Human Rights Council - Session 24

Summary: Full details of the 24th Session of the Human Rights Council, due to take place from 9 - 27 September 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 / NGO Statements - NGO participation - Sources of information - Subgroup on the HRC

Latest News
  • Session closes with adoption of 40 texts - more below

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  • 27 September

Other outcomes included:

- New resolution on Syria 
- New mandate for an Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic
- Extension of several existing country and thematic Special Procedure mandates
- The Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner to:

- You can read about all of the above and more, here.
- A full round-up of the session outcomes is available in our October at the UN CRINmail (subscribe to future bulletins)
  • 25 September
Councils holds discussions on Cambodia, Somalia and Sudan.
During the discussion on Sudan, UNICEF encouraged the Government to ensure full consistency between the Child Act of 2010 and other national laws and judicial practice, particularly with regards to the definition of the child. The lack of consistency had sometimes led to the criminalisation of children, including victims of sexual violence and exposed children to the risk of capital punishment. It was concerned about the widespread practices of female genital mutilation, child marriage and stigmatization of children born out of wedlock. More here
  • 20 September

UPR outcomes adopted:
- Bangladesh, Azerbaijan. More here.
- Russia, Cameroon, Cuba. More here.

  • 19 September

UPR outcomes adopted:
Germany, Canada, Djibouti. More here.
- Tuvalu, Colombia, Uzbekistan. More here.

General debate - A number of States raised issues, including Bahrain - The Institute for Women’s Studies and Research expressed concern for the situation of children in Bahrain, who were subject to mistreatment and held for long periods of detention.  The Bahraini authorities needed to look into those cases and immediately halt arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of children. Read more on the debate, here.

  • 18 September

Indigenous peoples - During an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Expert Mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples, UNICEF expressed its gratitude to the Rapporteur for his attention
to children's rights. UNICEF also said that the extractive industries could negatively impact the well-being of children, particularly those that were forced to work in them. More here.

Universal Periodic Review - Report outcomes adopted for Turkmenistan, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso. More here.

  • 17 September

North Korea - The head of a UN-appointed inquiry into human rights in North Korea reported that testimony heard so far by his panel pointed to widespread and serious violations in every area it had been asked to investigate. More here.

  • 16 September

Syria - Presenting its latest report to the Council, the Chair of the Commission of Inquiry, Paulo Pinheiro, said that the the Government had continued its relentless campaign of air bombardment and artillery shelling across the country. Mr Pinheiro said the government should take steps to release children from detention or to transfer them to a juvenile justice system consistent with both fair trial and children’s rights. More here.

  • 12 September

Contemporary forms of slavery: Gulnara Shahinian, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, estimated that over 20 million persons worldwide were in some form of forced labour or bondage. She said additional invisible forms of slavery included child slavery, bonded labour, servile marriage and domestic servitude. Several speakers also expressed their concern at hidden forms of slavery, which often went undetected. More here.

  • 11 September

Children of parents sentenced to death:  States, NGOs and UN experts discussed this issue which has received growing attention in recent years. Jorge Cardona Llorens, Member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, said the sentencing of a parent to death was a question that concerned the child and the child had the right to have its best interest taken into account when the decision was taken. When the sentence was passed, an estimation of the possible positive or negative effects for the child or children concerned had to be taken. States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child were legally obliged to carry out this assessment each time a decision concerning a child was taken. That determination and assessment had to be singular, relevant and explicit. 

Penal Reform International said that many aspects of this issue had not been explored and said an expert meeting would be useful. Read about the discussion, here.

  • 10 September 
Human rights defenders: “A democratic and equitable international order cannot be achieved as long as civil society actors continue to be subjected to intimidation, harassment and violence, and individuals are denied the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs,” says UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas. More here
Children and armed conflict: Countries in conflict and the international community must step up measures to protect children from violence in armed conflict, as well as violations of their other human rights including education, said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui. More here
  • 9 September 

Pillay focuses on Syria in opening statement: The High Comissioner for Human Rights opened the session by saying: "This is no time for powerful States to continue to disagree on the way forward, or for geopolitical interests to override the legal and moral obligation to save lives by bringing this conflict to an end." More here.

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Programme of work

To view the full agenda, see the attached schedule above.

Children's rights on the agenda

Children's rights are set to feature in a number of discussions, including:

  • Panel discussion on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed

- Date: 11 September, 10 - 1pm.

