Terre des Hommes actively participated in the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council (13 June – 1st July 2016) through written and oral statements and the organisation of side-events.
In its statement presenting the “Recommended Principles for Children on the Move and Other Children Affected by Migration”, Terre des Hommes noted that these “Principles” by being coherent, clear and widely known are intended to improve the quality of protection afforded to children on the move. Many of these Principles are binding obligations already widely ratified by States, nevertheless because they are poorly and incompletely implemented, their restatement in concise form provides a workable tool for action”. The “Principles” were also presented during a side-event “We are what we do, not what we say” sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Belgium. During this side-event young migrants arrived in Switzerland explained how sports and cultural activities have allowed them to integrate better in the community.
“Mega Sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup often cause human rights violations directly related to the event or exacerbate already existing ones, with children being particularly vulnerable. In recent years sport governing bodies have faced increased criticism over forced eviction, increase of police and army violence, violations of worker’s rights, restrictions of the right to freedom and expression”
warned Terre des Hommes during the “Panel on the Use of Sport and the Olympic Ideal to Promote Human Rights for All” organised by the Human Rights Council. Terre des Hommes also co-organised a side-event on “Human Rights Legacy in Sport Events” where victims of police violence and forced evictions have testified.
The 32nd session of the Council brought solid results. At the same time it highlighted that the universality of human rights worldwide is far from being achieved, and that all too often there is not enough attention conferred to children in international debates. The Human Rights Council adopted 33 resolutions on varied themes. In a resolution on civil society space, the Council urged States to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment in which civil society can operate free from hindrance and insecurity. Other resolutions addressed the question of violence against girls and their right to education.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Human Rights Council which clearly continues to play a paramount role in the UN human rights system. It represents a forum in which Terre des Hommes can recall that all children are entitled to their human rights without discrimination, including children on the move irrespective of their legal status.
See also the written submissions: