Resources for:

Human Rights & Refugees

March 2017

Can the children of parents sentenced to death or executed be considered victims of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment?

QUNO has prepared a written statement for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, highlighting that the sentencing to death or execution of a parent leads to a violation of the child’s right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CIDT) or torture under international law. The statement outlines the severe impact of the death penalty on children, specific death penalty situations where there is robust evidence of a violation, as well as recommendations for States and the UN.

On 14th March, there will be a High-Level Panel on the death penalty, looking at how it relates to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. We will also be presenting an oral statement during this discussion.

 

 

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January 2017

Briefing for Friends on opportunities and challenges for the protection of refugees and migrants at the UN level

On September 19th 2016, the UN set a new agenda under the ‘New York Declaration’ for responding to large movements of people crossing borders. Our briefing aims to inform Friends about the Declaration and developments it initiates. It also describes how QUNO is engaging in these opportunities, as well as ways that Quakers around the world can link up with, and benefit from, UN level initiatives.

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November 2016

Initial Input to Discussions on the Modalities Resolution for a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

QUNO is actively contributing to the process for negotiating a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This UN-level process is a major State-led response to the large numbers of people on the move around the world. It was mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a high-level statement adopted by States on 19th September and will be finalised in 2018.

As States work towards drafting a resolution on the Modalities of this State-led process, QUNO has compiled an inputs paper which focusses on ensuring the human rights grounding (and compliance) of the Compact and the central role of civil society in the process.

This inputs paper makes several recommendations including:

  • Including human rights as a key message that cuts across thematic and regional consultations, and that this focus is grounded in existing international human rights law.
  • Using the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms and expertise to make substantive contributions to the development of the Global Compact. 
  • Ensuring a central role for civil society (including migrants themselves) throughout the process.
  • Creating informal discussion spaces alongside the formal negotiations, as based on previous successful negotiations processes.

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November 2016

Mental Health, Human Rights and Criminal Justice submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

This briefing is QUNO's input to an open request for information by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the topic of mental health and human rights. It focusses on the links between criminal justice, mental health and rights protection, with a particular focus on children of parents in the criminal justice system.

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July 2016

QUNO co-hosts high level meeting on Refugees, Migrants and the 2030 Agenda

On July 20, 2016, QUNO co-hosted a policy forum discussion with the International Peace Institute in New York , along with the governments of Finland, Germany, Mexico and Morocco,  entitled "Ensuring that no one is left behind: A High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Refugees", during the ministerial segment of the High Level Political Forum. At a time when the world is experiencing the largest movements of peoples in recorded history, the goal of the event was to connect the dots between the 2030 Agenda and the upcoming UN Summit in September that will address large movements of refugees and migrants.

Current UN discussions on displaced persons are fragmented, with separate silos for issues of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people, each with their own normative framing, organizational context and political sensitivities. The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development provides a new framing, using the mandate for peaceful, just and inclusive societies, and the imperative to "leave no-one behind", to address the needs and perspectives of all those who have been forced to leave their homes, whether from violence and conflict, climate change, or economic necessity.

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May 2016

International Peace and Security - how human rights can help

In February 2016, QUNO Geneva and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) hosted an expert meeting on integrating human rights, peacebuilding and prevention of violent conflict within the United Nations systems.

The meeting addressed the following questions:

  • What advantages would it bring for UN work on peace and security to draw on existing human rights resources to increase effectiveness in peacebuilding and prevention of violent conflict?
  • What have been the consequences of the failure to work on the links between human rights and sustaining peace?
  • What are the pragmatic steps that could be taken within existing resources in UN institutions that would increase effectiveness, particularly of prevention of violent conflict?

This discussion took place in advance of the UN High-Level Debate on International Peace and Security, held in New York on 10-11 May 2016. The two-page briefing handout included below summarises the key points which were raised at the meeting. 

