As the UN Human Rights Council elections draw close, we have to ask, is it still fit for purpose?

The lack of action in both Venezuela and the Philippines is of no surprise considering that the actions of the Council are dictated by its membership, which currently includes both of these countries

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  • The United Nations Human Rights Council has a varied and controversial membership REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The world has never had greater need of a robust human rights community. Despite this, whether in Syria, North Korea or countless other instances, it is clear that the international community is failing to live up to its high ideals. Nothing exemplifies this failure more than the current state of the UN’s principal human rights body, the Human Rights Council (HRC).

At the time of its creation in 2006, many had high hopes that the Human Rights Council could be a stepping stone to a more robust application of human rights standards. Yet, sadly, as the Council enters its second decade, it remains beset with many problems. Allegations of selectivity and politicisation continue to undermine its credibility. On many of the most pressing, human rights issues of the day, the Council has failed to take necessary steps or worse still, has not responded at all.


1 reply

  1. The UN is a slave of its Security Council. The Security Council is a slave of its veto-powers. The UN is a paper tiger.

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