UN Human Rights Council adopts Swiss resolution on peaceful protests

Bern, Press releases, 28.03.2014

The 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which was opened on 3 March 2014 by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr Didier Burkhalter, has ended today. The council adopted a resolution put forward by Switzerland regarding the protection of human rights during peaceful protest. It also discussed the human rights situation in Syria, North Korea, Myanmar, the Central African Republic, Sri Lanka, Iran, Mali and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.

Protecting human rights during peaceful protests is one of Switzerland's priorities. More than 50 states supported the Swiss resolution which calls for the creation of practical recommendations on how peaceful demonstrations should be organised and handled.

During the session, Switzerland also advocated for a comprehensive and independent documentation of human rights violations to be used as a basis in the fight against impunity. It welcomed the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and reiterated the commission's call to involve the International Criminal Court in these matters. With regard to the situation in Syria, Switzerland argued in favour of extending the independent commission of inquiry's mandate which included documenting the human rights abuses taking place on the ground. It also welcomed the fact that the UN was given the mandate to undertake an independent investigation into the human rights violations that took place during the civil war in Sri Lanka.

In a joint statement regarding the human rights situation in Egypt, Switzerland, together with 27 other states, criticised the security forces' extensive use of violence during demonstrations and called for an independent investigation into the deaths related to these events.

The Human Rights Council is taking on new challenges, such as protecting the privacy of individuals in the era of the internet and programmes that collect data on a large scale. Switzerland is one of the countries that has put these issues on the council's agenda, and is also supportive of an in-depth debate on the impact of drones on human rights to be held for the first time in the council this year.

Further information:

Human rights in the context of the United Nations
United Nations Human Rights

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