At its 10th session in March 2009, the Human Rights Council decided to publish the completed Sub-Commission reports, which means that the finalized reports on discrimination based on work and descent may finally be issued as official UN documents.
At its 10th session the Human Rights Council adopted decision A/HRC/10/117 on the publication of the reports completed by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
This initiative was taken by the European Union to ensure that the completed and submitted Sub-Commission reports, which had the mandate of the former Commission, be issued as UN documents. The decision was adopted by the Human Rights Council following a vote, which was called by the Government of India. The Council decided in favour of the decision with 29 states in favour, 3 against and 15 abstaining.
The Council adopted the following text:
“Decides that all reports of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights mandated by the Commission on Human Rights that have been completed and submitted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pursuant to the resolutions and decisions of the Sub-Commission at its fifty-eighth session be issued as United Nations documents.”
The decision marked the end of a year-long struggle to get an official UN stamp on the finalised reports on the issue of discrimination based on work and descent prepared by two Special Rapporteurs of the former Sub-Commission. Due to the UN reform process since 2006, the status of the completed Sub-Commission reports has remained uncertain, pending a decision by the Council before further action could be taken on the studies. Following the Council’s decision all relevant reports, including the final report on discrimination based on work and descent, should be published to avoid loosing some of the valuable work of the former Sub-Commission.
IDSN welcomes the Council’s decision and urges UN member states to ensure appropriate follow-up to the study in the Human Rights Council, in particular the draft UN principles and guidelines for the effective elimination of discrimination based on work and descent.