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Human Rights NGOs remind Council about Dalits and Tibet

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 Two statements were delivered at the 8th Human Rights Council in Geneva, on the issue of Dalits (4 June) and Tibet (6 June). Ms. Gitte Dyrhagen delivered a joint oral statement endorsed by seven organizations on the issue of Dalits and Ms. Giyoun Kim represented FORUM-ASIA and reminded the Council about the Special Session on Tibet.

What happened to the studies by the Sub-commission on Dalits?

A joint oral statement was presented by Gitte Dyrhagen at the 8th session of the Human Rights Council on 4 June, urging the human rights body to look into the studies of the former Sub-Commission on discrimination based on work and descent affecting 260 million people globally.

The NGOs urged the Human Rights Council to address at this session the issue of effectively completed studies to ensure appropriate follow-up and avoid further delay of the studies.

Such studies should be considered either by the Advisory Committee or by the Council to ensure that UN resources and expertise on this issue are not wasted and protection gaps are addressed in accordance with the Council’s mandate to promote and protect all human rights.

The statement was endorsed by FORUM-ASIA, Asian Legal Resource Centre , Human Rights Watch, International Movement Against Discrimination and Racism, Lutheran World Federation, Minority Rights Group International and Pax Romana–ICMICA/MIIC.


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What happened to the Special Session on Tibet?

Giyoun Kim, FORUM-ASIA representative, delivered an oral statement at the Human Rights Council on 6 June to remind it of a joint appeal letter on behalf of 75 Asian NGOs, sent on 17 March to the President and members of the Council, urging them to hold a special session on the human rights situation in Tibet.

FORUM-ASIA had requested that the Council conduct a fact-finding mission with unfettered access to all the areas where there have been reports of extrajudicial or summary killings, arbitrary detention, or enforced disappearances since 10 March 2008.

The statement also expressed FORUM-ASIA grave concerns and disappointment at the Council’s failure to respond to its appeal and act on the human rights situation in Tibet.