The Council of the U.N’s Biggest Human Rights Violators

Ella Cetina, COVID Chronicles Editor

Recently, some of the world’s most notorious human rights violators were elected to the U.N Human Rights Council. This list includes Russia and China. According to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the only two countries suited for the council are the U.K and France.

     The official U.N website boasts that the council has had members from around the globe, from Nepal to Saudi Arabia, and that it reflects the diversity of the U.N. But, this isn’t truly the case. Yes, the council is diverse, but a diversity of what? Human rights violators from around the world rather than one part of the world; that’s not a diversity to recognize.

Ironically enough, in 2006, the U.N. General Assembly established the Human Rights Council to replace the Commission on Human Rights. It was largely criticised for its ineffectiveness in addressing human rights abuses and for alleged human rights violations from its own members. The U.S was beneficial and vital to the change in 2006; they largely criticized the council’s constant condemnations of Israel while simultaneously staying quiet at injustices occurring in Saudi Arabia and China, etc.

      Again, in 2018, the U.S, represented at the time by U.S ambassador Nikki Haley withdrew from the council on account of the fact that the council had been ineffective in creating actual change. And seemingly, the council doesn’t even want to make change. Nikki Haley even called the council “a cesspool of political bias.”

Though, Russia and other countries alike won’t be instituted or in some cases, reinstated into the council until January 2021, it’s still largely concerning. How can the UN possibly regulate human rights when its biggest offenders are responsible for improving human rights?