Churches and human rights at the UN Human Rights Council and other International Institutions

The aim of this activity is to provide a platform for churches and ecumenical delegations to interact with UN human rights bodies with a view to enhancing victim’s rights and promoting human dignity. It facilitates the accreditation and participation of representatives from WCC constituencies at the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, and also in particular in relationship to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and at other UN mechanism meetings (Special Rapporteurs, Working Groups of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and Treaty bodies) to highlight and draw attention to critical human rights issues and situations. Considerable support is provided to church representatives, ecumenical organizations and victims of human rights violations from the south to provide oral testimony and submit written statements to the Human Right Council and other UN special mechanisms. At the same time, a number of side-events are organized during the sessions of the UN Human Right Council, so as to bring to light certain thematic or country specific human rights violations.

In order to help churches, related organizations and partners to make better use of international human rights instruments and mechanisms, WCC together with LWF and with the financial assistance of the European Union have created a web-based section with country specific information related to the UN human rights system (Universal Periodic Review, Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures). It contains information on country reports, civil society reports, concluding observations from treaty bodies and special procedures, etc.                                                                                      

For more information, click here:


Side Events at UN Human Rights Council & WCC, Geneva
Ecumenical Delegation from the Philippines with the WCC General Secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and Christina Papazoglou, WCC Programme Executive for Human Rights


More information on the presentation at the United Nations

Ecumenical delegation from the Philippines speaks out on human rights abuses


An ecumenical delegation including Fr Rex Reyes (general secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and a president of the Christian Conference of Asia) and Marie Hilao-Enriquez (chairperson of the human rights group Karapatan) presented the human rights situation in the Philippines at a lunch discussion with staff at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, 7 June 2010.


The delegation were visiting Geneva in order to present the case of 43 health workers, who have been detained since their unlawful arrest by military and police forces on 6 February, in a side event during  the United Nations Human Rights Court session.

Fr Reyes underscored the necessity of living out the words of Jesus Christ who said “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly”. He said it was crucial "for the churches to be constantly there to provide hope in the midst of its apparent absence, in the midst of violence, and in the midst of structures and powers that try to prevent that hope from coming out." 

In an 11 February letter to the president of the Philippines, Tveit had called for the respect of the detainees' human rights, including their rights to legal counsel, access to visitors and due process.

Listen to an audio recording of the lunch discussion at the Ecumenical Centre

Blog by the ecumenical delegation from the Philippines


Oral Intervention Delivered by Fr. Rex Reyes, at 14th Session of the Human Rights Council

WCC denounces extrajudicial killings of church lay ministers in the Philippines