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Situation in Belarus, Eritrea and the Tigray region addressed at the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council

The 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva comes to an end today. At the initiative of the European Union, the Council discussed the human rights situation in Belarus, Eritrea and the Tigray region of Ethiopia. As the country presiding the Council of the EU, Slovenia presented the three initiatives that seek to improve the respective human rights situations and call on the authorities to respect their international human rights commitments.

sign Slovenia, chairs, colorful ceiling

47th session of the UN Human Rights Council | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve

During the 47th session, Slovenia made special efforts in the field of women's and girls' rights, the rights of older persons in connection with climate change, the human rights situation in Belarus and technical cooperation in the field of human rights with Ukraine. In a dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Slovenia highlighted its newest two important breakthroughs in the field of human rights: the entry in the Slovenian Constitution of the right to use and develop the Slovenian sign language; and the recent amendments to the Penal Code that have redefined sexual consent in line with the concept that “only yes means yes”. All statements of Slovenia at the session are available here.

We also supported a virtual event on the legal aspects of the global recognition of the right to a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment, where representatives of countries, academic institutions and civil society took part in a discussion on the relation between environmental and human rights issues. The event represents a step further in the process of the global recognition of the right. As part of the youth programme, Slovenian UN Youth Delegate Lucija Karnelutti participated in the session.

The Human Rights Council also addressed a number of important thematic issues, such as the role of civil society within international and regional organisations, violence against women with disabilities, the right to education for every girl, the link between new technologies and human rights, and the enjoyment and protection of human rights on the Internet. Slovenia supported all these initiatives. In a joint statement, the European Union called for enhanced addressing of the link between the environment, climate change and human rights.

The fourth successful completion of the session of the UN Human Rights Council during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the resilience and adaptability of this intergovernmental body. The next meeting is scheduled for September this year.