You are on page 1of 4

Being a member of United Nations and specially a member of Human rights Council

means you have a respect and will to fight against human rights violations.

But that’s not what happens in case of Boldistan, who discriminates people because

of their sexual orientation and makes it a crime punish it with a life sentence.

Although some African countries defend that those kinds of discrimination are not

included in any international human rights instrument, they’re wrong. It’s clearly a

violation of article 2º of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, even though it’s only a declaration it must be


The goal of Human Rights Council it is to protect and promote the respect of human

rights, so Boldistan is also violation their principles because they’re also a member

of Human Rights Council.

Being a part of a human rights NGO based in Boldistan we can not just “stay quiet”

nor compact with this kind of human rights violations, we must then resort to one of

the four mechanisms of the Human Rights Council to try to stop our government from

committing these atrocities. But first we must analyze each of them, they are defined

in the Resolution 5/1.

Starting with the special procedures, regulate in Section II of the Resoluiton 5/1, it’s

one of most important mechanism of HRC, they are composed special rapporteurs,

special representatives, working groups established by the Human Rights Council and

independent experts, the last ones must report their findings to the Council and the

UN General Assembly. These procedures can have a thematic, like the Working

Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Independent Expert on protection against

violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Costa

Rica, or a country-specific mandates, for example, the Special Rapporteur on the

situation of human rights in Myanmar and Independent Expert on the situation of

human rights in Central African Republic. Thematic mandates are renewed every

three years and country mandates annually.

Basically, the mandate holders analyze reports and communications, share

information’s with NGOs, visit some countries, with their consent, make studies and

recommendations to the HRC.

In matters of communications of Special procedures, we also have the Annual it would

be a good tool for our NGO because it consists in urgent appeals and letters of

allegations in cases of human rights violation, that can be made by NGOs or civils.

But the problem is the decision of interference with situation is indeed in the hands

of the mandate holder, and he is guided by some principles but is very subjective.

So sometimes it's not a very trustful instrument.

We also have the Annual Meeting of Special Procedures, which is based in Geneva,

where mandate holders can exchange information with NGOs and other human rights


But there are many problems with this mechanism because although it can be used

even when a State has not ratified the relevant instrument or treaty, and it is not

necessary to have exhausted domestic remedies, it’s a very expensive procedure,

we, as many NGOs, have limited resources to travel to Geneva and participate in

Annual Meeting, and if the violations that is concurrently in your country doesn't have

attention of the political and other "big countries" the communications doesn't have

much force.

Then, we have the Universal Periodic Review that was established by the Resolution

60/251 by the General Assembly and it’s also regulated by the Section I of the

Resolution 5/1.

The base of universal periodic review is dialogue between the State members of UN.

It's composed by several phases such as preparation of the documents that reviews

are based on, the review itself, and at the end the conclusions and recommendations.
This review is made according UN Charter, Universal Declaration on Human Rights,

although it's just a Declaration it must be respected, and other human rights

instruments to which the state is party.

But the more important aspect is that, in this review, not only State members of UN

but also human rights institution like NGOs can participate, they have a word, which

doesn't exist in the Special procedures, since the review it's also made based in their


However, the actual review is in the hands of the Working Group, it meets in three

two-week sessions each year, for reviewing some States. In this Working Group we

have the called "Troika", constitute by three States, that change for each State

Review. They're very important because they receive question that some countries

have to the State under review, then they give them to the secretariat of the UPR,

which in turn sends them to the State under review. Also, they help in the preparation

of report on the review.

After the report, the outcome must be adopted in the Council plenary and we need

the consensus of all States.

Like we said before NGOs have a bigger part in this mechanism than in the Special

Procedures, they can make formal submission that is one of three documents on

which reviews are based, using the guideline set out in Council decision 6/102, if

they're accredited, the obtain the consultative status with the United Nations

Economic and Social Council, then they can have make comments before the

adoption of outcome documents and they can also make oral and written statements.

This mechanism only has two big problems, the first is, for example, it's periodic

review and only some States are "analyzed" per year, if our problem is urgent we

don't have any guarantees that our country will be under review, then again it’s very

difficult to participate in the UPR, because once again we have limited resources,

even with Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance have been
established to facilitate the participation of developing countries on the Council

resolution 6/17, it’s very difficult because it’s not quick process and it’s takes a lot of

money for the NGO to support all the costs around that participation on UPR.

The third mechanism is called the Advisory Committee, it's regulated in section III of

the Resolution 5/1 and defined as a subsidiary body. The Advisory Committee is

composed by experts that represent different regions. They meet twice a year, and

the last meeting was in February 2019.

Since is a subsidiary body it doesn't do something in practical, it makes studies, gives

advices and recommendations to the Council.

NGOs that have the consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social

Council can make oral and written statements, also NGOs can organize parallel


Because it has only a consulting role and even though some NGOs may have a role

in the Advisory Committee, it turns out to be not a very effective mean, even the

statute itself says that it’s only a subsidiary body, so it’s not the best mechanism.