Human Rights Council - Session 22

Summary: Full details of the session: children's rights discussions, side events, NGO statements and how to participate.


The March session of the Human Rights Council (the first of three in 2013) is the most important for children's rights, with the Annual Day on the Rights of the Child taking place on 7 March. The session opened on 25 February and will run until 22 March. Read our "February at the UN" CRINMAIL, which includes a full preview of the session.

CRIN will be reporting live from Geneva with daily bulletins available on this page and via our twitter feed. We will also be publishing five daily CRINMAILs during the second week (4 - 8 March). If you are not already subscribed, you can sign up here.

Latest News

Daily Coverage

  • 22 March - Session closes 

The 22nd session closed on Friday with 35 resolutions adopted on a wide range of issues, including the establishment  of a Commission of Inquiry on North Korea and the appointment of an Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali. Read the UN's closing summary, here.

Later this week, we will rounding up all the outcomes of the session in our "March at the UN" CRINMAIL. If you are not already subscribed, you can do so here.

  • 19 / 20 March - Countries under the spotlight

- UN expert urges Côte d’Ivoire to boost democracy through human rights and impartial justic. More here.

- The UN expert on Haiti raised concerns over the impunity enjoyed by human rights violators. More here.

  • 15 March - Final UPR reports adopted

Read about Sri Lanka's review adoption, here

Read about Peru's review adoption, here

  • 14 March - More UPR reports adopted:

Read about the adoptions of Benin, South Korea and Switzerland, here.

Read about the adoptions of Ghana, Ukraine and Guatemala, here.

  • 13 March -  UPR adoptions: Argentina, Gabon and Czech Republic

Read about the adoptions here.  More about the Universal Periodic Review here.

  • 12 March - Minority languages under threat / Latest report on Mali

Half of the world's estimated 6,000 plus languages will likely die out by the end of the century, the Independent Expert on minority issues, Rita Izsák, said today. She urged world governments to take significant and urgent efforts to protect both minority communities and their language heritage. More here.

The Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kyung-wha Kang, presented the High Commissioner’s report on Mali, which documents allegations of extrajudicial killings and summary executions. More here.
  • 11 March -  Countries under the spotlight
As the Commission of Inquiry on Syria presented its latest report, a number of States expressed their concern for children caught up in the conflict. In their response to the report, the Syrian delegation said the Commission quite deliberately ignored all documents and information provided by the government. More here.
The Special Rapporteur on North Korea, Marzuki Darusman, urged the international community to launch an inquiry to probe and further document “the grave, systematic and widespread violations of human rights and possible crimes against humanity" in the country. He identifies nine patterns of violations, including torture and inhuman treatment. More here.
In presenting his report to the Council, the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, said that continuing reforms in the country are resulting in ongoing improvements to the human rights situation, but warned that a large gap still remains between reform at the top and implementation on the ground. More here.
The Special Rapporteur on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, today expressed alarm with numerous allegations and reports he continues to receive about the current human rights situation in Iran, “which require to be addressed urgently.” More here.

  • 8 March - Read our Day Five CRINMAIL
This edition includes a round-up of the following:
Read the full CRINMAIL here.
  • 7 March - Read our Day Four CRINMAIL

This edition, which focused on the Day of the Rights of the Child, includes a round-up of the following:

- Children's rights, not parent's rights
- Juvenile justice and violence against children
- OP3 latest
- Drugs and the right to health

Read the full CRINMAIL here.

  • 6 March - Read our Day Three CRINMAIL

This edition includes a round-up of the following:

- Religion
- Violence and health
- Coming up tomorrow

Read the full CRINMAIL here.

  • 5 March - Read our Day Two CRINMAIL
This edition includes a round-up of the following: 
Read the full CRINMAIL here.
  • 4 March - Read our Day One CRINMAIL

This edition includes a round-up of the following:

- Children's right to health
- LGBT rights
- Migrant children
- Torture and health rights

Read the full CRINMAIL here.

  • 29 February - High-level segments draw to a close

During the first week of the session, senior government officials addressed the Council. On the deterioating situation in Syria, a number of speakers referred to reports of rape and sexual violence being employed as a weapon of war. They also highlighted evidence of torture and the death of children in detention, and the sexual abuse of very young girls and boys. More here.

  • 28 February - High Commissioner attacked by States in carrying out her mandate

Further to the presentation of her annual report, Ms Pillay faced criticism from States unhappy with her highlighting of particular country and thematic situations of concern. A notable example was her call on States to ensure that no individual faces discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, which was met once again with categorical denial by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that any such responsibility exists in international human rights law. More here.

  • 25 February - UN High Commissioner makes opening address

On the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human RIghts, opened the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council saying that despite progress, "we must recognise that the glass is half full, and the promise of respecting all human rights for all people is still a dream for too many." Read the full statement here.

Further coverage:


Programme of work


Submission deadlines


Side events

Here are some selected events:

4 March

  • "Mental health of children of prisoners"
    Friends World Committee for Consultation
    (12pm, 4 March / Room XXIV)

5 March

  • "The Child’s right to health through adequate nutrition – how can this be ensured in a fragile context?"
    (13.15pm,  5 March / Room XXI)

6 March

  • "Impact of violence against children on the right to health"
    International NGO Council on Violence against Children
    (1pm, 6 March / Room XXIV)
  • "Child HIV and health rights"
    Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
    (2pm, 6 March / Room XXV)
  • "Criminalisation of human rights defenders"
    International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
    (12pm, 6 March / Room XXI)
  • "Legislation affecting Human Rights defenders"
    Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
    (4pm, 6 March / Room XXII)
7 March
  • "Protecting Children From Harmful Practices With a Special Focus on Child Marriage and the Interrelatedness to Sexual and Reproductive Rights"
    The Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children 
    (6pm, 7 March / Room XXVII) - amended time.
  • "Health in juvenile detention"
    Defence for Children International
    (12pm, 7 March / Room XI)

