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Good morning, this is Paula. This week, Gina Romero, the new UN special rapporteur on freedom of assembly, will step to the podium at the Human Rights Council for the first time since her nomination. We spoke with her about some of the latest trends including crackdowns at campus protests and election-year rights violations.

The council will also hear from migration experts about the benefits to destination countries and trafficking, while elsewhere in Geneva, humanitarians will discuss challenges they face in negotiations during crises.

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


On our radar

Photo article

Students and other supporters of pro-Palestine students gather outside Columbia University campus to protest in New York, 1 May 2024. (Keystone/EPA/Sarah Yenessel)

Elections and global crises put freedom of expression to the test. Across the world, the right to peaceful assembly and association is being trampled on. Gina Romero, the new UN special rapporteur, shares her concerns ahead of presenting a review of recent gains and setbacks to the Human Rights Council later this week.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

What to watch this week

🧑🏻‍🤝‍🧑🏽MIGRATION REPORTS: Days after the UN refugee agency reported new records in the numbers of people forcibly displaced globally, UN special rapporteurs will present their own evaluations on migration.

✨Benefits. At a time when migration has become a key theme in this year’s electoral cycles and fake news has prevailed, migration expert Gehad Madi will focus on economic, social and political contributions to destination countries, as well as hindrances to their recognition.

🚣🏽‍♂️Trafficking. But as thousands of migrants continue to perish along dangerous routes often controlled by criminal groups, the special rapporteur on people trafficking Siobhán Mullally will report on violations of migrants rights, including through pushbacks and refoulement, and the need for more safe and regular opportunities for migration to be set up.

📦AID FOR TRADE. Down the road, ministers, international agency chiefs and experts will take stock of the Global Review of Aid for Trade at the World Trade Organization. The biennial exercise will run between Wednesday to Friday under the theme “Mainstreaming trade”.

The WTO defines aid for trade as “about assisting developing countries to increase exports of goods and services, to integrate into the multilateral trading system and to benefit from liberalised trade and increased market access”.

🫳🏼Shrinking trends. While it has been gaining traction, development experts say the notion remains vague, may come at the expense of diminishing ODA budgets and generally fails to benefit the most vulnerable communities. As multilateral trade fractures, the rise of “deep” preferential trade agreements may also derail aid for trade efforts.

On the agenda this week

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