Civil Society News Updates


2012 Senior Minority Fellow Position - Call for Applications -- Deadline 20 February 2012

Interested candidates are invited to submit their completed application by 20 February 2012.

The Senior Minorities Fellow will be working with the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (IPMS) of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and will:

  • Participate in the section's activities through substantive research, analysis and/or preparing reports on developments concerning issues related to minorities.
  • Contribute to supporting the work of the Section, as set out in its annual work plan, including through the organisation of workshops and/or international meetings on promotion and protection of minority rights (co)organized by IPMS.
  • Perform other tasks that contribute to learning while working towards the promotion and protection of the rights of minorities.

Through this experience, the selected fellow will gain knowledge and working level experience with the United Nations human rights system (including the Treaty bodies, the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures) and with OHCHR work on minority issues in particular. The Senior fellow will receive periodic briefings on minority issues and introductory sessions on the work of OHCHR. He/she will also have the opportunity, during the fellowship, to attend sessions of Treaty Bodies and Working Group of the UPR.

The duration of the fellowship is three months, starting in April 2012. The exact date for the start of the fellowship will be determined with the selected candidate but will be no later than 30 April 2012. Download the application here.

Visit the webpage of the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section:

19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (27 February - 23 March 2012): Deadlines for NGO written statements and parallel-event room requests

In view of the forthcoming 19th Session of the Council, please note the deadline of Monday, 13 February 2012 for:

  • Submission of NGO written statements (please use the submission form at the link below).
  • Requests for NGO parallel-event rooms (on-line only)

The online oral statement request form will open at 2pm (Geneva time), Friday, 24 February 2012. Please consult the HRC NGO Participation page for further information:

Current draft Programme of Work (may be subject to change)

*** Please note that while this message is being sent to all interested civil society actors, participation in meetings of the Human Rights Council is limited to those NGOs with consultative status with ECOSOC.

Working Group on the Right to Development Consultation -- Deadline 16 March 2012

The conclusions and recommendations of the twelfth session of the intergovernmental open-ended Working Group on the Right to Development, adopted by consensus on 18 November 2011, acknowledge the need to further consider, revise and refine the right to development criteria and operational sub-criteria contained in document A/HRC/15/WG.2/TF/2/Add.2.

Consequently, OHCHR calls for comments and proposals on the right to development criteria and operational sub-criteria which should be sent no later than 16 March 2012 to:

The contributions received will be made available at the website of OHCHR. They will also be made available to the Working Group at its next session, scheduled from 23-27 April 2012, in the form of two conference room papers. These will contain only those submissions received in English and in MS Word document or compatible format.

For environmental consideration, concise and electronic submissions are encouraged.

The Working Group was established in 1998 with a mandate to: (a) monitor and review progress in the promotion and implementation of the right to development; (b) review reports and other information submitted by States, United Nations agencies, other relevant international and non-governmental organizations; and (c) present a sessional report to the Human Rights Council on its deliberations.

Consultation on the Secretary General's paper on indigenous peoples' participation at the United Nations -- Deadline 9 April 2012

In view of a paper for the 21st session of the Human Rights Council (Sep 2012) being prepared by the Secretary General on indigenous peoples' participation at the United Nations, you are invited to provide submissions. Input is welcome on:

  • which existing procedures to accredit non-governmental organisations might be appropriately applied to the accreditation of indigenous peoples' representatives to meetings of United Nations organs;
  • current practices to accredit indigenous peoples' organisations to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and how such practices could be applied to other United Nations meetings;
  • whether it is desirable for the General Assembly to adopt a decision setting out general procedures that would apply to indigenous peoples' representatives' participation at United Nations meetings, or whether separate decisions should be adopted by the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council on their participation; and
  • what would be the appropriate next steps in terms of considering this issue further within the United Nations.

Please send by 9 April 2012 to:

Human Rights Council resolution 18/8 (2011) requested the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner, the Office of Legal Affairs and other relevant parts of the Secretariat, to prepare a detailed document on the ways and means of promoting participation at the United Nations of recognized indigenous peoples' representatives on issues affecting them, given that they are not always organized as non-governmental organizations, and on how such participation might be structured, drawing from, inter alia, the rules governing the participation in various United Nations bodies by non-governmental organizations (including Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31) and by national human rights institutions (including Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007 and Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/74 of 20 April 2005), and to present it to the Council at its twenty-first session. For information:

Consultation on the Report of the Secretary General on the question of the death penalty -- Deadline 10 April 2012

In view of the Secretary General's forthcoming report on the question of the death penalty to the 21st session of the Human Rights Council (Sep 2012), you are invited to share information (maximum 1500 words) covering relevant developments since 1 July 2011 on the question of the death penalty. Please send by 10 April to:

In its decision 18/117 adopted on 28 September 2011, the Human Rights Council requested "the Secretary-General to continue to submit to the Human Rights Council, in consultation with Governments, specialized agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, a yearly supplement to his quinquennial report on capital punishment and the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, paying special attention to the imposition of the death penalty on persons younger than 18 years of age at the time of the offence, on pregnant women and on persons with mental or intellectual disabilities."

Click here for the decision: