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United Nations Human Rights Council

  • IASbaba
  • November 10, 2022
  • 0
International Relations
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In News: U.S., Belgium to question India on CAA, minority rights, hate speech at U.N. Human Rights Council.

  • Treatment of journalists and human rights defenders, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), hate speech, internet shut downs, issue of hijab in Karnataka, anti-conversion laws, cow slaughter laws and custodial torture are expected to dominate the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
  • Countries have submitted advance questions to the council.
  • The Universal Periodic Review will be conducted on the basis of the national report provided by India, information provided by independent human rights experts and groups, and international human rights groups.

UN Human Rights Council

  • The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.

Formation:

  • The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. It replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) serves as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council.
  • OHCHR is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Members:

  • It is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
  • The UNGA takes into account the candidate States’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.
  • The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
  • African States: 13 seats
  • Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
  • Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
  • Western European and other States: 7 seats
  • Eastern European States: 6 seats
  • Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

Procedures and Mechanisms:

  • Universal Periodic Review:
  • The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. T
  • he UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.
  • Advisory Committee: It serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues.
  • Complaint Procedure: It allows individuals and organizations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council.
  • UN Special Procedures: These are made up of special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working groups that monitor, examine, advise and publicly report on thematic issues or human rights situations in specific countries.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the United Nations General Assembly, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. The UN General Assembly can grant observer status in the non-member States.
  2. Inter-governmental organisations can seek observer status in the UN General Assembly.
  3. Permanent Observes in the UN General Assembly can maintain missions at the UN headquarters.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q.2) With Reference to the “United Nations Credentials Committee”, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. It is a committee set up by the UN Security Council and works under its supervision.
  2. It traditionally meets in March, June and September every year.
  3. It assesses the credentials of all UN members before submitting a report to the General Assembly for approval.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 3 only
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 1 and 2

 

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