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THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL -I BY NANDINI MAHARAJ
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UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Formation Structure and Mandate Tasks and instruments Universal Periodic Review Special Procedures * Advisory Committee VISO Monitoring (Complaint Procedure)
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW .his instrument did not exist during the time of the Commission for Human Rights It aims at securing a regular review of how states abide by human rights obligations. The point is not to control the states but rather to offer assisance in dealing with found shortcomings The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights or other UN agencies may offer their support The procedure is one of the most important innovations of the Human Rights Council. The procedure is based on international cooperation and dialogue
CONTENT OF THE UPR A UPR is conducted in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Charter of the UN The respective states' obligations and voluntary concessions dealing with human rights A report drafted by the state in question Two compilations of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, one of which contains all information pertaining to the state in form of final remarks of UN agencies, reports of Special Rapporteurs and other UN documents Data and statements of other governments, NGOs and national human rights institutions that are deemed credible and reliable. s It is noteworthy that reports of independent civil society organizations are integrated into the compilations of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
PROCEDURE The review takes three hours and consists of an interactive dialogue between the state in question and a working group of the Human Rights Council. Moderated by the president of the Council A list of recommendations on how to improve the human rights situation in the state is at the core of the report. The state then has the option to either accept or dismiss each one of these recommendations. After four years, the follow-up mechanism calls for a check of the implementation level of the recommendations.
SPECIAL PROCEDURE The Special Procedures were developed by the Commission for Human Rights They are independent experts mandated to report and advise on human rights situations in particular states or a particular, internationally virulent human rights issue The mandate is therefore either specific to a country or a theme. The elected representatives these may be individuals (special Rapporteurs) or working groups consist of independent experts that possess the necessary professional knowledge and may not pursue any personal interest in their role. e All elected representatives must inform the Human Rights Council about their work once a year. s On demand, they must lay their research results before the General Assembly.
PROCEDURE Elected representatives are mandated to regularly observe a designated human rights situation. They conduct country missions and author studies and offer assistance and council to the state in question. about the non-compliance with human rights. They may be forwarded to affected states as letters of allegation. s Certain mandates allow the acceptance of particular complaints
COUNTRY MANDATE s Country mandates are being followed in the following states: Myanmar, Cambodia, Haiti, Sudan, Somalia, Northern Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran and in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as in Syria, Eritrea and Belarus since 2012 Central African Republilc and Mali since 2013. These mandates are mostly unrestricted by time. The mandate in the occupied Palestinian territories is due to end with the end of Israeli occupation
THEMATIC MANDATE Thematic mandates deal with the global realization of individual rights, the global protection of particular victims or with a specific problem Currently, about forty thematic mandates are being followed The mandates date back to the 1980s I with themes such as extrajudicial executions, religious freedom and torture. The newest mandates are concerning minority rights, modern forms of slavery, access to potable water or environmental issues, etc.