Human Rights Council - Session 23 closes

Summary: Full details of the 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council, due to take place from 27 May to 14 June 2013, including the programme of work, list of NGO statements, discussions scheduled to take place, and how NGOs can participate.


Latest News - Coverage - Programme of work - Submission Deadlines - Reports - UPR adoptions - ResolutionsSide Events / Statements - NGO participation - Sources of information - Subgroup on the HRC


Latest News
  • Session closes with 26 resolutions adopted
  • UPR reports adopted - visit our main UPR page for outcomes
  • Syria: Report reveals fresh evidence of child rights violations
  • Trafficking, migrant children and health on the agenda
  • Also access to justice, business and human rights, violence.
  • Parliaments urged to play bigger role in UPR process



  • 14 June - Session closes

On Friday, the Council closed its session adopting 26 resolutions on a range of country and thematic issues.

Look out for our session round-up CRINMAIL next week.  If you are not already signed up to our monthly "Children's Rights at the UN" CRINMAIL, you can do so here.

  • 13 June - Resolutions adopted

- Mandate for Special Rapporteur on Belarus extended

- Resolution adopted on "attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism" - UN report requested to be prepared.

Read about these and more, here.

  • 11 June - Council heads towards a close

During the final week of the 23rd session, a number of key resolutions are set to be adopted.

The full list can be found here.

Resolution already adopted:
- "The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent killings in Al-Qusayr"

  • 6 / 7 June - Universal Periodic Review (UPR) reports adopted

Visit our main UPR page to find out which States were under review and read about the outcomes. Further information and advocacy opportunities are also available

  • 5 June - Violence against women and girls focus of full-day discussion

Several speakers stressed that all relevant actors must be engaged in the combat against violence against women and girls. It was important to have an effective legal and institutional framework, but implementation and monitoring were also crucial in that respect. Empowering women and fighting gender stereotypes were central to preventing violence against women, including sexual and domestic violence, and to promoting democracy and development.  More here. You can also visit CRIN's Violence microsite, or sign up to received our Violence CRINMAILs.

  • 4 June - Syria: Commission of Inquiry reveals fresh evidence of child rights violations

Syria's war has reached "new levels of brutality", the UN Commission of Inquiry details in a new report, with evidence of fresh suspected massacres, sieges and violations of children's rights. Children have been taken hostage, forced to watch torture and even participate in beheadings, it says; others have been killed while fighting. Read CRIN's article on the report .

  • 3 June - "Legal aid, a right in itself," says UN expert

The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers referred specifically to children in her report. She quotes: "Access to justice for children requires that all children, however they come into contact with the law, be able to participate fully in legal proceedings. While enjoying the same guarantees as adults, children require special protection, as their best interests are paramount. A recent report (by CRIN) showed that legal systems can be immensely confusing and difficult, if not impossible, to navigate for children, especially without the help of a legal professional." More here. 

Read about the 2012 Annual Day on the Rights of the Child (on children and the administration of justice).

  • 31 May - Business and Human Rights / Freedom of Association

Read about the discussions here.

  • 29 May - Urgent debate on Syria

During an urgent debate on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Syria, the Council adopted a resolution in which it strongly condemned the widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities and the Government-affiliated militias, including against the people of Al Qusayr, and requested the Commission of Inquiry to urgently conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the events in Al Qusayr. More here.

  • 29 May - Parliaments have critical role to play in UPR, says UN Human Rights Chief

Opening the panel discussion on the role of parliaments in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay, stressed that parliamentarians had a critical role to play and invited the Council to continue considering every possible instance to strengthen the relation among parliaments, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Council. More here. Read about children's rights in the UPR and how you can participate, here.

  • 28 May - States outline steps being taken to tackle child trafficking

- Gabon said they had put in place a legal framework to deal with the trafficking and exploitation of children in particular and had also ratified a number of international instruments dealing with trafficking in humans. - South Africa favoured a comprehensive approach to the causes of trafficking; i.e. poverty reduction strategies through grants to child-headed households, among other measures.
- China told the Council a nationwide campaign against the kidnapping and selling of children was undertaken in partnership with UN agencies and neighbouring Governments. 

- Read the summary of the discussion

Meanwhile, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking presented her annual report and said: “Demands for sexual exploitation, cheap labour and domestic workers, organ removal, illicit adoption and forced marriages, begging or exploitation by armed groups all fuel human trafficking," More here.

  • 28 May - Children on the agenda in discussions on migrants and health

During the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteurs on migrants and health, UNICEF welcomed therecommendation of the Rapporteur on migrants that children should never be detained and added furthermore that there was evidence that the detention of parents could permanently harm children’s mental and physical health. More here. Read also about the CRC's Day of General Discussion on  migrant children, here.

  • 27 May - States express continuing concern over Syria in opening debate

Speakers expressed grave concerns about the human rights situation in Syria, calling for a halt to the violence and for a referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court. Concern was also expressed about the expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and about allegations of brutal mistreatment of Palestinian detainees by Israel, as well as about the human rights violations faced by the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. More here.



Programme of work


Submission deadlines

The deadlines for the upcoming session are as follows:

  • Friday, 10 May for the submission of NGO written statements
  • Monday, 6 May for requests for NGO parallel-event rooms

N.B The deadlines have now passed.




For the full set of reports, click here.



UPR adoptions

On the 6th and 7th June, the following UPR reports will be adopted.

NGOs with ECOSOC status can now make oral interventions during the plenary sessions. Find out how here.




A total of 26 resolutions were adopted during the session, including on Syria, Belarus and Eritrea.

Children featured in a number of country and thematic resolutions.

The full list can be found here.


Side events / NGO statements

Side events

The full schedule has now been released. You can find it here.

Selected events include (where the details are not included in the above document, they have been listed below):

  • "Women and detention: Filling the research gap"
    Penal Reform International
    Friday, 7 June, 12 – 2pm – Room VIII
  • "Youth Empowerment: Which strategies?"
    Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA)
    4 June, 1 - 3pm. Room IX
  • "19 days of activism: Sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography"
    Women's World Summit Foundation
    5 June, 3 - 4.30pm. Room XXII
  • "Child domestic workers"
    Terre Des Hommes Federation International
    11 June, 2.30 - 4.30pm. Room IX
  • "Right to health"
    International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations
  • "Child, Early and Forced Marriage: A Human Rights Violation"
    Plan International
    (31 May, Room XXVI, 1 - 3pm)
  • "Freedom of association in Egypt"
    International Service for Human Rights
    (3 June - more here)
  • "Human rights of young children"
    Geneva Infant Feeding Association]

  • "Right to education"
    International Organization for the Right to Education
    and Freedom of Education (OIDEL)
  • "Children and armed conflict"
    Defence for Children International
    Information here
  • "Juvenile justice in the Arab World"
    Defence for Children International
    Information here
    12 June, 12 - 3, Room XXII
  • "Alone: the Situation of Palestinian Children in the Israeli Military Detention System"
    Defence for Children International
    Information here
    (Public conference, 13 June)
  • "Right to Nationality"
    Open Society Institute
  • "Women and girls' personal hygiene"
    Medical Care Development International (MCD)
  • “Are our babies falling through the gaps?”
    The International Baby Food Action Network – IBFAN
  • "Human rights defenders working on corporate accountability: How can the Human Rights Council contribute to their protection?"
    International Service for Human Rights (visit for further information)

For full details of when and where the above events are taking place, view the schedule above.

NGO statements

View all the statements released to date, here.



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 HRC 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 19th 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-convenors of the NGO WG:

Alan Kikuchi-White, Geneva Representative
SOS-Kinderdorf International
Email: [email protected]

Or 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.