You can find an overview of our statements below.
NGO End of Session statement (14 July)
In a joint statement, 17 civil society organizations shared their reflections on key outcomes of the 47th ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. For Franciscans International, this included disappointment that the Council failed to establish a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on climate change. However, we also welcomed the increasing cross-regional support for this initiative and the realization that it is becoming legally and politically untenable for States to ignore the reality and urgency of tackling the impacts of climate change on human rights of the most vulnerable nations and threatened people.
Item 6: Universal Periodic Review – Australia (8 July)
During the adoption of Australia’s UPR, we reiterated a number of concerns raised during the examination, including on the lack of strong commitments toward climate action, the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and the incarceration rates among indigenous Australians. In a joint statement, we urged the government to accept the relevant recommendations made on these issues.
Item 3: Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (30 June)
During the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human trafficking, we expressed our support towards the implementation of the principle of non-criminalization, especially for victims of sexual exploitation. Raising specific issues from Kenya, Uganda, Mexico and Bolivia, we call on the States to provide adequate care to victims of sexual exploitation without criminalizing them.
Panel discussion on the adverse impact of climate change on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by older persons (30 June)
The immediate impacts of climate change have already exposed older persons in situations of vulnerability to marginalization and discrimination. While welcoming a recent report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on this issue, Franciscans International and its partners reiterated the urgent need for the Council to establish a new Special Rapporteur on climate change as a way to devote more attention to the many facets of the intersection between climate and human rights.
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers – Guatemala (28 June)
Acknowledging that COVID-19 has worsened the existing challenges to ensure fair trials and respect for due process in Guatemala, we joined a statement to highlight the use of numerous procedural obstacles targeting human rights defenders. Also expressed our concern over the growing number of criminalization cases towards human rights defenders.
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of internally displaced persons – Indonesia (25 June)
In a joint statement, Franciscans International highlighted several cases of internal displacement in West Papua, where people are caught up in the conflict between Indonesian security forces and pro-independence groups. In this light, we reiterated our call on the Government of Indonesia to allow national and international human rights and humanitarian organizations to access West Papua to monitor the situation and assist internally displaced people. We also stressed the need to find a sustainable solution to this on-going conflict through a peaceful dialogue.
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants (24 June)
In a joint statement, Franciscans International together with other 30 organizations voiced its concern over the growing practices of “pushbacks” which violate the principle of non-refoulement, particularly in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala. With the pandemic exacerbating the impact of mass pushbacks, the statement also condemns the increasing militarization of national borders and aggressions and intimidations against human rights defenders.
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants – Brazil (24 June)
In a joint statement, Franciscans International raised the increased militarization of Brazil’s borders and pushback practices against migrants during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the lack of transparency and accountability during ‘Operation Welcome’, a humanitarian task force destined to assist Venezuelan migrants. We further called attention to current entry restrictions into Brazil, which have left migrants without access to international protection or asylum procedures.
Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – Colombia (22 June)
During the presentation of her annual report to the Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed her deep concern about the situation in Colombia. Since late April, protests fuelled by social inequalities have been met with excessive force and the targeting of human rights defenders. In a statement endorsed by over 300 civil society organizations, Franciscans International echoed these concerns asked the High Commissioner to prepare a report on the alleged human rights violations committed during the protests. We also urged the Council to call on Colombia to conduct an independent investigation and facilitate the building of a social consensus around structural demands.
Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – Climate change (22 June 2021)
Echoing the call made in a recent open letter by civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations, FI and its partners urged the Council to establish a Special Rapporteur on climate change during its 47th session. While acknowledging the work done on this issue by other mandates, we stressed that climate change is existential threat and that dedicated Special Rapporteur is needed to elevate the Council’s work in a systemic way. We also recalled the support expressed for this initiative by States in previous statements and called on the Council to act now.