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UNHRC 50th Regular Session to conclude


UNHRC 50th Regular Session to conclude

The 50th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will conclude today in Geneva after discussing issues including Ukraine, press freedom and more – Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The 50th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will conclude today.

The session, held from June 13 to July 8, outlined country-specific developments in areas of concern including Myanmar, Ukraine, and Venezuela. A core group of Brazil, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, the Netherlands and Sweden led a new resolution on freedom of opinion and expression, with a focus on media, digital and information literacy. The new resolution builds on the previous version of the resolution to boost media literacy and protect journalists from accusations of misinformation leading to violence.

According to a report presented by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the safety of journalists has seen a decline around the world. New threats to journalists in recent years include cyberattacks and targeted digital surveillance from governments. Journalists in many areas—including the Philippines, Iran and Egypt—also suffer from criminalization, harsh sentences and other forms of harassment and intimidation.

The UNHRC is expected to adopt the new resolution, expanding the mandate of the Special Rapporteur. The resolution will likely call for increased protection and safeguards from digital surveillance and other cyberattacks – but avoid including sanctions as a punishment for targeted digital surveillance violations.

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