Photo credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre.

Monday 13 June marked the beginning of the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council. The session is an opportunity for WILPF to bring its advocacy and address the root causes of war. It is also a chance to bridge the gap between the international and local levels, by providing information about human rights and human rights violations on the ground. Women’s human rights are on the agenda for this session, and WILPF will make sure that they are brought up.

Our focus during the Human Rights Council sessions is to integrate disarmament and the women, peace and security agenda within the work of the Human Rights Council. In doing so, we will remind countries of their human rights obligations, whether they are directly implicated in an armed conflict, or indirectly contributing to it. Arms exports or the endorsement of peace negotiation processes that do not include women are some examples of how actions of States may affect the human rights of those enduring armed conflicts elsewhere.

What we do

For the 32nd session, WILPF will organise two side events and deliver several oral and written statements.

15 June 2016: Syria, from a peaceful revolution to a bloody conflict: Women’s experiences and roles

WILPF and Syrian women activists from ten different partner organisations, and with the support of Kvinna till Kvinna, have developed a report for the Universal Periodic Review of Syria that allocates specific focus on the distinct impact of the conflict on Syrian women and the violations committed against them.

23 June 2016: Human Rights and civilian access to fire arms: Struggling against insecurity and gender-based violence

This side event will present the main findings of the OHCHR report aiming at identify the impact of the use, acquisition and possession of firearms by civilians on the enjoyment of human rights. The event will also highlight the impacts of firearms from a gender perspective.

Advocacy work

WILPF uses statements at the Council to influence the decision-taking processes at the Council, but we also provide expertise. Statements are based on hard facts that are sometimes unknown or not taken into consideration for political interests, such as women’s rights or arms exports. Raising such issues at the Human Rights Council guarantees that they can no longer be ignored.

WILPF will advocate against arms transfer, violence against women and transnational corporations. WILPF will help bring voices from our members from Eritrea, today part of different sections of WILPF around Europe, to the Human Rights Council. They want to call for a stop of the proliferation of weapons, kidnapping and human trafficking that the people of Eritrea are suffering from. WILPF will also comment on the reports by the Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

For more information, have a look at our calendar! We will publish our statements in our advocacy document archive.