SUB-COMMISSION ON PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS TO MEET IN GENEVA FROM 28 JULY TO 15 AUGUST 2003


United Nations

The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, the Commission on Human Rights' principal subsidiary organ, will hold its fifty-fifth session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 28 July to 15 August 2003.

Created by the Commission on Human Rights in 1947, the Sub-Commission is made up of 26 Experts from five regional groups. According to its mandate, it undertakes studies and makes recommendations to the Commission. One of its jobs is to explore issues that are considered important and have not received sufficient attention.

Among the issues on its provisional agenda for this year's session, which will be adopted at the opening meeting, the Sub-Commission will be examining, among other things, questions related to the administration of justice; economic, social and cultural rights; prevention of discrimination; protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, minorities, and women; slavery; and terrorism.

Concerning the prevention of discrimination, the Sub-Commission will have before it, among other things, the report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations on its twentieth session; a working paper on indigenous peoples' permanent sovereignty over natural resources; the report of the Working Group on Minorities on its eighth session; the final report on the concept and practice of affirmative action; and a progress report on the rights of persons who are not citizens in the country in which they live.

With regards to women's issues, the Sub-Commission will have before it an updated report on traditional practices affecting the health of women and the girl child; and a report of the Secretary-General on the situation of women and girls in the territories controlled by Afghan armed groups.

On slavery, the Sub-Commission will be considering, among other things, a report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery on its twenty-seventh session held in May 2002, and a report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the issues of systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices during armed conflicts.

A progress report on terrorism and human rights will also be presented.

Reports concerning economic, social and cultural rights include a preliminary report on the promotion of the realization of the right to drinking water and sanitation; the report of the sessional Working Group on the working methods and activities of transnational corporations; and a joint working paper on the implementation of existing human rights norms and standards in the context of the fight against extreme poverty. The Sub-Commission will also have before it a preliminary working paper on the methodology and work of its Social Forum.

With regard to the administration of justice, the Sub-Commission will be reviewing an updated report on the administration of justice through military tribunals; and a final working paper on discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Concerning other human rights issues, there is a working paper on human rights and weapons of mass destruction, or with indiscriminate effect, or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

QUESTIONS TO BE EXAMINED DURING THE SESSION OF THE SUB-COMMISSION

Prevention of Discrimination

Under this agenda item, the Sub-Commission will discuss follow-up to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

It will have before it the report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations on its twentieth session (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/24), which is scheduled to be held from 23 to 27 July 2002. The mandate of the Working Group is to review developments pertaining to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples and to give special attention to the evolution of standards concerning indigenous rights. It will also consider a working paper by Erica-Irene Daes on indigenous peoples' permanent sovereignty over natural resources (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/23), which is based on her study on indigenous peoples and their relationship to land.

Concerning the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, the Sub-Commission will have before it the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/20) in her capacity as Coordinator for the Decade.

With regards to the rights of minorities, the Sub-Commission will have before it the report of a regional seminar on Afro-descendants in the Americas which was held in Honduras in March 2002. It will also review the report of the Working Group on Minorities on its eighth session (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/19) which was held from 27 to 31 May 2002. The mandate of the Working Group is to review the promotion and practical realization of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and to examine solutions to problems involving minorities.

The Sub-Commission will have before it the final report of its Special Rapporteur Marc Bossuyt on the concept and practice of affirmative action /E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/21).

On the rights of non-citizens, the Sub-Commission will be considering a progress report by its Special Rapporteur David Weissbrodt on the rights of persons who are not citizens in the country in which they live.

Women

The Sub-Commission will have before it the updated report of its Special Rapporteur Halima Embarek Warzazi on traditional practices affecting the health of women and the girl child (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/32). It will also consider the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of women and girls in the territories controlled by Afghan armed groups (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/27) .

Slavery

Under this agenda sub-item, the Sub-Commission will have before it the report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery on its twenty-seventh session held in May 2002 (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/23). The mandate of the Working Group is to review developments in the field of slavery and the slave trade in all their practices and manifestations, including the slavery-like practices of apartheid and colonialism, the traffic in persons and the exploitation of the prostitution of others. It will also consider the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Elimination of the Exploitation of Child Labour (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/2). The Sub-Commission will also continue to examine the situation and activities of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. And it will be considering the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the issues of systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices during armed conflicts (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/28).

Terrorism and Human Rights

The Sub-Commission will have before it the second progress report of its Special Rapporteur Kalliopi Koufa who is conducting a comprehensive study on terrorism and human rights on the basis of her working paper (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/35).

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Under this agenda item, the Sub-Commission will be have before it the preliminary report of its Special Rapporteur El Hadji Guisse on the promotion of the realization of the right to drinking water and sanitation (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/10); and the report of the sessional Working Group on the working methods and activities of transnational corporations (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/13).

The Sub-Commission will also be considering the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights implications of liberalization of trade in services, particularly in the framework of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); and a joint working paper by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Yozo Yokota, El Hadji Guisse, and Jose Bengoa on the implementation of existing human rights norms and standards in the context of the fight against extreme poverty (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/15).

It will have before it the report of the Secretary-General on the realization of the right to development (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/8); and a preliminary working paper by Jose Bengoa on the methodology and work of the Social Forum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/3) and the report of the Social Forum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/18).

The Sub-Commission will also be considering issues relating to globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights; the optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and intellectual property rights and human rights.

Administration of Justice

Under this agenda item, the Sub-Commission will have before it an updated report by Louis Joinet on the administration of justice through military tribunals (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/4); and the final working paper by Leila Zerrougui on discrimination in the criminal justice system (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/5).

