MINELRES: OHCHR Minority newsletter N7 - September 2007

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Wed Oct 24 20:11:45 2007

Original sender: Rita Izsak <RIzsak@ohchr.org>

Minority Update N7 - September 2007

OHCHR Indigenous Peoples
and Minorities Unit
Email: fblyth-kubota@ohchr.org

Table of contents
 Staff at OHCHR 
 Independent Expert on minority issues
 NEW 21 October Apply for Minority Fellowship in Arabic and 10 December
in English
 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  
 Inter agency meeting on minorities issues
 HRC activities and access to minorities
 UPR review countries selected by Human Rights Council  
 PrepComs in 2008 for Durban Review 2009 
 Community-led training for Roma in Latin America 
 Future expert meeting on integration with diversity in policing 
 Treaty Bodies and country reviews

Staff at OHCHR 

Mr. Pablo Espiniella has left the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities unit
to take up a new post in OHCHR's regional office in Bangkok. 

Pablo's email is: pespiniella@ohchr.org

Independent Expert on minority issues

Ms. Gay McDougall, the Independent Expert on minority issues undertook
an official country visit to France from 19 to 28 September 2007.  Ms.
McDougall traveled to Paris, Marseilles and Strasbourg, during which she
held consultations with Ministers and other senior governmental
representatives, NGOs and civil society groups, religious leaders,
academics and others working in the field of minority issues,
discrimination, racism and gender issues. Ms McDougall visited the
suburbs of Paris and Marseilles, including Bobigny and La Courneuve,
areas affected by urban upheavals in 2005, to talk directly to community
members about their lives and hear their stories and concerns. She also
held forums specifically for minority women. She concluded that the
particular problems faced by people in these ghettos is a direct
consequence of racial discrimination and consequently require policy
initiatives targeted to address the special circumstances that they

See text of press release at 

Ms. Gay McDougall with Mr. Doudou Diene (Special Rapporteur on
contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and
related intolerance) are planning to undertake a joint country visit to
the Dominican Republic in 23 to 29 October 2007. 

For further information please contact: 
Graham Fox:   gfox@ohchr.org 

Minority Fellowship Programme 


Pilot Arabic-speaking Minority Fellowship Programme: 3-14 December 2007

OHCHR is planning a pilot Arabic-speaking Minority Fellowship Programme
for two weeks from 3 to 14 December 2007 in Geneva. 

Application deadline: 21 OCTOBER 2007

Description of the programme and application form in Arabic are
available at  


English Minority Fellowship Programme 2008 

Application forms for the English speaking OHCHR Minority Fellowship
programme for Spring 2008 is on the OHCHR web site. 

The Application Deadline is 10 DECEMBER 2007

Please find application form at:

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted on 13
September 2007 by the General Assembly. The UN Declaration was adopted
by a majority of 144 states in favour, 4 votes against (Australia,
Canada, New Zealand and the United States) and 11 abstentions
(Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya,
Nigeria, Russian Federation, Samoa and Ukraine).
For further information please contact: 
jburger@ohchr.org and sslimane@ohchr.org
and mpena@ohchr.org

Access of minorities to work of HRC 

The Human Rights Council at its session in September took a number of
decisions concerning follow-up to the previous Sub-Commission's Working
Groups on Minorities, Indigenous Populations, Contemporary Forms of
Slavery and the Social Forum. 

With respect to discussions on the issue of a possible future forum on
minorities, a draft resolution on this matter was tabled by Austria and
revisions were read out orally at its adoption. A thematic forum to
assist the IE in her work was established with participation of, inter
alia, experts on minorities' issues and representatives of NGOs with
ECOSOC status and non-ECOSOC NGOs.   

See attachment for orally revised text presented to Council and
information at: http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/ 

Social Forum 

A resolution on the Social Forum was adopted on 28 September 2008 which
preserves the Social Forum as a unique space for interactive dialogue
between the UN and the broadest range of stakeholders, including
grassroots organizations, on the issue of poverty eradication.  

The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution establishing a new special
procedure on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and there is no longer a
Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. 
With respect to indigenous issues, the Human Rights Council passed a
resolution for the organization of a meeting to discuss possible
arrangements for follow-up to the work of the Working Group on
Indigenous Populations. This meeting is to be held prior to 10 December

UPR review countries selected

The Human Rights Council has selected the countries for review under the
new UPR system. 

The review system under UPR will consider 16 different countries at
three sessions per year. Thus, 64 countries are to be considered each
year. The listing of countries to be considered over the four years of
2008-2011 is available on the OHCHR web site at:

The countries to be considered under the first UPR session of 2008 are:
Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom,
India, Brazil, the Philippines, Algeria, Poland, Netherlands, South
Africa, Czech Republic and Argentina.  