The panel will have a particular attention on the ways and means to ensure the rights of children in this situation. It will focus on the impact of the announcement of the judicial decision to children; the promotion of a better understanding of norms; and the protection and assistance to children necessary for the enjoyment of their rights.

  • Half-day panel discussion on indigenous peoples

  • Interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children & Armed Conflict (oral update)

  • The annual discussion on gender integration


Submission deadlines

Please consult the HRC NGO Participation page for further information.

Deadline for NGO written statements is 22nd August. For its 24th session, the HRC has started a new online registration system for written statements. Here is the log in page, and there is also a "How-to guide" from practical and technical support. 




Selected reports relating to children's rights include:

 To access the full list of reports, click here.



UPR adoptions

The following reports will be adopted:

  • Turkmenistan     Burkina Faso     Cape Verde
  • Colombia    Uzbekistan    Tuvalu    Germany
  • Djibouti    Canada    Bangladesh    Russian Federation  
  • Azerbaijan   Cameroon    Cuba

- Visit our session page.



Selected resolutions set to be tabled and discussed, include:

  • Administration of justice - tabled by Austria
    (with a focus on juvenile justice and the human rights of persons deprived of liberty)
  • Death Penalty - tabled by Belgium
  • Arbitrary Detention
  • Traditional Values - tabled by Russia
  • Reprisals against those who cooperate with UN mechanisms - Hungary

  • Rights of persons with disabilities - Thailand

  • Child, early and forced marriage - Sierra Leone

  • Rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association –renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur - United States

  • Contemporary forms of slavery – renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur - United Kingdom

  • Preventable mortality and morbidity of children under five - Ireland

  • Extension of mandate of Special Rapporteur on right to health - Brazil

- View all resolutions set to be tabled during the session



Side events

The following side events feature children's rights:

9 September

  • "Human Rights and Health"
    International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations
    Date - 9 September, 2 - 4pm, Room XXIII

10 September

  • "Reprisals against human rights defenders"
    Date - 10 September 2013 / 1.15pm (Room XXI)
    Hosted by Switzerland and Hungary

  • "Fighting child mortality"
    Date - 10 September 2013, 1pm,Room XXIV
    Hosted by Austria and Ireland

  • "Education System"
    International Institute for Peace
    Date - 10 September, 11 - 1pm, Room XXI

11 September

  • "Human Rights and Traditional Values"
    Article 19
    Date - 11 September, 11 - 1pm, Room XXVII
  • "Human Rights of Children"
    OCAPROCE Internationale
    Date - 11 September, 3-5pm, Room XXIII

12 September

  • "Human right to drinking water and sanitation"
    (focus on the elimination of inequalities and social exclusion through the development of the post-2015 agenda)
    Date - 12 September 2013 / Venue and time tbc Hosted by Spain and Germany

  • Child Labour"
    Defence for Children International
    Date - 12 September, 3 - 5pm, ,Room XXIII

13 September

  • "Combating violence against LGBT persons"
    Date - 13 September 2013,  1pm
    Hosted by Brazil

16 September

  • "Restorative Juvenile Justice"
    International Child Catholic Bureau
    Date - 16 September, 2 - 4pm, Room XXII

17 September

  • "Responsibility to protect"
     Date - 17 September 2013, 10am
    Hosted by Australia

  • "De-criminalizing Abortion"
    Action Canada for Population and Development
    Date - 17 September, 10 - 12pm, Room XXI

To view the full set of side events, click here


NGO statements

The following feature children's rights:

  • "The human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed"
    Written statement submitted by Amnesty International.
  • "Indigenous peoples’ right to water threatened by extractive industries and large dams"
    Joint written statement submitted by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY)
  • "India: Between the rock and a hard place - children in armed conflict"
    Written statement by the Asian Legal Resource Centre 
  • "The right not to be discriminated and the education in mother tongue: The problem of bilingual minority pre-school education in Greece"
    Written statement submitted by the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe
  • "Treatment of ethnic nationalities in Myanmar"
    Written statement submitted by International Educational Development, Inc..  
  • "Concern for children of parents sentenced to the death penalty"
    Written statement submitted by the Academic Council on the United Nations System, a non-governmental organization in general consultative status.
  • "Violations of the prohibition against arbitrary detention by private prisons"
    Written statement submitted by the Human Rights Advocates Inc.. 

- View all statements



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:

For its 24th session, the HRC has started a new online registration system for written statements. Here is the log in page, and there is also a "How-to guide" from practical and technical support. 

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.