Human Rights & Refugees (HRR)
QUNO works to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights through the United Nations system, with particular reference to the interface between human rights and armed conflicts, the protection of refugees and other Quaker concerns. The questions of the rights of indigenous peoples and gender are included in all the Human Rights and Refugees programme areas.
The specific topics which form QUNO’s current priorities are:
In the past, QUNO’s Human Rights and Refugees Programme has worked on:
Human Rights & Refugees News
On 6 July, the UN Human Rights Council adopted its first-ever resolution on conscientious objection to military
service. The resolution requires the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to publish a regular report on new developments, best practices and remaining
challenges regarding conscientious objection around the world. This will ensure that developments at international and regional
level, in many of which QUNO is involved, will be brought to the attention of a wide audience, including all governments. To read the resolution, please click
To read QUNO's publications on this topic, please click here.
Rachel Brett delivered the Swarthmore lecture at Britain Yearly Meeting on 26 May. Entitled Snakes and Ladders, it described Quaker work on human rights at the United Nations. This work has brought real change for many, including conscientious objectors and child soldiers. The Swarthmore Lectureship, established in 1907, provides for the publication of a book as well as the public lecture. To listen to the lecture, please click here For information about the book and how to order it please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about QUNO's work on human rights please click here.
Recognition of conscientious objection to military service as a human right is now stronger than ever. To reflect the recent changes in international law and practice, QUNO has updated its publication on International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service, in several languages. To read the publication in English, French or Spanish, please click here.
QUNO Programme Officer Oliver Robertson has participated in a panel discussion about babies in prison, on China Radio International, ahead of the upcoming Child Rights Committee Day of General Discussion on children of incarcerated parents. Please click here to listen to the discussion (hour 1).
Conscientious objection to military service is now explicitly recognised as a Human Right in Europe, thanks to the work of QUNO Geneva and others. In a groundbreaking judgement in the case of Bayatyan v. Armenia, issued on 7 July, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that States have a duty to respect individuals’ right to conscientious objection to military service. Please click here to read the full report and background to the case.
The Howard League for Penal Reform has commended QUNO’s publication Children Need Dads Too: Children with Fathers in Prison. Jenny Rosenberg, the publication’s author, was runner-up in the Howard League’s inaugural research medal competition.
Please click here to read the publication, in English, French, Spanish or Russian.