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December 2015

Geneva Reporter, December 2015

In this issue:

  • ​Nelson Mandela Rules ​
  • Conflict Sensitivity in Business 
  • ​Highlights from QUNO New York 
  • ​Recent publications
  • QUNO Q&A with Rachel Evans 
  • News in Brief 
  • Project Brief: An interactive trade policy tool 

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November 2015

Children of Incarcerated Parents and Minorities in Criminal Justice Systems

This briefing paper was prepared for the 8th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issue in November 2015, and revised in August 2016 to incorporate recommendations of the Forum. The risks faced by children of incarcerated parents can be compounded by criminal justice and penal systems that do not take notice of their existence or do not see their rights as relevant considerations. The disproportionate criminalization of members of minority groups means that minority children are also disproportionately affected. This briefing outlines how the impact of this can exacerbate risks and exclusion faced by children from minority groups and lays out recommendations to States to ensure that the rights of minority children whose parents are arrested, prosecuted or imprisoned are upheld.

Author: 

  • Daniel Cullen

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September 2015

QUNO delivers oral statement on children of parents sentenced to death or executed at the HRC

QUNO delivered an oral statement on the rights of children of parents sentenced to death or executed during the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The issue was raised by QUNO in response to an update to the UN Secretary General's report on Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty.

Daniel Cullen, Programme Assistant for Human Rights and Refugees, delivered the statement during the General Debate discussion on Friday 18 September.

Text and video (beginning at 01:41:30) is available below: 

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April 2015

Children of Incarcerated Parents International Standards and Guidance

The risks faced by children of incarcerated parents can be compounded by criminal justice and penal systems that do not take notice of their existence or do not see their rights as relevant considerations. This briefing outlines the current position in regard to international standards pertaining to children of incarcerated parents, bringing together legal instruments, treaty body recommendations and other guidance issued by international bodies. The purpose of this briefing is to promote the recognition of the rights of children of incarcerated parents, to guide States in their domestic consideration of how to ensure the rights of such children and to contribute to improving standards.

Author: 

  • Laurel Townhead

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January 2015

UPDATED in 2015 - International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service

This document, lays out the ways in which conscientious objection has been recognized and is protected under human rights treaties and mechanisms, taking into account developments in international standards that have occurred since 2011.

A German translation of a 2014 version of the document featured in Connection eV (beginning on page 23) is also available below.

Author: 

  • Rachel Brett

Languages: 

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December 2014

Geneva Reporter, October - December 2014

In this issue:

  • What is an NDC? Elements for a New Climate Agreement 
  • Drones: Transparency and Protection 
  • I Belong: Eradicating Statelessness 
  • Biological Diversity, Food Security and Small-scale Farmers’ Innovation 
  • Highlights from QUNO New York
  • News in Brief

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October 2014

Geneva Reporter, July - September 2014

In this issue:

  • A New Framework for Trade and Investment in Agriculture
  • Update from the UN Human Rights Council
  • QUNO and the UN Climate Summit
  • Highlights from QUNO New York
  • Peace and Disarmament
  • News in Brief
  • Briefing Paper: The Aarhus Convention

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September 2014

Amicus Curiae opinion on conscientious objection to military service submitted to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea

QUNO has submitted an Amicus Curiae opinion on conscientious objection to military service to the Constitutional Court of Korea jointly with Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and War Resisters’ International. This opinion is submitted in relation to the cases bought by six conscientious objectors against the government of the Republic of Korea on the basis of the violation of their right to conscientious objection to military service. The opinion outlines to the Constitution Court the position of conscientious objectors in international law, focusing on recent developments in the UN Human Rights Committee. It is believed that over 10,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been imprisoned as a result of their conscientious objection to military service since the year 2000, which gives an indication of the severity of the problem.

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August 2014

Children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed: developments, good practices and next steps

This new publication shares perspectives and learning from a side event at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council organized by the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) together with Belgium, Mexico, Montenegro and Norway. At the side-event, experts reflected on a number of key issues, including violence against children; the specific application of the death penalty in Japan; good practices in the assistance of foreign nationals on death row abroad by the Mexican government; and developments in the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Universal Periodic Review Process and the UN General Assembly. 

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August 2014

Education & the Military: A human rights & peace perspective

In this publication, QUNO questions the presence and influence of the military in primary and secondary education from a peace and human rights perspective. Concerned at the military’s involvement in schools and the militarization of education, QUNO draws attention to relevant international human rights standards that promote education for peace. 

Author: 

  • Emily Graham

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