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UN Human Rights Council

Topics covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


UN Human Rights Council


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: UNHRC- functions and composition, issues related to reforms.


Why in News? Reacting angrily to a submission from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC) on alleged violations in Jammu and Kashmir, India has informed the United Nations body that it will no longer entertain any communication with the HRC’s Special Rapporteurs on its report.


What’s the issue?

  • A report from two NGOs in Jammu and Kashmir on alleged cases of torture, was released in Srinagar, which was endorsed by a former UN Special Rapporteur.
  • The Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial Executions had referred to a previous June 2018 report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and written to the government in March 2019, asking about steps taken by New Delhi to address alleged human rights violations listed in the report.
  • In addition, the Special Rapporteurs had listed “13 cases of concern” from the year 2018 alone in which “four children were among eight civilians killed by members of the security forces.”
  • Rejecting all the claims, the Indian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva replied to the OHCHR on April 23, saying that “India does not intend to engage further with these mandate holders or any other mandate holders on the issue,” whom it accused of “individual prejudice”.


About UNHRC:

  • The UN body was established in 2006 with the aim of promoting and protecting human rights around the globe, as well as investigating alleged human rights violations.
  • It is made up of 47 member states, which are selected by the UN General Assembly on a staggered basis each year for three-year-long terms.
  • Members meet around three times a year to debate human rights issues and pass non-binding resolutions and recommendations by majority vote.
  • The council also carries out the Universal Periodic Review of all UN member states, which allows civil society groups to bring accusations of human rights violations in member states to the attention of the UN.


Sources: The Hindu.