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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2016

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Edited By Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2016 provides a dynamic and up-to-date overview of the measures Italy has taken to adapt its legislation and policies to international human rights law and to comply with commitments voluntarily assumed by the Italian Government at the international level.

The 2016 Yearbook surveys the activities of the relevant national and local Italian actors, including governmental bodies, civil society organisations and universities. It also presents reports and recommendations that have been addressed to Italy in 2015 by international monitoring bodies within the framework of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union. Finally, the Yearbook provides a selection of international and national case-law that casts light on Italy's position vis-à-vis internationally recognised human rights.

"Italy and Human Rights in 2015: Universal Ethics, Good Governance and Political Realism" is the focus of the introductory section of the Yearbook. Starting with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights law plunged onto the world stage with very specific principles and rules, which represent so many points that are essential not only for the legality but also for the sustainability of the political agenda. The universal code of human rights, widely ratified by Italy, presses for a continuous commitment to perfecting the legal order, which has immediate significance for the good governance agenda.

The Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2016 represents an updated orientation tool with regards the main initiatives to be undertaken on the legislative, infrastructural and policy-making fronts in order to strengthen the Italian system for promoting and protecting human rights.

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The United Nations System

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I. General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA), which is the main deliberative body of the United Nations, comprises six Committees, each of which is made up of all 193 United Nations Member States. Human rights issues are handled mainly within the Third Committee (the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee). The responsibilities of this Committee include issues such as torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment; the advancement of women; the rights of refugees and displaced persons; the promotion and protection of the rights of children; the rights of indigenous peoples; the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; the right of peoples to self-determination; and social development.

In December 2015, the 70th General Assembly adopted 57 human rights resolutions which had been debated and approved by the Third Committee during October and November, on a wide range of issues, from the worldwide refugee crisis to the rights of the child, from the rights of human rights defenders to specific situations in individual Countries.

In 2015 Italy’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York was Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi; the Deputy Permanent Representative was Ambassador Inigo Lambertini; the Embassy Counsellor Emilia Gatto was responsible for following the works of the Third Committee. On 15 June 2015, Ambassador Cardi was elected (by acclamation) Deputy President of the 70th session of the GA.

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