HRREC Human Rights Clinic is proud to support the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

Human rights
Student experience
Research projects

By University of Ottawa

Human Rights Research and Education Centre, HRREC

Human Rights Clinic
April 2023 marked the first anniversary of the HRREC Human Rights Clinic project supporting the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Dr Fernand de Varennes.

In the framework of this collaboration the project supported the mandate with addressing minority issues in 12 countries of the world in Asia, Europe and Africa. Over this first year of activities the project engaged seven students from the uOttawa Faculties of Law and Social Sciences who had the opportunity to practice their human rights research and document drafting skills, as well as to enrich their knowledge and understanding of the international human rights system including minority rights standards.

At the request of the Special Rapporteur and in the framework of the project, HRREC Director Professor John Packer and Clinic Project Coordinator Slava Balan made contributions to the draft of a proposed new global Convention on the Rights of Minorities. The Draft was formally presented by the Special Rapporteur at the March 2023 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. To promote the idea of the new Convention, the Clinic project supported the organization of a side event with UNSR Fernand de Varennes immediately following the presentation of his Report and Draft of the Convention to the UN Human Rights Council. The event was hosted by the International Service for Human Rights in person in Geneva and online, on March 23, 2023, and was moderated by HRREC Director John Packer. The event gathered over 20 participants, including governmental representatives (i.a. Global Affairs Canada, diplomatic missions of Italy, Mexico, Liechtenstein in Geneva), directors and representatives of leading international minority rights organizations (Tom Lantos Institute, Minority Rights Group, International Dalit Solidarity Network), prominent minority rights scholars and staff members in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The participants discussed strategies and modalities for promoting the idea of the new Convention among interested governments, stakeholders and other important actors.

The HRREC Human Rights Clinic project supporting the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues looks forward to the second year of activities.