A/HRC/36/31 I. Introduction 1. The Human Rights Council, in its resolution 12/2, expressed concern over continued reports of intimidation and reprisals against individuals and groups seeking to cooperate or have cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, and deep concern at the seriousness of such reported acts. The Council further condemned all acts of intimidation and reprisal committed by Governments and non-State actors, and invited me to submit a report to the Council at its fourteenth session and annually thereafter, containing a compilation and analysis of any available information, from all appropriate sources, on alleged reprisals as well as recommendations on how to address this issue. This present report is the eighth prepared pursuant to resolution 12/2.1 II. Developments in response to acts of intimidation and reprisal 2. Alarmed by the increase in the number of reported cases of intimidation and reprisal for cooperation with the United Nations on human rights, in October 2016 the previous Secretary-General designated the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights as senior official to lead efforts within the United Nations system to address intimidation and reprisals against those cooperating with the United Nations on human rights. This decision reflected the recognition by the Organization that such acts are unacceptable, and underscored the need to strengthen action across the system to prevent, respond to and address them. Addressing reprisals and intimidation is a priority and a core responsibility of the Organization as a whole. 3. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights addressed the issue of reprisals brought on by State officials against people who engage with the United Nations on human rights on several occasions, in particular on 7 June 2017, in his statement to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fifth session. He emphasized that his own staff, special procedures and treaty bodies rely on members of civil society and national human rights institutions, alongside many others, for insight and information. He stressed that, when government or other officials intimidated, arrested or harmed individuals, they attacked a fundamental element of the work of the United Nations. 4. Several States and non-governmental organizations have also delivered statements on the issue of reprisals; for example, on 16 March 2017, during the thirty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council, the core group on reprisals (Fiji, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland and Uruguay), speaking on behalf of a group of 67 States, expressed deep concern over continued reprisals, urged all States to prevent and refrain from committing such acts, and welcomed the designation of a senior official to lead efforts by the United Nations on this issue. 5. During their annual meeting in July 2016, the Chairs of human rights treaty bodies recommended the implementation by all treaty bodies of the Guidelines against Intimidation or Reprisals (“San Jose Guidelines”) (HRI/MC/2015/6) adopted at their 2015 meeting (see A/71/270). To date, the Guidelines have been endorsed by 8 out of the 10 treaty bodies, which have appointed dedicated rapporteurs, focal points or working groups on reprisals and intimidation to align different approaches taken by the treaty bodies and to propose action. 6. As part of the enhanced response of the special procedures to reprisals adopted in 2015, in June 2016, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, was appointed focal point in the Coordination Committee of special procedures. The annual report of special procedures for 2017 included a section on intimidation and reprisals, explaining the various measures taken by mandate holders to respond to such acts, which had been observed to have become increasingly severe in nature (A/HRC/34/34, chap. IV). On 15 March 2017, the Chair of the Coordination Committee, presenting the annual report of special procedures to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fourth session, affirmed the dedication of mandate holders to combating reprisals against those cooperating with them, which, she underscored, undermined the ability of special procedures to carry out their work. 1 See A/HRC/14/19, A/HRC/18/19, A/HRC/21/18, A/HRC/24/29, A/HRC/27/38, A/HRC/30/29 and A/HRC/33/19. 3

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