Photo by Valentin Flauraud/EPA

Yesterday, UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet gave an Oral Update on global human rights developments at the 50th Human Rights Council session.

Excerpts from her address include:

“I am worried about plans in the United Kingdom to replace one of the most important pieces of its human rights legislation – the Human Rights Act – with more limited legislation. I have concerns that the repeal of key elements of the Human Rights Act would risk undermining access to justice and the right to effective remedies, introduce legal uncertainty, and increase costs.

In Guatemala, we observe, over a sustained period of time, a pattern of attacks against justice officials for their work involving emblematic cases of serious human rights violations, corruption, and impunity. The state must guarantee the independence of judicial institutions and the protection of justice officials.

In Mexico, I encourage the strengthening of civil institutions to establish an orderly plan to withdraw the military from public security tasks.

In Colombia, I welcome the peaceful and democratic character of the first round of the presidential elections and trust a similar spirit will govern the run-off, guaranteeing political rights. I urge effective implementation of the peace agreement, particularly the dismantling of groups responsible for the increase in violence. I welcome the significant transitional justice developments, including acknowledgment by military officials of responsibility for killings of civilians falsely presented as killed in combat. I call on the State to ensure independent transitional justice mechanisms and guarantee the protection of participating witnesses and victims.

For Angola and Kenya, I join the UN system in expressing hope for peaceful and inclusive elections, where Angolans and Kenyans can freely and safely exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms, without discrimination, as guaranteed by their Constitutions.”

Her full speech can be read here.