It will also continue to consider the question of human rights and states of emergency.

Other Human Rights Issues

The Sub-Commission will be considering a working paper by Y.K.J. Sik Yuen on human rights and weapons of mass destruction, or with indiscriminate effect, or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/38).

Under this agenda item, the Sub-Commission will consider issues related to international protection for refugees; state cooperation with United Nations human rights mechanisms; and human rights and human responsibilities.

Question of the Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in All Countries

In its resolution 2002/66, the Commission on Human Rights welcomed the steps undertaken by the Sub-Commission to reform and improve its agenda and reiterated that the Sub-Commission should not adopt country-specific resolutions and in negotiating and adopting thematic resolutions, should refrain from including references to specific countries. It also reiterated that the Sub-Commission should continue to be able to debate country situations not being dealt with in the Commission, as well as urgent matters involving serious violations of human rights in any country. Under this issue, the Sub-Commission will have before it a note by the secretariat on human rights situations being considered by the Commission under public procedures for dealing with human rights violations (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/42).

Membership of the Sub-Commission

The members and alternates (*) of the Sub-Commission are Miguel Alfonso Martinez, *Juan Antonio Fernandez Palacios (Cuba); Jose Bengoa (Chile); Chen Shiqiu, *Liu Xinsheng (China); Emmanuel Decaux, *Michele Picard (France); Rui Baltazar Dos Santos Alves, *Cristiano Dos Santos (Mozambique); Asbjorn Eide, *Jan Helgesen (Norway); El Hadji Guisse (Senegal); Francoise Jane Hampson (the United Kingdom); Fried van Hoof, *Lammy Betten (the Netherlands); Vladimir Kartashkin, *Oleg S. Malguinov (the Russian Federation); Kalliopi Koufa, *Nikolaos Zaikos (Greece); Antoanella-Iulia Motoc, *Victoria Sandru-Popescu (Romania); Florizelle O'Connor (Jamaica); Stanislav Ogurtsov (Belarus); Soo Gil Park, *Chin Sung Chung (the Republic of Korea); Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, *Marilia Sardenberg Zelner Goncalves (Brazil); Godfrey Bayour Preware, *Christy Ezim Mbonu (Nigeria); Lalaina Rakotoarisoa (Madagascar); Manuel Rodriguez-Cuadros (Peru); Abdel Sattar, *Khaled Aziz Babar (Pakistan); Soli Jehangir Sorabjee (India); Halima Embarek Warzazi (Morocco); David Weissbrodt, *Barbara Frey (the United States); Fisseha Yimer (Ethiopia); Yozo Yokota, *Yoshiko Terao (Japan); and Leila Zerrougui (Algeria).

Working Groups

Working Group on Indigenous Populations

Working Group on Minorities

Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

Sessional Working Group on Administration of Justice

Sessional Working Group on the Working Methods and Activities of Transnational Corporations

Sub-Commission Special Rapporteurs

Special Rapporteur on traditional practices affecting Halima Embarek the health of women and girl children Warzazi

Special Rapporteur on terrorism and human rights Kalliopi Koufa

Special Rapporteur on the concept and practice Marc Bossuyt of affirmative action

Special Rapporteurs on globalization and its impact Joseph Oloka- on the full enjoyment of all human rights Onyango and Deepika Udagama

Special Rapporteur on the rights of non-citizens David Weissbrodt

Special Rapporteur on human rights and human responsibilities Miguel Alfonso Martinez

Special Rapporteur on the right to drinking water and sanitation El Hadji Guisse

Other Sub-Commission Members Asked to Prepare Studies

Joint working paper on the need to develop guiding principles on Paulo Sergio implementation of existing human rights norms and standards Pinheiro, Yozo in the context of the fight against extreme poverty Yokota, El Hadji Guisse, and Jose Bengoa



Working Paper on non-discrimination as enshrined in article Fried van Hoof 2, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Working paper on the methodology and work of the Social Forum Jose Bengoa

Working paper on return of refugees' or displaced Paulo Sergio Pinheiro persons' property

Updated report on the evolution of the administration of justice Louis Joinet through military tribunals

Final working paper on discrimination in the criminal justice system Leila Zerrougui

Working paper on the scope of the activities and the accountability Francoise Jane of armed forces, United Nations civilian police, international civil Hampson servants and experts taking part in peace support operations

Working paper on reservations to human rights treaties Francoise Jane Hampson

Working paper on the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome Antoanella-Iulia and Human Rights as the contribution of the Sub-Commission to the Motoc reflections of the International Bioethics Committee on the follow-up to the Universal Declaration

Expanded working paper on measures provided in the various Manuel Rodriguez- international human rights instruments for the promotion and Cuadros consolidation of democracy

Working paper assessing the utility, scope and structure of a study Y.K.J. Sik Yuen on the real and potential dangers to the effective enjoyment of human rights posed by the testing, production, storage, transfer, trafficking or use of weapons of mass destruction, or with indiscriminate effect, or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, including the use of weapons containing depleted uranium

Working paper on the question of (a) the trade and carrying of small Barbara Frey arms and light weapons and (b) the use of such weapons in the context of human rights and humanitarian norms

Research documents on the subject of the working methods and activities Asbjorn Eide and of transnational corporations David Weissbrodt

Update to the study on peaceful and constructive approaches to Asbjorn Eide situations involving minorities

Working paper on indigenous peoples' permanent sovereignty Erica-Irene Daes over natural resources

Expanded working paper on the topic of discrimination based on work Rajendra Kalidaas and descent in other regions of the world Wimala Goonesekere