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Human Rights Council

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  • Issue Brief posted March 11, 2014 by Steven Groves, Brett D. Schaefer Human Rights Committee’s Review of U.S. Record: Things to Watch For

    On March 13–14, a U.S. delegation will defend America’s human rights record before the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the treaty body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation should expect harsh criticism from the HRC, whose members regularly accuse America of committing gross violations of human rights.…

  • Issue Brief posted November 19, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.N. Human Rights Council: A Flawed Body That Should Be Replaced

    The United Nations held elections on November 12 for 14 Human Rights Council (HRC) seats for 2014. Based on the election results, the number of free countries will climb to a slim majority. However, a number of countries with poor human rights records continue to be elected to the body. The lack of meaningful membership standards is a key reason behind the HRC’s poor…

  • Commentary posted November 16, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer Flawed Council

    On November 12, the United States was elected to a second three-year term on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). The Obama administration portrays this as a vindication of its policy of multilateral “engagement.” That approach, it says, has yielded a number of “accomplishments.” Unfortunately, the claim is more spin than reality. In fact, the…

  • Issue Brief posted September 5, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.N. Human Rights Council Does Not Deserve U.S. Support

    The African Union’s decision to nominate Sudan for the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) elicited justifiable outrage. Pressure from human rights groups and governments led Kenya to announce its own election bid, causing Sudan to withdraw. This was a welcome development; the notion of the genocidal government sitting on the most visible U.N. human rights body was…

  • Backgrounder posted June 23, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Pursue an Alternative to the U.N. Human Rights Council

    Abstract: The U.N. Human Rights Council has failed to consistently fulfill its mandate to hold governments accountable for violating basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and to promote and protect human rights. Two years of U.S. membership on and engagement with the council have not significantly improved its performance. Rather than continuing to expend finite…

  • WebMemo posted March 4, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The Motivation for the Referral of Libya to the ICC: Political Pressure or Justice?

    The killings and other atrocities committed in Libya, if confirmed, likely rise to the level of crimes against humanity, which are under International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction in the Rome Statute. But the ICC is supposed to be a court of last resort, becoming involved only if national authorities prove unwilling or unable to pursue the alleged crimes. It has yet…

  • Testimony posted March 3, 2011 by Ambassador Terry Miller Reform of the United Nations: Lessons Learned

    Testimony before The Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives Thursday, March 3, 2011 My name is Terry Miller. I am the Director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at The Heritage Foundation. As a member of the U.S. Foreign Service, I served on delegations to U.N. meetings or at our Permanent Mission in New York from 1979…

  • WebMemo posted November 5, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves U.S. Targeted by Human Rights Abusers at Its Universal Periodic Review

    The United States underwent a three-hour review of its human rights record before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on November 5 under that body’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). As predicted,[1] the farcical nature of the process was immediately apparent as serial human rights violators Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China, Sudan, and North Korea queued up…

  • Commentary posted September 22, 2010 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. An U.N.-Conscionable Act

    Thanks to a certain immigration law, the Obama administration isn’t very happy with Arizona these days. But did you know the White House has gone so far as to put Arizona “on report”? And to the United Nations, no less. That’s right. Apparently the federal government can’t handle this dispute alone. It needs to elevate it to the world stage, encouraging…

  • WebMemo posted August 26, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The U.S. Universal Periodic Review: Flawed from the Start

    The United States recently released its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). This report will serve as the basis of the U.S.’s first examination under that body’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR).[1] Although the U.S. report gives undue attention and credit to the actions of the Obama Administration, it is largely a factual presentation of current U.S.…

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  • Backgrounder posted June 2, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer Elections for U.N. Human Rights Council Underscore the Need for Reform

    Abstract: The U.N. Human Rights Council’s record over its first four years is gravely disappointing. Contrary to claims made by the Obama Administration, U.S. membership on the council has not appreciably improved its performance. However, the council can now claim added legitimacy for its decisions and resolutions because of U.S. support and membership. The…

  • WebMemo posted November 5, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves U.S. Targeted by Human Rights Abusers at Its Universal Periodic Review

    The United States underwent a three-hour review of its human rights record before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on November 5 under that body’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). As predicted,[1] the farcical nature of the process was immediately apparent as serial human rights violators Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China, Sudan, and North Korea queued up…

  • News Releases on February 24, 2006 United Nations Experts Agree: U.N. Resolution on Human Rights Council Does Not Deserve U.S. Support

    Washington, Feb. 24, 2006-Anne Bayefsky, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, and Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, today issued the following statement on yesterday's release of the text of a resolution establishing a…

  • Issue Brief posted November 19, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.N. Human Rights Council: A Flawed Body That Should Be Replaced

    The United Nations held elections on November 12 for 14 Human Rights Council (HRC) seats for 2014. Based on the election results, the number of free countries will climb to a slim majority. However, a number of countries with poor human rights records continue to be elected to the body. The lack of meaningful membership standards is a key reason behind the HRC’s poor…

  • Backgrounder posted June 1, 2007 by Brett D. Schaefer The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Disastrous First Year

    The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) was established in 2006 to replace the discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Despite minimal safeguards against capture of the HRC by human rights abusers-the source of the commis­sion's ineffectiveness-HRC supporters, including U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, were quick to declare that…

  • Commentary posted November 16, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer Flawed Council

