This report brings together the learning from a project undertaken from February 2017 to April 2018 to explore the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) as a vehicle for better linking human rights and sustaining peace. The aim of this project was to contribute to overcoming the fragmentation within the United Nations (UN) and promoting the value of integrated action between peacebuilding and human rights actors on the ground and in the UN system by using the UPR to explore present practice and untapped potential within a specific process. This report is intended to provide input to the discussions following the Secretary-General’s Report to the General Assembly on Sustaining Peace1 and to consideration of how to take this work forward in the UN.
Human Rights & Refugees
The 2018 QUNO Review provides a brief introduction to QUNO and our way of working, as well as an overview of our areas of work. Learn more about our past year of our work and see where we are headed in 2018.
The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants was adopted by States in September 2016 and initiated a two-year process to develop two ‘Global Compacts’ aimed at improving States’ response to refugees and migrants. Our briefing paper provides an update on the development of the Global Compact on Migration over the past year and how the process is expected to proceed in 2018. QUNO has been working to support the adoption of a Global Compact on Migration that is ambitious, effective and human rights based. This paper details how QUNO has been working on this issue and how Friends can engage with this process.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration must be grounded in international human rights law. This is the central message of a new paper produced by a group of Geneva-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are interested in a human rights-based response to migration at the UN level. QUNO convenes this informal group of NGOs, with a particular focus on ensuring a human rights basis to this new international agreement on migration, which is due to be adopted in 2018.
The processes to towards two new international agreements, ‘global compacts’, on refugees and migrants are now well underway and as part of the consultation phases, anyone is welcome to submit written information relevant to with or both of the global compacts. We are aware that many Friends are involved in activities on these issues, but we do not have the full breadth and depth, so we encourage you to share your experiences of your work with refugees and migrants. The attached short document explains how you can submit information to the global compacts, and what sort of information would be most useful.
QUNO's July 2017 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is now available online. The latest issue features: an update from our Human Rights & Refugees Representative on the new “global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration,” news about the inter-faith meetings QUNO helped to organize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a brief overview on our recent cross-cutting work on sustaining peace and climate change, and a QUNO Q&A with Carolan Redfearn.
This paper presents examples of implementation, monitoring and accountability mechanisms under six multilateral agreements that we believe can be learnt from in considering how to achieve an effective global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. The examples draw on a range of international agreements from different areas of policy and range from long-standing UN mechanisms to very recent agreements for which the specific means of implementation are still under negotiation. This paper hopes to assist stakeholders in considering some of the potential options for effective implementation of this new international agreement.
This paper is part of QUNO’s paper series, “Towards a Human Rights Based Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” a set of contributions to the global compact on migration process. To access these papers, please see this section of our website.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child has provided interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and guidance to States on the issue of children of incarcerated parents for over ten years. This briefing provides a short summary of the work it has done so far.
QUNO is closely following the process for negotiating a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This process part of the UN’s response to the large numbers of people on the move around the world. The Global Compact was mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a high-level statement adopted by States on 19th September and is due to be adopted in September 2018.
Following the adoption on 6 April of General Assembly resolution 71/280 on the modalities for developing a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, QUNO has prepared a short paper on expectations of the process. This contains the steps which we believe are needed to support the adoption of a human rights based Global Compact (as called for in the New York Declaration and the modalities resolution).
QUNO’s previous paper on the Compact, on input to the modalities resolution, is here.
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.
QUNO's Human Rights & Refugees, Food & Sustainability, and Peace & Disarmament programmes each submitted written statements to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva in March 2017. The full statements are available in PDF below and further information on QUNO's participation at the 34th HRC can be found at the following links:
Child Rights Connect's Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents has produced a series of recommendations for States on the rights of children of prisoners.
The March 2017 edition of our annual QUNO Review is now available for download. The annual report provides a brief introduction to QUNO and our way of working, as well as an overview of each of our programme areas. Learn more about our past year of our work and see where we are headed in 2017.
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 the developments it initiates for improving global governance on refugees and migrants. 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.
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.
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.
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.
In this issue:
- Can recent international attention on the issue of nuclear disarmament lead to any meaningful action?
- Climate science in simple, personal and ethical terms
- Forgotten victims: children of parents sentenced to death or executed
- Highlights from QUNO New York
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.
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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