Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

India wins seat at United Nations Human Rights Council

India wins seat at United Nations Human Rights Council India elected to Human Rights Council at UN with highest number of votes
Kenny Thornton | 13 October, 2018, 13:12

The 47-member Human Rights Council, or UNHRC, can spotlight abuses and has special monitors watching certain countries and issues.

The Commission on Human Rights reiterated on Saturday its call for the government to address human rights violations following the country's election to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"By putting forward serious rights violators and presenting only as many candidates as seats available, the regional groups risk undermining the council's credibility and effectiveness", said New York-based Human Rights Watch.

The new members will take their seats at the council in January.

"For its part, CHR will continue to perform its mandate of helping United Nations monitor the human rights situation on the ground as the country's independent national human rights institution", she said. Along with India, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji and Philippines had also staked a claim in the same regional group.

The victory of India came after the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein asked the body to do an worldwide commission of inquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir. Candidates needed at least 97 votes to get elected.

The 18 new members were elected by the absolute majority through a secret ballot.

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The new members elected Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia and Togo in the African States category, Bulgaria and Czech Republic in the Eastern European States group, Argentina, Bahamas and Uruguay in the Latin American and Caribbean States group and Austria, Denmark and Italy in the Western European and other States category.

Louis Charbonneau, the group's United Nations director, called the vote "ridiculous" and said on Twitter it "makes mockery of (the) word 'election'".

It said Human Rights Council member states should seek to neutralise any attempts by its "worst members to shield themselves and other serial rights abusers & keep doing good work on #Yemen, #Myanmar, #Syria, #Burundi & other crises".

"This lack of standards continues to undermine the organization and demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw from it earlier this year", she said in a statement.

In Cameroon, HRW said government forces and armed separatists had committed "grave abuses" in the country's Anglophone region.

More than 4,200 drug suspects have been killed since 2016, but human rights groups and government critics said this figure is understated. India has been appointed for a period of three years from 2019 to 2022.

The seemingly bad news is that a few of the elected members of the United Nations have arguably not upheld what is also stated in the same resolution - the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

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