    On November 12, the United States was elected to a second three-year term on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). The Obama administration portrays this as a vindication of its policy of multilateral “engagement.” That approach, it says, has yielded a number of “accomplishments.” Unfortunately, the claim is more spin than reality. In fact, the…

  • Commentary posted September 22, 2010 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. An U.N.-Conscionable Act

    Thanks to a certain immigration law, the Obama administration isn’t very happy with Arizona these days. But did you know the White House has gone so far as to put Arizona “on report”? And to the United Nations, no less. That’s right. Apparently the federal government can’t handle this dispute alone. It needs to elevate it to the world stage, encouraging…

  • WebMemo posted May 2, 2008 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Is Right to Shun the U.N. Human Rights Council

    The United Nations General Assembly voted in March 2006 to replace the Commission on Human Rights with the Human Rights Council. The Commission, dominated by human rights abusers who used their influence to block scrutiny or criticism, proved to be a poor champion of human rights. Nearly two years after it was created, the United States' concerns that the Council…

  • Lecture posted September 19, 2006 by Brett D. Schaefer The United Nations Human Rights Council: Repeating Past Mistakes

    (Delivered September 6, 2006) Since the very birth of the United Nations, protecting and advancing fundamental human rights has been one of the primary objectives of the organization. The drafters of the Charter of the United Nations included a pledge by member states "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 11, 2014 by Steven Groves, Brett D. Schaefer Human Rights Committee’s Review of U.S. Record: Things to Watch For

    On March 13–14, a U.S. delegation will defend America’s human rights record before the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the treaty body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation should expect harsh criticism from the HRC, whose members regularly accuse America of committing gross violations of human rights.…

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  • Issue Brief posted March 11, 2014 by Steven Groves, Brett D. Schaefer Human Rights Committee’s Review of U.S. Record: Things to Watch For

    On March 13–14, a U.S. delegation will defend America’s human rights record before the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the treaty body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation should expect harsh criticism from the HRC, whose members regularly accuse America of committing gross violations of human rights.…

  • Issue Brief posted November 19, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.N. Human Rights Council: A Flawed Body That Should Be Replaced

    The United Nations held elections on November 12 for 14 Human Rights Council (HRC) seats for 2014. Based on the election results, the number of free countries will climb to a slim majority. However, a number of countries with poor human rights records continue to be elected to the body. The lack of meaningful membership standards is a key reason behind the HRC’s poor…

  • Issue Brief posted September 5, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.N. Human Rights Council Does Not Deserve U.S. Support

    The African Union’s decision to nominate Sudan for the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) elicited justifiable outrage. Pressure from human rights groups and governments led Kenya to announce its own election bid, causing Sudan to withdraw. This was a welcome development; the notion of the genocidal government sitting on the most visible U.N. human rights body was…

  • Backgrounder posted June 23, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Pursue an Alternative to the U.N. Human Rights Council

    Abstract: The U.N. Human Rights Council has failed to consistently fulfill its mandate to hold governments accountable for violating basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and to promote and protect human rights. Two years of U.S. membership on and engagement with the council have not significantly improved its performance. Rather than continuing to expend finite…

  • WebMemo posted March 4, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The Motivation for the Referral of Libya to the ICC: Political Pressure or Justice?

    The killings and other atrocities committed in Libya, if confirmed, likely rise to the level of crimes against humanity, which are under International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction in the Rome Statute. But the ICC is supposed to be a court of last resort, becoming involved only if national authorities prove unwilling or unable to pursue the alleged crimes. It has yet…

  • WebMemo posted November 5, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves U.S. Targeted by Human Rights Abusers at Its Universal Periodic Review

    The United States underwent a three-hour review of its human rights record before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on November 5 under that body’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). As predicted,[1] the farcical nature of the process was immediately apparent as serial human rights violators Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China, Sudan, and North Korea queued up…

  • WebMemo posted August 26, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The U.S. Universal Periodic Review: Flawed from the Start

    The United States recently released its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). This report will serve as the basis of the U.S.’s first examination under that body’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR).[1] Although the U.S. report gives undue attention and credit to the actions of the Obama Administration, it is largely a factual presentation of current U.S.…

  • WebMemo posted June 4, 2010 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., James Phillips The Gaza Flotilla Incident: U.N. Inquiry Will Be an Anti-Israel Farce

    In the aftermath of the recent gun battle aboard a Turkish aid ship heading for Gaza, international leaders have been queuing up to attack Israel. From Ankara to Brussels, the condemnation of the only longstanding democracy in the Middle East has been swift and unequivocal. The United Nations, the European Union, and the Arab League have all engaged in a frenzy of…

  • Backgrounder posted June 2, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer Elections for U.N. Human Rights Council Underscore the Need for Reform

    Abstract: The U.N. Human Rights Council’s record over its first four years is gravely disappointing. Contrary to claims made by the Obama Administration, U.S. membership on the council has not appreciably improved its performance. However, the council can now claim added legitimacy for its decisions and resolutions because of U.S. support and membership. The…

  • WebMemo posted April 7, 2010 by Grace Melton CEDAW and the New U.N. Gender Office: The U.S. Can Do Better

    The 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) concluded last month at the United Nations, with even more feminist fanfare than in recent years. The CSW is a functional body that meets annually to discuss and review the situation of women and girls worldwide. This year the CSW commemorated the 15th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on…

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Find more work on Human Rights Council