Today, Monday, 9 September 2013, marks the beginning of the twenty-fourth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (the Council) in Geneva. The session is scheduled to continue until 27 September 2013.
As part of the activities of this session, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) has submitted to the Council six written interventions in which it focuses on a number of key human rights issues, including the state of human rights in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, and Bahrain. Another of the written interventions presented by CIHRS in cooperation with Nazra for Feminist Studies deals with the human rights of women in light of the major political shifts taking place in Egypt, drawing attention to the grave violations experienced by women during their involvement in pro-democracy protests. CIHRS dedicated another written intervention to discussing the right to access to information and the most prominent challenges facing the exercise of this right in Arab countries.
CIHRS will also engage in this session of the Council through a number of oral interventions, which will allow the organization to participate in a number of the discussions which will occur at the Council. Through a series of oral interventions, CIHRS plans to discuss the situation of human rights in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, and the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as the issue of transitional justice as it relates to human rights in Arab countries.
During this session, CIHRS will organize a number of side events in Geneva to which diplomats and representatives from other regional and international NGOs will be invited. On 12 September, CIHRS will hold a side event to discuss the state of human rights in Yemen, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.
Non-governmental organizations play a critical role in bringing the human rights situation in different countries to light and in confronting governments based on their violations of these rights. As such, the UN Human Rights Council provides such organizations with the opportunity to review rights conditions through a system of written and oral interventions. The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies is one of the organizations that take advantage of this opportunity to discuss a broad range of rights issues affecting the countries of the Arab world. Due to its consultative status at the United Nations, CIHRS is able to provide observations and testimonies about the situation of rights in the Arab region through its interventions and reports to the Council.
The Human Rights Council is the principle body focused on human rights issues at the United Nations. The Council holds three regular sessions per year to discuss human rights issues in various countries around the world, and it is made up of 47 member countries, which are elected from their regions for limited terms. The first session of the HRC was convened on June 19, 2006.
Attached are the written interventions submitted by the CIHRS to the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
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