with 33 in favour, 6 opposed and 8 abstentions. The main opponents to the text were Russia, China and Cuba who submitted 30 amendments to the draft, all of which were rejected. The resolution was drafted in the context of General Assembly Resolution 53/144 of 1998, and States’ obligations and commitments under international human rights law. The text calls upon all States to “take all measures necessary to ensure the rights and safety of human rights defenders” and to “combat impunity by investigating and pursuing accountability for all attacks and threats by State and non-State actors against any individual, group or organ of society that is defending human rights.” The paper was submitted shortly after the targeted assassination in Honduras of Berta Cáceres, indigenous leader and environmental activist, an execution which further emphasises the urge for additional protection of human rights defenders. Steffen Kongstad, the Norwegian Ambassador stated in his introduction to the resolution: “as governments,...

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