Institute of Education

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IOE Legal Expert Maria Smirnova Begins Service with the UN

In early September 2017, Senior Researcher at the IOE Center for Education Law Maria Smirnova, PhD, began her term as an Associate Officer with the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights Administration. Maria’s role involves supporting the organization and holding of the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, during September 11–29, 2017.    

As a UN Associate Officer for Human Rights, Maria will closely liaise with the Session delegations on a broad range of organizational and participation matters, and she will also take part in drafting a final report on this year’s event proceedings.  

The UN Human Rights Council is an international forum that aims to address today’s most pressing agendas in upholding human rights on a worldwide scale. It works to clearly articulate and effectively tackle major challenges and barriers confronting various nations in implementing the human rights envisaged by key international policies and statutes. The Council’s regular sessions host country status presentations by leading independent experts as well as discussions involving top-rank foreign office representatives.  

The 36th Session held this September will open by a regular annual report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and will subsequently continue as a series of cluster meetings and panel discussions. In particular, the agenda will focus on such vital issues as illegal detention and slavery in modern societies, hazardous waste, the rights of the elderly, the rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, unilateral coercive measures, gender and racial discrimination, and the rights of indigenous peoples across the globe.  

As part of the Session, delegates will also discuss a mid-term report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Office on implementing Phase Three of the UN World Programme for Human Rights Education.

The 36th UN Human Rights Council Session will be broadcast live on the UN Web TV. The Session’s agenda is available at this link.