Voices of Civil Society Organisations in Yemen ignored at #HRC36


Yesterday a Human Rights Council resolution for Yemen was passed without a vote under item 10. The resolution brought forward was a result of extensive deliberations that happened in the last few weeks as two resolutions were contested to be passed. The first resolution was brought forward by Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Ireland and Luxemburg, and the second resolution was brought forward by Egypt on behalf of the Arab bloc. The main difference were that the Netherlands group resolution proposed an international mechanism for inquiry while the Arab bloc proposed extending technical support to the existing National Commission for Investigating Alleged Human Rights Violations and Abuses.

The Peace Track Initiative coordinated efforts of more than 40 Yemeni NGOs to draft a joint letter to be submitted ahead of the drafting process of the resolutions. The joint letter proposed a number of suggestions on the formation of the International Commission. Recommendations included ensuring the engagement of local civil society with the international commission from the beginning including drafting the mandate, investigating violations from 2011, as it marks a critical moment of human rights violations. It also emphasized the importance of obtaining guarantees for the international commission to have access to all areas in Yemen, in addition to, recommendations to having gender balance in composition of the commission, ensuring accessibility to women in Yemen, protecting human rights observers and victims, and calling for appointing a special rapporteur for monitoring human rights in Yemen. The Netherlands group resolution had two informal session for consultation.

During the first round of consultation, the Founder of Peace Track Initiative communicated specific recommendations based on consultations with Yemeni Human Rights Defenders and Lawyers. Those included clearly mentioning human rights abuses against journalists and human rights defenders and calling for their release, addressing issues of humanitarian diversion, ensuring women’s participation in peace processes, clear reference to JIAT mechanism with calls to be clear about its mandate, accountability, and linkages to reparation. During the second round of consultations, the Founder of Peace Track Initiative provided verbal comments during the meeting on the second draft including suggestions to demand releasing the detainees, witness protection, clear reference to reparation for victims and reiterating recommendations proposed in joint NGOs letter. Unfortunately, only three out of fifteen suggestions proposed by Yemeni NGOs representative were integrated to the final draft including adding journalist and human rights defenders (without calling for their release), women participation in peace processes, and JIAT reference without mentioning accountability and reparation. The Arab bloc resolution was not opened for consultations with NGOs representatives.

States negotiated and finally agreed to putting forward a joint resolution based on the two resolutions proposed and adapted it without a vote. This paper provides an analysis of the resolutions and remarks on the gaps. It aims at providing Yemeni NGOs, HRDs, and Lawyers with a documentation to the process and recommendations to consider for future advocacy.

For the full report download pdf document here: HRC 36 resolution analysis


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