60th Session of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

15 March - 23 April 2004, Geneva, Switzerland
United Nations

Organizers

Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, MCART, ICVolunteers.

Project details

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, composed of 53 States, meets each year in regular session in March/April for six weeks in Geneva. Over 3,000 delegates from member and observer States and from non-governmental organizations participate. The main themes addressed by the Commission are: the right to self-determination; racism; the right to development; the question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine; the question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world; economic, social and cultural rights; civil and political rights, including the questions of torture and detention, disappearances and summary executions, freedom of expression, the independence of the judiciary, impunity and religious intolerance; the human rights of women, children, migrant workers, minorities and displaced persons; indigenous issues; the promotion and protection of human rights, including the work of the Sub-Commission, treaty bodies and national institutions; and advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights.

During its regular annual session, the Commission adopts about a hundred resolutions, decisions and Chairperson's statements on matters of relevance to individuals in all regions and circumstances. It is assisted in this work by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a number of working groups and a network of individual experts, representatives and rapporteurs mandated to report to it on specific issues.

Volunteering Opportunities

An on-line report service has been set up for the Commission on Human Rights by the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO), in partnership with MCART Association and ICVolunteers.

Volunteers are recruited to report on the Commission plenary meetings which take place every day, as well as many of the working groups and NGO side events. After training on the use of the report service, reporters are assigned to cover events on the agenda of the day and in accordance with their interests. Their written contributions follow the reporting process on the website which involves reviewers, proof-readers and publishers. The latter are responsible for posting the reports on the website for public viewing.

Over the 6 week period of the 60th Commission in 2004, 25 volunteers were involved in the reporting process. They covered some 56 plenary meetings and 84 NGO side events, putting in almost 1000 hours of work. The majority of their reports can be found on www.ngochr.org, listed under the themes/items under discussion during the Commission.

Short Term Projects

ICVolunteers promotes volunteerism and its recognition, by enhancing civic commitment and involvement, and by providing leadership and links between organizations, individuals and communities. With this perspective, ICVolunteers develops projects and leads initiatives.

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