Civil Society Space in the Human Rights Council (UN statement)

The ICJ today spoke on behalf of a number of NGOs, drawing the attention of the Human Rights Council to the fact that the Council is permitting civil society space to shrink within its own chamber.

The statement was as follows:

Mr President,

We thank States for their commitment to address the shrinking space for civil society.

We draw the Council’s attention to the fact that since 2013, the number of desks reserved for NGOs in room XX for Human Rights Council sessions has been reduced from 24 to 2, leaving only the two speaking seats we are now sitting in.

This has been drawn to the attention of successive Presidents of the Council but the space has continued to shrink.

We invite all delegations to reflect on the impression this gives to civil society, not to mention States and other international actors, about the Council’s commitment to addressing shrinking civil society space.

I thank you Mr President.

The statement was delivered by the ICJ on behalf of the following NGOs:

  • Article 19
  • Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia)
  • Bahá’í International Community
  • CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  • DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
  • FIAN International
  • Franciscans International
  • International Bar Association
  • International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
  • International Federation for Human Rights Leagues (FIDH)
  • International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)
  • the International Movement against All forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
  • International Platform Against Impunity
  • International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  • Minority Rights Group International
  • Peace Brigades International (PBI)
  • Universal Rights Group (URG)
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

The statement can be downloaded in PDF format here: HRC35-OralStatement-GDItem3-CivilSocietySpace-2017

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