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    13-30 September 2016 - GENEVA   
The 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council concluded on Friday, following the adoption of a number of substantive decisions with important implications for civil society. Among other actions, the Council took significant measures to address restrictions on civic space in Burundi, Cambodia and Ethiopia, appointed the first-ever UN Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and initiated a process to further develop a guiding framework on the right to participation in public affairs.
 
During the session, CIVICUS and its partners made a number of joint interventions to address a range of thematic and country specific civic space concerns. CIVICUS delivered 12 joint and individual oral statements, co-organized 7 panel discussions and supported 3 targeted advocacy letters to Member and Observer States of the Council. Together, these activities helped ensure that the experiences of civil society groups and human rights defenders inform the Council and its ancillary bodies.
Resolution on equal participation in public and political affairs 
 
The resolution mandates OHCHR to oversee the development of the first-ever UN guidelines on the effective implementation of the right to participate in public affairs.
 
Thai international law professor, Vitit Muntarbhorn, was appointed the first UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for a renewable period of 3 years.
Resolution on human rights situation in Burundi  
 
The resolution establishes, for a period of one year, a commission of inquiry to conduct a thorough investigation into human rights violations and abuses in Burundi since April 2015.
Joint statement on the human rights situation Cambodia  
 
39 States came together to express concern over the Government of Cambodia’s persecution of human rights organisations and critics of the government.
Statement on the human rights situation in Ethiopia
 
A number of States called on the Government of Ethiopia to end the use of excessive and lethal force and other human rights violations in the context of peaceful protests in the country. 
Joint & stand-alone oral statements
 
 
CIVICUS’ Youth Action Team, Amnesty International, NAYO Zimbabwe and YCD urge the Council to ensure an enabling environment for youth-led civil society to participate in public affairs.
 
 
CIVICUS, CCHR and OMCT call on the Council to urge Cambodia to comply with its obligations under international human rights law and the Paris Peace Accords.
 
 
CIVICUS and EHAHRDP urge the Somali authorities to make a concerted effort to address undue restrictions on freedom of expression.
 
 
CIVICUS raises alarm at the wide implementation gap between states’ international human rights commitments and national realities on the ground regarding indigenous rights activists.
 
 
CIVICUS calls on the Government of Burundi to address impunity for violence against human rights defenders, journalists and protesters. 
 
 
CIVICUS urges the Council to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert and address persistent restrictions on fundamental public freedoms in Sudan.
 
Statement on the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention   
 
CIVICUS urges the Working Group to follow-up on cases of arbitrary detention of HRDs and journalists in Ethiopia.
 
 
CIVICUS urges the Council to adopt a resolution mandating OHCHR to develop action-oriented guidelines on implementing the right to participate in public affairs.
 
 
CIVICUS urges the Government of Hungary to fully implement all Universal Periodic Review recommendations relating to the rights to association, expression, and assembly.
 
 
CIVICUS joins 23 organisations to call on the Government of Swaziland to implement Universal Periodic Review recommendations on civic space.
 
 
CIVICUS addresses restrictions on civil society in Bahrain, Ethiopia and Yemen.
 
   
CIVICUS urges the Council to take concerted action to end the persecution of civil society in Cambodia, Egypt and Syria.
 
 Joint panel discussions 
 
  
CIVICUS organized an event to compare national realities, to share strategies for ensuring HRC resolutions are put into practice at the national level and to strengthen the role of civil society.
 
  
CIVICUS as part of the Civic Space Initiative and ISHR organized a joint event to examine widening public participation in intergovernmental bodies.
 
 
CIVICUS and EHAHRDP organized a joint event to discuss opportunities to ensure implementation of UPR recommendations in Uganda.
 
 
CIVICUS and EHAHRDP held a joint event to discuss existing measures to ensure meaningful participation in policy-making processes in Africa.
 
CIVICUS joined 11 CSOs in calling on the Council to address Cambodia's gravely deteriorating human rights situation
 
 
The Gulf Center for Human Rights, CIHRS, CIVICUS and others held a joint event to examine challenges to enhance the protection of journalists in the MENA Region.
 
 
EHAHRDP, FIDH, CIVICUS and others organized a joint event to discuss monitoring and accountability for human rights violations in Burundi.
 
Joint Advocacy Letters
 
15 CSOs urge the Council to address the escalating human rights crisis in Ethiopia  
 
CIVICUS joined 14 CSOs in calling on the Council to shed light on the Government of Ethiopia’s ongoing and lethal crackdown on protests
 
 
PSPD, CIVICUS joined 11 CSOs in calling on the Council to address Cambodia's gravely deteriorating human rights situation.
 
36 CSOs and individuals urge the Council to adopt a resolution on Sudan 
 
CIVICUS joined 35 CSOs and defenders in calling on the Council to adopt a strong and action-oriented resolution on Sudan.  
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 Our Work in Geneva
 
CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. Through our office in Geneva, we support our partners and members to engage with the UN Human Rights Council, and its ancillary bodies, including the UN Universal Periodic Review, UN Special Procedures, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Read more. 
 
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