Photo by: Kirolos Nathan, CIHRS

Human rights abusers must not be elected to United Nations Human Rights Council

In United Nations Human Rights Council by CIHRS

The international community should ensure that States responsible for gross human rights violations and that fail to protect human rights defenders or cooperate with the UN are not elected to the UN’s top human rights body.

A coalition of over 40 leading non-governmental organisations has today called for States that are candidates for membership to the UN Human Rights Council to do more to respect human rights at home and at the international level.

Photo by: Kirolos Nathan, CIHRS

Photo by: Kirolos Nathan, CIHRS

On 12 November, the United Nations General Assembly will elect 14 new members to the Human Rights Council; it’s top human rights body.

In a joint letter signed by 40 signatories from all regions of the world, NGOs expressed concern about the clear failure of some candidates to fully comply with the criteria of upholding the highest human rights standards, and cooperating with the Human Rights Council.

“Failure by Council members to take effective measures to address violations of human rights for which they are responsible, particularly of a gross or systematic nature, or to fully cooperate with the Council and its mechanisms undermines the ability of the Council to promote and protect human rights and to demand full state cooperation with its mechanisms”, the letter says.

In the joint letter, global civil society called on candidates to clearly commit to cooperate with the Human Rights Council’s human rights experts – the ‘special procedures’ – and with the newly established senior and UN wide focal point to improve the safety of those cooperating with the United Nations.

The joint NGO letter was sent to all candidates to the Human Rights Council and copied to members of the UN General Assembly.

List of signatory organisations:

1. Action Canada for Population and Development
2. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies
3. Amnesty International
4. ARC International
5. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
6. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
7. Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
8. Center for Reproductive Rights
9. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
10. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
11. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
12. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
13. Fondazione Marista per la Solidarieta Internazionale ONLUS
14. Franciscans International
15. Front Line Defenders
17. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
18. Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF)
19. Human Rights Watch
20. International Association for Catholic Education
21. International Catholic Child Bureau
22. International Commission of Jurists
23. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
24. International Federation of University Women (IFUW)
25. International Lesbian and Gay Association
26. International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
27. International Service for Human Rights
29. Lutheran World Federation
30. Matrix Support Group
31. Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders
32. Pax Christi International
33. Public Information and Need of Knowledge NGO
34. Public Union of Democracy and Human Rights Resource Centre
35. Rainbow-Ethiopia HIV and Media Initiative (REHMI)
36. Red Nacional de Promoción de la Mujer, RNPM-Perú
37. Russian Research Center for Human Rights
38. Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
39. World Federation of United Nations Associations
40. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)           

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