Side-events at the Human Rights Council

During 42nd session of the Human Rights Council, we will organize and co-sponsor a number of side-events to discuss key thematic and country specific issues, including the rights to water and sanitation, and the human rights situations in the Philippines and Indonesia.

The Human Rights Crisis in the Philippines
• 11 September 2019 • 12.00 – 13.00 • Room XXII, Palais des Nations

Since the start of the so-called “war on drugs” by the current government of the Philippines, the human rights situation in the country has deteriorated dramatically. The Philippines Commission of Human Rights estimates that over 27,000 people have been killed since 2016, either by police of vigilantly groups. Critical voices – including human rights defenders, journalists, and religious and indigenous leaders – have faced reprisals and now work in a context where democratic space is increasingly limited.

In July 2019, the Human Rights Council responded to the situation by adopting Resolution 41/2, which requests the High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive report that will be presented during the Council’s 44th session. During his side-event, grassroots human rights defenders will provide an update on the situation on the ground, focusing on the period after the adoption of Resolution 41/2.

The impact of megaprojects on the human rights to water and sanitation
• 12 September 2019 • 10.00 – 11.00 • Room IV, Palais des Nations

Megaprojects are often linked to human rights violations. From the lack of free, prior and informed consent to long-lasting environmental impacts, the consequences for the enjoyment of human rights are visible and recurrent.

In order to prevent and mitigate the risks arising from such projects and to ensure compliance with human rights, the Special Rapporteur on safe drinking water and sanitation is introducing a megaproject cycle framework for the realization of these human rights, consisting of seven stages, each of them entailing impacts on access to water and sanitation, challenges and enabling factors to realize the human rights to water and sanitation.

This side-event will provide an opportunity to discuss the findings of the Special Rapporteur ahead of the official presentation of his report to the General Assembly and explore key developments in human rights law based on testimonies from Colombia, Guatemala, and Zambia.