What to expect at HRC33

Published on September 10, 2016

The 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place from the 12th the 30th of September 2016. Find below information about anticipated sexual rights-related resolutions, panels and reports, UPR outcomes and parallel events taking place during the 33rd session.

Click here to access the full programme of work for HRC33



Expected Resolutions Relevant to Sexual Rights

  • Preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human right (New Zealand, Burkina Faso and Colombia)
  • The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur (Brazil)




Sexual Rights Related Panels

Annual half-day discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples

Theme: The causes and consequences of violence against indigenous women and girls, including those with disabilities

The panel discussion will be based on a holistic approach to the issue of violence against indigenous women and girls, recognizing that such violence is deeply influenced by ethnicity, gender, and historical factors, and that addressing such violence requires an intersectional approach to human rights. Click here to download the concept note »


Panel discussion on youth and human rights

The panel will identify challenges, best practices and lessons learned in the exercise of human rights by young people, as well as relevant opportunities for the empowerment of youth in the exercise of their rights.
Click here to download the concept note »


Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms

Theme: Gender integration in the resolutions and recommendations of the Human Rights Council

The panel discussion will take stock of experts’ analysis on how a gender perspective has so far been integrated in the resolutions of the Council and in the recommendations of the universal periodic review (UPR), with a view to make concrete recommendations. Click here to download the concept note »


Click here for a list of all panels and concept notes



Sexual Rights Related Reports

Follow-up report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on how technical guidance on the application of a human rights-based approach to the implementation of policies and programmes to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity has been applied to States and other relevant actors.
Click here to read the report »

Human rights and indigenous peoples – Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Click here to read the report »

Comprehensive report on the human rights of migrants – Report of the Secretary-General.

Summary report on the panel discussion on violence against indigenous women and girls and its root causes, held during the annual full-day discussion on women’s human rights – Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Click here for a list of all reports



UPR Outcomes

Outcomes from the 25th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will be adopted during this session of the HRC. The 25th session of the UPR was held from the 2nd to the 13th of May 2016.

Fourteen countries were reviewed: Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Thailand.

SRI collaborated with organizations and individuals in preparing reports for six countries:



  • Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland, Sex Workers Alliance Ireland


  • Anonymous Contributor Tajikistan Anonymous Contributor


  • Anonymous Contributor

Papua New Guinea

  • Kaleidoscope


  • TEA, Kaleidoscope, Thai Transgender Alliance


  • Kaleidoscope Australia


Click here to review all SRI joint submissions

All Reports from the Working Groups, containing all recommendations received by States Under Review can be accessed here.



Sexual Rights Initiative Parallel Events

Bodily autonomy cover


20 SEPTEMBER, Palais des Nations – 14:00-15:00, Room XXV
Bodily Autonomy and Sexual Rights

The traditional siloed approach of considering issues in isolation ignores the interconnectedness of sexual rights, the common source of oppression and inevitably leaves people behind. The panel will articulate the benefits of advancing a holistic and intersectional understanding of bodily autonomy, explore the interlinkages between sexual rights issues affecting bodily autonomy, and encourage the HRC to continue to produce contextualized analyses of sexuality and gender in relation to bodily autonomy.



Global action cover


28 SEPTEMBER, Palais des Nations13:00-14:30, Room XXVII
Global Action on Safe and Legal Abortion

In recognition of the Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, the panel will share different country experiences of advocating for safe and legal abortion, highlight the human rights obligations of States to provide access to safe and legal abortion, and discuss opportunities to utilize HRC mechanisms to effect policy and legal changes at the national level.



Other Sexual Rights-related Parallel Events

Violence against women Liberation
17:00 to 18:00, Room XXVII16 SEPTEMBER

Maternal Mortality, Morbidity & Human Rights – Implementation and the SDGs
OHCHR, SRI, Center for Reproductive Rights, UNFPA, WHO
12:00 to 13:30, Room XXI

Women’s ESC rights
Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
12:00-13:00, Room XXVII

Gender identity at HRC
International Lesbian and Gay Association
14:30-16:00, Room XXVII


Click here for a complete list of parallel events



Toolkit for advocates cover web



Read the SRI & IPPF

UPR Toolkit for Sexual Rights Advocates

Available in
English, French, Portuguese, Spanish & Arabic.






National Sexual Rights



The National Sexual Rights Law and Policy Database documents and compares the status of law and policy related to sexual rights issues in different countries around the world.

Click here to access the database


More info about the HRC
Created in 2006 to replace the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Council is the foremost international body for the promotion and protection of human rights and can be used to bring substantial pressure on governments to take steps to implement human rights norms. The Human Rights Council is comprised of governments of countries that are members of the United Nations and is an important venue to develop and advance sexual rights as a critical part of the international human rights framework. Click here for more information on the upcoming session donate to the Sexual Rights Initiative subscribe to our newsletter