  • "Twenty years of human rights education"
    International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education (OIDEL)
    (3pm, 7 March / Room XXIII)
  • "Promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities: where we are now and the way forward post-2015"
    Permanent Mission of Austria
    (1pm, 7 March / Room XX1)
  • "Does a human rights-based approach have an impact on women's and children's health?" 
    World Health Organisation
    (1pm, 7 March / Room XXV)
  • “Moving Forward: Implementing the ‘Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children”.
    International Social Service
    (2pm, 7 March / Room XX11)

8 March

  • "Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: Youth as Agent of Change"
    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
    (1pm, 8 March / Room XXIV)
  • "Children’s rights in the information society in Africa"
    OCAPROCE Internationale
    (4pm, 8 March / Room XXII)

Other dates

  • "Right to education"
    International Catholic Child Bureau
    (4pm, 11 March / Room XXIII)
  • "Making Universal Birth Registration Central to Health
    Systems: What are the Human Rights Implications?"
    Plan International
    (1pm, March 13 / Room XX11)
  • "Human Rights in the Western Sahara"
    International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations
    (4pm, 13 March / Room XX111)
  • "Human Rights in Iraq"
    International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations
    12pm, 14 March / Room XX1)
  • "Human Rights of Women and Children"
    General Arab Women Federation
    (4pm, 15 March / Room XX1)

  • "Combating racism"
    International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations
    (2pm. 19 March / Room XXV11)

Full a full list of side events, click here.



Below is a selection of reports that are likely to feature children's rights:

Thematic reports:

Country-focused reports:

- For the full list of reports, click here.



During the organisational meeting for the session, a number of resolutions were tabled. Selected resolutions are listed below:

  • Rights of persons belonging to minorities (tabled by Austria)
  • Rights of children whose parents have been sentenced to death, calling for a panel on the 24th session of the Council (tabled by Belgium)
  • Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, with focus on education as a tool to address this problem (tabled by Brazil)
  • Torture and other cruel and degrading treatment and punishment, focusing on rehabilitation and redress (tabled by Denmark)
  • Freedom of religion and belief, including extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (tabled by the European Union)
  • Protection of human rights defenders (tabled by Norway)
  • Education as a tool to prevent racism (tabled by Portugal)
  • Iran, extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation in the country (tabled by Sweden)
  • Birth registration and the right of everyone to recognition as a person before the law (tabled by Turkey)
  • Right of the child to enjoy the highest possible level of health (tabled by Uruguay (GRULAC), EU)
  • Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka (tabled by the United States)


NGO statements

Selected statements concerning children's rights include:

  • Written statement submitted by Human Rights Advocates Inc.. The death row phenomena as torture: The need for moratoriums on death penalty sentences
  • Written statement submitted by the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM), a non-governmental organization on the roster
    - Arbitrary detention of minors in India
  • Joint written statement submitted by the International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN). The death penalty in Iraq 2003-2013
  • Joint written statement submitted by the International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN). The impact of ten years of occupation on Iraqi children -2003- 2013
  • Written statement submitted by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
    - Injecting drug use among children and the child’s right to health
  • Joint written statement submitted by the Consortium for Street Children, the International Harm Reduction Association, Fundación Intervida, non-governmental organizations
    in special consultative status - The right to health in the context of street-connected children
  • Written statement submitted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). Child marriage

-  View all the latest list of NGO statements


UPR adoptions

 The following States will have their reports adopted from 13 - 15 March:

A debate under item 6 on the UPR will follow the adoptions.


NGO Participation

Read about the deadlines for report submissions and booking rooms at the top of this page.

Information note for NGOs - including information on accreditation and NGO parallel events

Written statements

NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC may submit written statements relevant to the work of the Human Rights Council.

The HRC Secretariat wishes to draw the attention of NGOs to ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which authorises written statements of: a) 2,000 words for NGOs in general consultative status; and b) 1,500 words for NGOs in special consultative status and on the roster.

NGO written statements are to be submitted in accordance with the guidelines for the submission of NGO written statements:

NGOs may submit their written statements to the Council Secretariat electronically to [email protected].

OHCHR NGO Liaison Office:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Telephone: + 41 (0)22 917 9656
Email: [email protected]


Sources of Information / Follow the Session

CRIN - sign up to the special Child Rights at the UN CRINMAIL.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - Press releases are issued by the HRC on a daily basis during HRC sessions and are available on the OHCHR website. In addition, relevant documents are posted on the Human Rights Council extranet (sign up).

Relevant and updated information on the 22nd session of the HRC will be regularly posted on the HRC Extranet. Username: hrc extranet - Password: 1session.

A live Webcast service will be available under the Council’s webpage, covering the plenary session online, and will be accessible through this link.

Civil society news and perspectives are available on the CONGO website (Conference of NGOs in consultative relationship with the UN) and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) - ISHR: Human Rights Council daily updates

UN - FAQs about the Human Rights Council

Subgroup on the HRC

Working Group for the HRC (subgroup of the NGO Group for the CRC)

The Working group for the Human Rights Council, of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, brings together NGOs willing to promote the rights of the child at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The WG’s aim so far has been to ensure that the Human Rights Council addresses the specific rights and situations of children worldwide in its regular work and sessions on human rights. By advocating for the inclusion of its concerns into the Council's Resolutions, the NGO community has ensured better support and coherence between international politics and local realities affecting the realisation of children's rights.

For more information, contact the co-convenor of the NGO Work Veronica Yates, CRIN
Email: [email protected]


Further Information






Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.