See listing at:

Preparations for Durban Review 2009 

PrepCom dates in 2008

The Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the Durban Review Conference
Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related
Intolerance (WCAR) decided on the following dates for the first and
second substantive sessions of the PrepCom: 21 April to 2 May 2008;  and
6 to 17 October 2008. Both substantive PrepCom sessions will be held in
Geneva. It is expected that the Durban Review Conference itself will be
held in the first six months of 2009 and the venue is still to be

NGO Participation 

The first PrepCom decided on NGO participation in the preparatory
process of the Durban Review Conference as well as in the conference
itself. These will be:
1. NGOs with ECOSOC status
2. NGOs that were accredited for the WCAR (pending individual objections
from Member States which would be discussed during the PrepComs).
3. NGOs new to the process that have been approved after sending to the
Secretariat application forms which shall shortly be available at

For a full text of the decision regarding the participation of NGOs and
all other decisions, see the draft report of the first PrepCom at

Informal inter-agency meeting  

Following a request made by Ms. Eva Schoefer from the Mission of Austria
(main sponsor of the draft resolution/decision on minorities at the
Human Rights Council), the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Unit,
OHCHR, invited the sponsors of the minorities' resolution in the Council
to meet with the informal inter-agency group on minorities.
Representatives of the following Permanent Missions participated:
Austria, Finland, Hungary, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

Additionally, the representatives of ILO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNESCO and OCHA
discussed the issue of an Information note on Minorities' issues. It was
suggested that the Information Note should be finalized and published
and that further cooperation be pursued through the Inter-Agency Group. 

Community-led training for Roma in Latin America

OHCHR supported a community-led training for Romani representatives in
Latin America on human rights capacity building, advocacy and regional
networking. This was held from 25 to 28 September 2007 in Buenos Aires,
Argentina with a Romani NGO: AICRA (Identidad Cultural Romani de
Argentina) and with the participation of a former OHCHR Minority Fellow
from Bulgaria as well as Romani representatives from Spain, Bulgaria,
Argentina, Chile and Brazil. 

Future expert meeting on integration with diversity in policing 

OHCHR in cooperation with ILO and the UNODC are planning to hold an
expert meeting on integration with diversity in policing in Vienna,
Austria from 15 to 16 January 2008.

A background paper of the meeting is to be found at: 
For further information please contact: ialexander@ohchr.org

Treaty Bodies and country reviews

15 October - 2 November 2007 - CCPR

The 91st session of the Human Rights Committee meets from 15 October to
2 November 2007 in Geneva. The following State reports are scheduled for
examination: Georgia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Austria, Costa Rica and
Algeria. Additionally, lists of issues will be considered and adopted
concerning the reports submitted by San Marino, Panama, Tunisia and the
United Kingdom.  

Further information may be obtained from:

5 - 23 November 2007 - CESCR  

The Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights will hold its 39th
session from 5 to 23 November 2007. The following State reports are
scheduled for consideration: Costa Rica, Ukraine, San Marino, Belgium
and Paraguay. 

Organizations wishing to submit information should do so by 1 October
2007. For further details on how to submit information see:  

26 to 30 November - Pre-Sessional WG of CESCR 

The Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee on Economic Social and
Cultural Rights will be held from 26 to 30 November 2007. The following
State reports are scheduled to be considered: Sweden, The Philippines,
Kenya, Bolivia and Nicaragua.  

Organizations wishing to submit information should do so by 1 November
2007. For further details on how to submit information see:  

5 to 23 November 2007 - CAT

The Committee Against Torture will hold its 39th session from 5 to 23
November 2007. The Committee is scheduled to consider the State reports
of:  Australia, Benin, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Norway, Estonia and Portugal. 
Further information is to be found at: 

26 - 30 November 2007 - CMW

The Committee on Migrant Workers will hold its 7th session from 26 to 30
November 2007. The Committee is scheduled to consider the report of

January to February 2008 - CRC 

The Committee on the Rights of the Child will hold its 47th session
January to February 2008. The following State reports are planned to be
considered: Dominican Republic, Georgia, Timor-Leste and Bhutan. Under
the Optional Protocol to CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution
and Child Pornography, the following State reports are expected to be
considered: Chile, Kuwait and Timor-Leste.  Under the Optional Protocol
to the CRC on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict the
following State reports are expected to be considered: Chile, Germany,
Ireland, Kuwait and Timor-Leste.  

For further information please visit:

14 January to 1 February 2008 - CEDAW

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
is scheduled to hold its 40th session from 14 January to 1 February
2008.  The following is a list of States parties reports provisionally
scheduled to be examined during the next session: Saudi Arabia, Bolivia,
Burundi, France, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Morocco and Sweden. 

More information at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/40sess.htm 

18 February to 7 March 2008 - CERD

The next session of the Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (CERD) is scheduled to take place from 18 February to 7
March 2008 in Geneva.  The Committee will consider the following reports
during the session: Republic of Moldova, Italy, Republic of Fiji
Islands, Belgium, Russian Federation, Dominican Republic, United States
of America and Nicaragua. Under the Committee's review procedure,
whereby it considers country situations in the absence of a State party
report, the following are tentatively listed for review: Gambia, Monaco,
Bulgaria, United Arab Emirates and Panama. 

For more information please refer to: 
NEW - OPCAT's Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture's (SPT) first
visits 2007-8 

OPCAT's Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) informed Mauritius,
Sweden, the Maldives and Paraguay of its plans to carry out visits to
these four States Parties. The countries to receive the visits during
2007 or early 2008 have been chosen in accordance with the Optional
Protocol. The SPT met with representatives from the Permanent Missions
of each of the four States Parties in order to discuss the visiting
programme and the modalities of SPT visits. 

The SPT consists of 10 independent expert members carrying out
preventive visits to places of detention in all States Parties to the
Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
Further information is available at:


Rita Izsak
Consultant, Civil Society Unit
Executive Direction and Management
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
UNOG-OHCHR, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 917 9106
Fax: +41 22 917 9004

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