HRC 41 and why it is important for You(th) 

HRC 41 and why it is important for You(th) 

June 21, 2019

HRC 41 and why it is important for You(th)  

Next week is the 41st session of the Human Rights Council and we want to give you an opportunity to have your say in making change. 


Our Youth Advocates are at it again! At the end of this month CHOICE youth advocates will be taking Geneva by storm for a week of hardcore language advocacy at the Human Rights Council (HRC). Would you like to know more about the HRC? Are you interested in the workings of “UN language”? Check out our free resource hub, for all the ins and outs about advocacy at the UN level.  


Take a look below to see an overview of the key resolutions and their importance for young people. Do you see a resolution you want to engage with, but you don’t have access to the Human Rights Council? Reach out to us so we can share drafts with you as they become available, include your feedback in our mark-ups, and voice your concerns in Geneva! We at CHOICE strongly believe that young people should have the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns at the Human Rights Council. We want to make the HRC as accessible as possible for you all, so please use this opportunity to participate!  


Youth and Human Rights  

This year’s resolution on Youth and Human Rights will focus on young people’s political participation in auspices of the UN’s Youth 2030 strategy. While the topic of the resolution is right up (y)our ally, it’s important to know that it's being run by a group mixed of progressive and conservative states - so it won’t be an easy ride to inclusion. CHOICE will push for progressive, inclusive, and universal commitments to all young people, however, we expect to face some push-back – making this resolution even more important!  With the strong likelihood of opposition ahead of us, it is all the more critical that we make our input as strong as possible, so please, lend your voice and tell us what is important to you. 


Violence against Women  

This year’s resolution on violence against women will be themed “Violence Against Women in the World of Work”. Many workplaces have an environment that is not healthy or safe. Sexual harassment, for example, is still a reality for many women at work, and perpetrators often enjoy widespread impunity. There is also a major lack of reporting or complaints mechanisms that investigate complaints of sexual harassment and violence at work.  Women experience intimidation, discrimination, and violence at work, and this requires a strong focus from the UN. This means that we have the opportunity to highlight the discriminatory behaviors women experience during work that is unacceptable, especially in light of activism such as the #MeToo movement. CHOICE will try to ensure that attention is paid particularly to the vulnerabilities of young women, that (young) women have access to quality and safe accountability mechanisms, and that young women are meaningfully included in the design, implementation, and evaluation of policies aimed at addressing such violence. 


Discrimination against Women  

This year’s resolution on Discrimination against Women will focus on women deprived of their liberty. The resolution aims to cover the broad spectrum of liberty deprivation, focusing on detention in penitentiary institutions to different forms of forced confinement, because of decisions by authorities, families, communities or private groups.   

The resolution is important for you(th) as young women and girls face heightened and unique vulnerabilities to the deprivation of their liberties. For example, studies show that girls are far more likely than boys to be arrested for “status offences”, and are more likely to be sentenced to incarceration for such offences. In addition, adolescent girls may be particularly exposed to deprivation of liberty for breaking social norms related to sexual and reproductive behavior. In some States, they may be harshly punished for early or extramarital pregnancies, be excluded or expelled from school and confined at home or in an institution during pregnancy, while in many States they run a high risk of incarceration through seeking an illegal abortion.  


Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 

In a historic vote in June 2016, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution that created the first Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. At the time, the mandate was established for 3 years, meaning that this June is an important vote will take place at the HRC about the renewal of this mandate. Find out more about the origins of the mandate, its key successes and why it should be renewed by watching this video. 

Additionally, interesting resolutions will be discussed about Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM), Equal Pay, Digital Technologies and Human Rights, and several others. We will share more information as it becomes available.  


What can you do? 

Youth are disproportionately discriminated against in multiple spaces and situations, and it’s time to have stronger rules in powerful institutions and make a commitment to making our world a safer placePlease have your say by emailing us at