28 Facts About UNHRC


The UNHRC can decide at any time to hold a special session to address human rights violations and emergencies, at the request of one-third of the member states.

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In September 2007, the UNHRC decided to create an Advisory Committee to provide expert advice with 18 members, distributed as follows: five from African states; five from Asian states; three from Latin American and Caribbean states; three from Western European and other states; and two members from Eastern European states.

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UNHRC set up two working groups for its Complaint Procedure:.

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UNHRC will decide on the measures to take in a confidential manner as needed, but this will occur at least once a year.

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The UNHRC considered four complaints in their 19th session in 2012.

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Former president of the council Doru Costea, the European Union, Canada, and the United States have accused the UNHRC of focusing disproportionately on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

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UNHRC released a statement calling on Israel to stop its military operations in the Gaza Strip and to open the Strip's borders to allow the entry of food, fuel and medicine.

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UNHRC adopted the resolution by a vote of 30 to 1, with 15 states abstaining.

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UNHRC said, "I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.

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Human rights activist and Hudson Institute senior fellow Anne Bayefsky accused UNHRC of failing to remove antisemitic propaganda distributed by the IHH during one of its sessions.

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In March 2012, the UNHRC was criticized for facilitating an event in the UN Geneva building featuring a Hamas politician.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu castigated the UNHRC's decision stating, "He represents an organization that indiscriminately targets children and grown-ups, and women and men.

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On 19 June 2018, the United States pulled out of the UNHRC accusing the body of bias against Israel and a failure to hold human rights abusers accountable.

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UNHRC added that the Council must examine the behaviour of all parties involved in complex disputes and not place just one state under the magnifying glass.

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From 1999 to 2011, the CHR and the UNHRC adopted resolutions in opposition to the "defamation of religion".

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In June 2015, a 500-page UNHRC report accused Eritrea's government of widespread human rights violations.

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Report for the UNHRC has said the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have committed war crimes during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.

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Sri Lanka came under increasing scrutiny in early 2012 after a presentation of a draft UNHRC resolution addressing their accountability with regard to their reconciliation activities, a resolution which was tabled by the United States.

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Also, key positions in the UNHRC are mostly held by those who have served in the foreign services of such countries.

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UNHRC noted that in general "weaker language has been inserted in place of more condemnatory tone".

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UNHRC said that though the United States will have only an observer role, it will continue to shine a spotlight on human rights issues.

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In July 2019, UN ambassadors from 22 nations, including Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, and Japan, signed a joint letter to the UNHRC condemning China's mistreatment of the Uyghurs and other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the Xinjiang re-education camps.

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UNHRC has been criticised for the repressive states among its membership.

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Countries with questionable human rights records that have served on the UNHRC include Pakistan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, and Russia.

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Reuters report in 2008 said that independent human rights groups say that UNHRC is being controlled by some Middle East and African nations, supported by China, Russia and Cuba, which protect each other from criticism.

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UNHRC urged countries to "drop rhetoric" and rise above "partisan posturing and regional divides" and get on with defending people around the world.

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UNHRC was criticized in 2009 for adopting a resolution submitted by Sri Lanka praising its conduct in Vanni that year, ignoring pleas for an international war crimes investigation.

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On 18 June 2007, one year after holding its first meeting, the UNHRC adopted its Institution-building package, to guide it in its future work.

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