Human Rights Current Affairs

India elected to UN Human Rights Council

India was elected to United Nations’ Human Rights Council’, the main body of UN charged with promoting and monitoring human rights for period of three years beginning January 1, 2019. In this secret ballot election held in 193-member UN General Assembly (UNGA) India secured 188 votes in Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates. Total 18 new members in the five regional categories were elected by absolute majority (i.e. minimum of 97 votes are required to get elected through secret ballot). From Asia-Pacific region category, Fiji with 187 and Bangladesh 178 votes were also elected along with India. This was fifth time India has been elected to UNHRC, previously was elected 2006-2009, 2011-2014 and 2014-2017.

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

UNHRC is an inter-governmental body within United Nations system. It is responsible for strengthening promotion and protection of human rights around globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.  It was created by UNGA on 15 March 2006 by adopting resolution 60/251 to promote human rights globally. It had replaced former UN Commission on Human Rights. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Members: UNHRC is made up of 47 UN member states which are elected by UN General Assembly (UNGA) with specific number of seats allocated for each five region of the globe viz. African States (13 seats), Asia-Pacific States (13 seats), Eastern European States (6 seats), Latin American and Caribbean States (8 seats) and Western European and other States( 7 seats). Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.

Functions: Members of the council work to engage countries on improving human rights. They make decisions ranging from exposing violations to recommending that UN Security Council make referral to International Criminal Court (ICC). UNHRC does not have authority to take action but can exert significant pressure on violating country. It can also set up special rapporteurs with mandate to investigate and report human-rights violations and abuses.

Note: United States under President Donald Trump Administration had withdrawn from UNHRC earlier this year after it questioned legitimacy of the council because of presence of several dictatorial regimes violating human rights on it.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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National Human Rights Commission celebrates Silver Jubilee

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) celebrated Silver Jubilee (25 years) on October 12, 2018. NHRC was set up on October 12, 1993. The silver Jubilee celebrations were held in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the function and appreciated role of NHRC. NHRC also released special silver jubilee logo and commissioned documentary titled ‘NHRC: 25 years, Billion Hopes’ capturing the 25 years of its journey. It also organized ‘Human Rights Mela’ and ‘Human Rights Street Theatre Festival’ in New Delhi.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

NHRC is apex statutory watchdog of human rights in the country, i.e. the rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by Constitution or embodied in the international convents. It was established on October 12, 1993 as per t statutory provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. It is multimember body consisting of Chairman and four members. President appoints Chairman and members of NHRC on recommendation of high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi. NHRC can either take suo motu cognisance of cases through media reports or complaint filed by victim or any other person on his or her behalf or on basis of reports received from the police department.

Functions of NHRC

  • Investigate violations of human rights committed by the government.
  • Intervene in legal proceedings related to human rights.
  • Recommend to provide relief to the victims and their families.
  • Review protection provided by Constitution.
  • Study international treaties related to human rights, etc. and recommend for effective implementation on its basis.·
  • Promote research in the field of human rights.
  • Spread human rights education in different sections of the society.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

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