Annual Student Conference
Annual Student Human Rights Conference 2016. UN Human Rights Council: 10 Years On. Saturday 5 March 2016
Human Rights are one of the three pillars of the work of the United Nations (UN) and its recognition has gained momentum since the inception of the Human Rights Council nearly ten years ago. Despite a number of notable successes, the Council has not been without criticism during its short existence. The Council's ten-year anniversary in 2016 will differ from its five-year anniversary, as there will be no formal review of its work. This created an excellent opportunity to assess the Council's key successes whilst recognising and discussing its shortcomings.
This 17th Annual Student Human Rights Conference examined the achievements and failures of the UN Human Rights Council within the context of the UN human rights system as a whole. Keynote speakers from NGOs, UN institutions, and academia presented their insights into the Council and the human rights system. In conjunction with student panellists, pertinent questions were examined.
We were pleased to be joined by the following keynote speakers:
- Mr Karim Ghezraoui, Chief Officer a.i., Special Procedures Branch, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Dr Rosa Freedman, Senior Lecturer at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham
- Ms Aoife Hegarty, Programme Manager at Universal Periodic Review Info, Geneva
- Ms Lucy Richardson, PhD Candidate at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, and former member of the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the UN
In the morning, Dr Freedman and Mr Ghezraoui provided a general overview of the Council. Dr Freemdan offered an academic perspective of the Council's achievements so far, its shortscomings and the challenges ahead, while Mr Ghezraoui's address focused on the work of the special procedures froma practitioner's perspective. Read the Student Rapporteur Report of the morning plenary session.
In the afternoon, Ms Richardson and Ms Hegarty turned to another tool of the Council, namely the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), analysing it from a government and an NGO perspective respectively. Read the Student Rapporteur Report of the afternoon plenary session.
Mr Karim Ghezraoui
Chief Officer a.i. Special Procedures Branch, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Dr Rosa Freedman
Senior Lecturer at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham
Ms Aoife Hegarty
Programme Manager at Universal Periodic Review Info, Geneva
Ms Lucy Richardson
PhD Candidate at the Graduate Institute, Geneva and former member of the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the UN
Read the full programme.
The event was also covered on our Facebook page and Twitter via #StuConf16.