MINELRES: UNHCHR Minority Newsletter: June 2007

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Mon Sep 24 07:58:34 2007


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


Minority Update N4 - June 2007

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


Table of contents
 Human Rights Council 
 Independent Expert on minority issues 
 Advocacy and media training for 2007 Fellows
 Inter agency meeting 
 Durban Review Preparatory Process 
 Treaty Bodies and country reviews


Human Rights Council 

On 18 June 2007, the Human Rights Council at its 5th session adopted a
resolution outlining future work of the Council including with respect
to the new Universal Periodic Review procedure (UPR), the work and
review of special procedure mandate holders, the establishment of a new
Human Rights Council Advisory Committee composed of 18 members. The UN
Working Groups, such as the Working Group on Minorities were disbanded.  


Independent Expert on Minority Issues

The Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Ms. Gay McDougall, was
elected Chairperson of the annual meeting of the special procedures and
bureau of the special procedures in June 2007. As Chairperson she made a
presentation to the Human Rights Council on 22 June on the importance of
these mechanisms. 


Advocacy and media training for the 2007 Fellows

A pilot advocacy and media training was organized and delivered by Mr.
Iain Guest for participants in the English speaking Minority and
Indigenous Fellowship programmes. The week of training was intensive and
empowering. 

Mr. Iain Guest is a former journalist and UN spokesperson and presently
lectures at Georgetown University. He is also Director of the Advocacy
Project which supports advocates for peace, human rights and social
justice. 

The web site of this organization is:  advocacynet.org 


Inter-agency meeting 

Following the February 2007 meeting, which was reported in the March
issue of this newsletter, another consultation of the Inter-Agency Group
on Minorities took place on 20th June in Geneva this time with the
Special Procedures Mandate Holders. 

Seven mandate holders attended the meeting including Gay McDougall,
Independent Expert on minorities issues; Asma Jahangir Special
Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; Doudou Diene, Special
Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination,
xenophobia and related intolerance; Walter Kalin, Representative of the
Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons;
Yakin Ertuk, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes
and consequences; Miloon Kothari Special Rapporteur on adequate housing
as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on
the right to non-discrimination in this context, and Mr. Vitit
Muntarbhorn Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  A draft information note
entitled 10 Questions and Answers on the Rights of Persons Belonging to
National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities served as a
basis for the discussions and is currently under consideration by the
participants of the Inter-Agency Group for its finalization. 

Maria Francisca Ize-Charrin, Director of the OHCHR Operations,
Programmes and Research Division opened the Consultation and
participated in the discussions. Lin Lean Lim, Senior ILO Adviser, acted
as a facilitator/moderator for the meeting. During the meeting
participants acknowledged that improved protection for minorities is
necessary and that the existing Special Procedures human rights
mechanisms provided protection but needed to be used more effectively.
The role of the Special Procedures in this area has been particularly
noted and the need to continue cooperating has been highlighted. The
next meeting of the group is scheduled to take place in September.  


Durban Review Preparatory Process

The Durban Review Preparatory Process chose a Bureau designate with
Chairperson in June. 

The Bureau designate decided that the organizational session of the
Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review Process would be held from 27
to 31 August 2007.

They decided to meet on an informal basis between June and August to
consider preparations for the first session which would deal with
organizational issues, such as participation of civil society in the
preparatory processes and review conference.

For further information, see
http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/racism/groups/prep_committee_durban/index.ht
m


Treaty Bodies and country reviews:

The Committee on the Rights of the Child held its 45th session from 21
May to 8 June 2007.  The Committee considered the following reports:

CRC: Kazakhstan; Maldives; Slovakia; Uruguay.
The concluding observations on Kazakhstan, Maldives do not contain a
reference to the situation of children belonging to minorities. 

A number of references to issues concerning children belonging to
minorities are contained in the concluding observations on Slovakia and
to Afro-descendants in the concluding observations on Uruguay. 

CRC OPSC: Bangladesh; Guatemala; Sudan; Ukraine.
A reference is made to minority and indigenous or ethnic group in the
concluding observations on Bangladesh, Guatemala and Sudan.

CRC OPAC: Guatemala; Monaco; Norway; Sweden.
The concluding observations on do not contain a reference to children
belonging to minorities. 

All the documents are available on the Committee's webpage at: 
http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/crcs45.htm


**************************************************************
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
E-mail:
rizsak@ohchr.org

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