UN HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

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We believe it is essential that local communities are at the core of human rights processes and can seek justice at the international level when their national justice systems have failed them and when they are living under authoritarian regimes. It is critical they can tell the truth about what's happening on the ground to bring their solutions and improve their livelihoods. For that purpose, we reinforce the power of marginalized communities to be able to meaningfully contribute to UN Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms and hold their governments and companies accountable for human rights violations and corporate abuses. We ensure local communities become local agents of change: they are visible, with their voices heard, and needs taken into account.

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For instance in Thailand, during its Second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 11 May 2016, the Thai Government received 249 recommendations and accepted 187. Following the UPR review, Manushya Foundation developed its UPR implementation project, aiming at ensuring local communities of the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR would be placed at the centre of the UPR follow-up phase, by being the main agents of change driving the monitoring and implementation of their selected UPR recommendations.

For that purpose, Manushya Foundation is supporting local communities and community-based human rights organisations, comprising the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR, to implement their very own “UPR action plans” and advance the human rights situation on the ground. Empowered by being at the centre of the monitoring and follow-up of UPR recommendations, in line with international obligations emanating from treaty bodies (CEDAW, CRC, Human Rights Committee, CERD, etc) and Special Procedures, as well as

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the Sustainable Development Goals, local communities are 'agents of change', advancing social justice and finding solutions at the community level.

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To further support local communities, the UN Mechanisms' sub-grants for UPR Implementation empower CSO coalitions that guarantee the development of credible evidence to conduct evidence-based advocacy, engage in meaningful dialogues with relevant stakeholders and hold their government accountable for its international human rights obligations and commitments.

Click on the picture to learn more about the UPR sub-grants! 

On 3-4 June 2017, Manushya Foundation, the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR, the Ministry of Justice, with the financial support of the UK in Thailand, organized a workshop for Thai local communities to understand how to monitor and report on the human rights situation to national and international human rights mechanisms such as the UPR.

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Click on the picture to learn more about the monitoring workshop! 

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On 2-3 December 2018, Manushya Foundation convened a Mid-Term Assessment Workshop on the implementation of the UPR 2nd cycle recommendations of Thailand for the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR, with civil society and communities from across the country. The workshop aimed at building capacities of local communities in assessing the level of implementation of UPR recommendations.

Click on the picture to learn more about the mid-term assessment workshop! 

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The 35th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group conducted the 3rd UPR of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). All interested individuals and organizations, including civil society organizations, activists, and academics with work related to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic were invited to provide their input ahead of the 3rd UPR cycle that took place in January 2020.​

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In this context, Manushya Foundation made two submissions in 2019, with other organisations. In the first submission, Manushya joined CIVICUS and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) to assess the implementation of UPR recommendations received during Lao PDR's 2nd UPR cycle, focusing particularly on the Government of Lao PDR’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment for civil society. In the second submission, Manushya joined Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) to examine the compliance of the Government of Lao PDR with the recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle of Lao PDR, particularly concerning development projects and investments in the country.

Click on the pcitures to access the submissions

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Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Lao PDR Third UPR Cycle

35th Session of the UPR Working Group

18 July 2019

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Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Lao PDR Third UPR Cycle

35th Session of the UPR Working Group

21 July 2019

Besides, Manushya Foundation developed UPR factsheets on the implementation of the recommendations which Lao PDR received during its 2nd UPR cycle. The factsheets help understand the situation of human rights in Lao PDR, aim to hold the Lao government accountable on its UPR commitments and provide more recommendations to improve the human rights situation in the country. Learn more HERE!

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Civic Space in Lao PDR

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Women's Rights in Lao PDR

Click on the pictures to access the factsheets

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Business & Human Rights in Lao PDR

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2018 Law on Resettlement and Vocation in Lao PDR

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Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Lao PDR

Lao UPR Factsheets - Justice & Remedies.

Access to Justice & Effective Remedies in Lao PDR

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Ahead of Thailand's 3rd UPR that will take place in November 2021, Manushya, the Justice for Peace Foundation, the Thai BHR Network, and the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR organized 4 regional workshops in November 2020 on the CERD Review & UPR process across Thailand. The workshops aimed to empower local community members and youth to speak their truth to power in relation to the human rights violations they face, using UN human rights monitoring mechanisms as a platform to seek justice and be heard by the international community to remedy their situation.

Click on the pictures to learn more about the workshops

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Moreover, Manushya developed 14 joint submissions with local communities from Thailand, to examine the compliance of the Thai Government with the recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle of Thailand. In the submissions, Manushya and the communities analyze the efforts made by the government to implement recommendations received concerning the compliance of national legislation with international human rights obligations of Thailand. 

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In 2021, Thailand will go through its 4th to 8th CERD review. The CERD (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) review process is extremely important as it allows local communities and CSOs to receive concluding observations from the CERD, addressing their issues concerning racial discrimination and tailored to their needs on the ground.

 

In this context, Manushya Foundation, the Justice for Peace Foundation, the Thai CSOs Coalition for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and the Thai Business and Human Rights (BHR) Network prepared a List of Themes Report in July 2020 providing an inclusive and accurate overview of the most challenging issues faced by local communities and marginalised groups in Thailand related to racial discrimination. The List of Themes is used by the CERD to know what issues it should address and look into.

Joint Civil Society Report - List of Themes to be considered by the CERD

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Click on the picture to access the report!