Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our interns have been operating remotely and were unable to attend, in person, the 44th session of the Human Rights Council (30 June to 17 July 2020). However, this has not discouraged us from ensuring that their voices are heard. We have relied on innovative strategies to help them develop the important skill of delivering intervention statements targeting precisely human rights issues of concern and bringing them to the attention of the Human Rights Council.
Our interns, through a practical exercise, engaged in several sessions of drafting and reviewing their statements until they were refined and finalised. They then participated in mock deliveries of their statements to give them a feel of what it meant to deliver an intervention at the Human Rights Council and how to ensure that their statements were within the prescribed time limit of 1 minute 30 seconds for NGO interventions. The exercise aimed to refine their skills in drafting and delivering interventions, and had a specific focus on the human rights issues and United Nations reports allocated for discussion at the 44th session of the Human Rights Council.
Upon completing their training, they then recorded their statements and shared their views on priority topics up for discussion at the various interactive dialogues at the 44th session of the Human Rights Council. Their messages were immensely powerful. So much so that we consider it of utmost importance that their statements were published for all to hear their messages. This is what they had to say.
44th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council
Item 2: - Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
“Interactive dialogue: High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights worldwide and on the activities of her office, and an oral update on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic"
Statement by: Nicole Gonzalez
Item 3: - Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Statement by: Dhruti Chakravarthi
Statement by: Leena Abdlemoity
“Interactive dialogue: Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict A/HRC/44/38"
Statement by: Rachel Kyes
Statement by: Razan al-Shammari
Item 9: - Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
“Interactive dialogue with: Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance A/HRC/44/57, A/HRC/44/57/Add.1 A/HRC/44/57/Add.2, A/HRC/44/57/Add.3, A/HRC/44/58
Statement by: Natalia Brusco
Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice