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The UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (UNCHR) was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations
United Nations
Human Rights Council in 2006. It was a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and was also assisted in its work by the Office of the United Nations
United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). It was the UN's principal mechanism and international forum concerned with the promotion and protection of human rights .

On 15 March 2006, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to replace UNCHR with the UN Human Rights Council .

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Mandate * 3 Structure * 4 Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights * 5 Special
Special
procedures

* 6 Criticism

* 6.1 Israel

* 7 Human rights
Human rights
and mental health * 8 Genocide
Genocide
* 9 See also * 10 References

HISTORY

Eleanor Roosevelt at United Nations
United Nations
for Human Rights Commission meeting in Lake Success, New York in 1947

The UNCHR was established in 1946 by ECOSOC , and was one of the first two "Functional Commissions" set up within the early UN structure (the other being the Commission on the Status of Women ). It was a body created under the terms of the United Nations
United Nations
Charter (specifically, under Article 68) to which all UN member states are signatories.

It met for the first time in January 1947 and established a drafting committee for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , which was adopted by the United Nations
United Nations
on December 10, 1948.

The body went through two distinct phases. From 1947 to 1967, it followed the policy of absenteeism , which meant that the Commission would concentrate on promoting human rights and helping states elaborate treaties, but not on investigating or condemning violators. It was a period of strict observance of the sovereignty principle.

In 1967, the Commission adopted interventionism as its policy. The context of the decade was of decolonization of Africa and Asia, and many countries of the continent pressed for a more active UN policy on human rights issues, especially in light of massive violations in apartheid South Africa
South Africa
. The new policy meant that the Commission would also investigate and produce reports on violations.

To allow better fulfillment of this new policy, other changes took place. In the 1970s, the possibility of geographically-oriented workgroups was created. These groups would specialize their activities on the investigation of violations on a given region or even a single country, as was the case with Chile
Chile
. With the 1980s came the creation of theme-oriented workgroups, which would specialize in specific types of abuses.

None of these measures, however, were able to make the Commission as effective as desired, mainly because of the presence of human rights violators and the politicization of the body. During the following years until its extinction, the UNCHR became increasingly discredited among activists and governments alike.

The Commission held its final meeting in Geneva
Geneva
on March 27, 2006 and was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in the same year.

MANDATE

The Commission on Human Rights was intended to examine, monitor and publicly report on human rights situations in specific countries or territories (known as country mechanisms or mandates) as well as on major phenomena of human rights violations worldwide (known as thematic mechanisms or mandates). The Human Rights division of the U.N. is also expected to uphold and protect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights .

STRUCTURE

See also: List of members of the United Nations
United Nations
Commission on Human Rights

At the time it was extinguished, the Commission consisted of representatives drawn from 53 member states, elected by the members of ECOSOC. There were no permanent members; each year (usually in May) approximately a third of the seats of the Commission would come up for election, and the representatives were appointed for a three-year term.

Seats on the Commission were apportioned by region, using the mechanism of the United Nations
United Nations
Regional Groups . During its last year of service in 2005, the representation by region was as follows:

* 15 from the African Group:

* Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
, Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
, Egypt
Egypt
, Eritrea
Eritrea
, Ethiopia , Gabon
Gabon
, Guinea
Guinea
, Kenya
Kenya
, Mauritania
Mauritania
, Nigeria
Nigeria
, South Africa
South Africa
, Sudan , Swaziland
Swaziland
, Togo
Togo
, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe

* 12 from the Asian Group:

* Bhutan
Bhutan
, People\'s Republic of China , India
India
, Indonesia
Indonesia
, Japan
Japan
, Malaysia
Malaysia
, Nepal
Nepal
, Pakistan
Pakistan
, Qatar
Qatar
, Republic of Korea
Republic of Korea
, Saudi Arabia , Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

* 5 from the Eastern European Group :

* Armenia
Armenia
, Hungary
Hungary
, Romania
Romania
, Russian Federation
Russian Federation
, Ukraine
Ukraine

* 11 from the Latin American and Caribbean Group:

* Argentina
Argentina
, Brazil
Brazil
, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
, Cuba
Cuba
, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
, Ecuador
Ecuador
, Guatemala
Guatemala
, Honduras
Honduras
, Mexico
Mexico
, Paraguay
Paraguay
, Peru
Peru

* 10 from the Western European and Others Group :

* Australia
Australia
, Canada
Canada
, Finland
Finland
, France
France
, Germany
Germany
, Ireland
Ireland
, Italy , Netherlands
Netherlands
, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, United States
United States

The Commission would meet each year in regular session for six weeks during March and April in Geneva
Geneva
, Switzerland. In January 2004, Australia
Australia
was elected as chair of the 60th Session. In January 2005, Indonesia
Indonesia
was elected chair of the 61st Session. Peru
Peru
was elected chair of the 62nd Session in January 2006. The Commission held its final meeting in Geneva
Geneva
on March 27, 2006.

SUB-COMMISSION ON THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

In 1999 the Economic and Social Council changed its title from the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights".

The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights was the main subsidiary body of the Commission on Human Rights. It was composed of twenty-six experts whose responsibility was to undertake studies, particularly in light of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , and make recommendations to the Commission concerning the prevention of discrimination of any kind relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms and the protection of racial, national, religious and linguistic minorities. Membership was selected with regard to equitable geographical distribution.

The Sub-Commission established seven Working Groups that investigate specific human rights concerns, including:

* Minorities * Transnational corporations * Administration of justice * Anti-terrorism * Contemporary Forms of Slavery * Indigenous Populations * Communication * Social Forum

The United Nations Human Rights Council assumed responsibility for the Sub-Commission when it replaced the Commission on Human Rights in 2006.

SPECIAL PROCEDURES

The Commission on Human Rights established 30 special procedures , or mechanisms, to address specific country situations or thematic issues such as freedom of expression and opinion, torture , the right to food , and the right to education .

Individuals with expertise in particular areas of human rights were appointed by the chair of the Commission to serve as Special Rapporteurs for a maximum of six years. They are unpaid, independent experts who receive personnel and logistical support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for their work. Their main activities are to examine, monitor, advise and publicly report on human rights situations in specific countries or territories. They are able to write to governments about reported violations and conduct fact-finding visits to countries that invite them.

The special mechanisms are categorised according to:

* Thematic Mandates. * Country Mandates.

Special
Special
procedures also include working groups made up of up to five experts who monitor and investigate specific human rights concerns. Three groups were established by the Commission:

* Working Group on Arbitrary Detention * Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances * Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination

The special procedures are now under the direction of the United Nations Human Rights Council .

CRITICISM

The Commission was repeatedly criticized for the composition of its membership. In particular, several of its member countries themselves had dubious human rights records, including states whose representatives had been elected to chair the commission.

Another criticism was that the Commission did not engage in constructive discussion of human rights issues, but was a forum for politically selective finger-pointing and criticism. The desire of states with problematic human rights records to be elected to the Commission was viewed largely as a way to defend themselves from such attacks.

Activist groups had long expressed concern over the memberships of the People\'s Republic of China , Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
, Russia
Russia
, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
, and Pakistan
Pakistan
, and the past memberships of Algeria
Algeria
, Syria
Syria
, Libya
Libya
, Uganda
Uganda
and Vietnam
Vietnam
on the Commission. These countries had extensive records of human rights violations, and one concern was that by working against resolutions on the commission condemning human rights violations, they indirectly promoted despotism and domestic repression.

On May 4, 2004, United States
United States
ambassador Sichan Siv walked out of the Commission following the uncontested election of Sudan
Sudan
to the commission, calling it an "absurdity" in light of Sudan's ethnic cleansing in the Darfur
Darfur
region. One major consequence of the election of Sudan
Sudan
to the Commission was the lack of willingness for some countries to work through the commission. Indeed, on July 30, 2004, it was the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council , not the Commission, that passed a resolution —by 13–0, with China and Pakistan abstaining—threatening Sudan
Sudan
with unspecified sanctions if the situation in the Darfur
Darfur
region did not improve within the following 30 days. The reasons given for the action were the attacks by the Janjaweed
Janjaweed
Arab militias of Sudan
Sudan
on the non-Arab African Muslim population of Darfur, a region in western Sudan.

The commission had also come under repeated criticism from the United States for its unwillingness to address real human rights concerns. In 2002, the United States
United States
was kicked off the commission by the other member states, many of whom have been criticized for their human rights violations, and in 2003 Syria
Syria
put forward a proposal to discuss US war crimes in Iraq . But journalist Anne Applebaum wrote, "the European Union
European Union
and the United States
United States
aren't exempt from blame, either", citing their hesitance in voting to criticize Russia\'s actions in Chechnya
Chechnya
.

ISRAEL

The Commission was also criticized by advocates of Israel for bias against Israel . In 2002 Anne Bayefsky , a professor of international law at York University in Toronto, wrote that "commission members seek to avoid directly criticizing states with human rights problems, frequently by focusing on Israel, a state that, according to analysis of summary records, has for over 30 years occupied 15 percent of commission time and has been the subject of a third of country-specific resolutions". On April 15, 2002, the Commission approved a resolution affirming the "legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation in order to free its land and be able to exercise its right of self-determination". In so doing, the Palestinian people was declared "fulfilling its mission, one of the goals and purposes of the United Nations". Of the 53-member commission, 40 countries voted yes, five voted no, and seven abstained. Although widely reported that the resolution condoned resistance to Israel by "all available means, including armed struggle", the resolution itself does not contain those words. Alfred Moses, a former United States
United States
ambassador to the commission and now chairman of the monitoring group UN Watch , said that "A vote in favour of this resolution is a vote for Palestinian terrorism." In a letter to the UNHRC on November 15, 2002, following an attack by Palestinians on Israelis in the town of Hebron, Nabil Ramlawi, the permanent observer for Palestine at the U.N., appealed to the resolution as justification for the attack.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND MENTAL HEALTH

In 1977, the commission formed a "Sub-Commission to study, with a view to formulating guidelines, if possible, the question of the protection of those detained on the grounds of mental ill-health against treatment that might adversely affect the human personality and its physical and intellectual integrity". The sub-commission was charged with "determin whether adequate grounds existed for detaining persons on the grounds of mental ill-health".

The guidelines that resulted have been criticized for failing to protect the rights of involuntary patients.

GENOCIDE

The United Nations
United Nations
Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) passed a number of resolutions concerning genocide , these were: UNCHR Decision 9 (XXXV).

1986/18; 1987/25; 1988/28; 1989/16; 1990/19; "Fiftieth Anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide", 1998/10; and "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide", 1999/67.

Also:

* 1978 the UNCHR endorsed the recommendation of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to distribute widely the Ruhashyankiko Report . * August 1992, the UNCHR "Condemn absolutely the concept and practice of 'ethnic cleansing ' but did not describe it as genocide. The commissions resolution was endorsed the UNCHR parent body the United Nations
United Nations
Economic and Social Council . * November 1992, the UNCHR "Call upon all States to consider the extent to which the acts committed in Bosnia ... and in Croatia constitute genocide in accordance with ". * 1994, at the request of Canada
Canada
an emergency meeting was convened to deal with the ongoing genocide in Rwanda. René Degni-Sgui was appointed as a Special
Special
Rapporteur, and he immediately visited Rwanda where he promptly issued a report on the scope of the genocide.

SEE ALSO

* United Nations Human Rights Committee

REFERENCES

* ^ "UN creates new human rights body". BBC
BBC
. 15 March 2006. * ^ "Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC)" (PDF). Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 19, 2014. * ^ Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Retrieved 2010-04-19 * ^ Archived April 28, 2015, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "Human Rights Special
Special
Procedures: Determinants of Influence" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2014. * ^ Thematic Mandates Archived April 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Country Mandates Archived March 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ A B "The Shame of the United Nations". New York Times. 2006-02-26. Retrieved 2006-08-15. * ^ Annan, Kofi (2005). "In Larger Freedom, Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations
for decision by Heads of State and Government in September 2005". The United Nations. * ^ Crossette, Barbara (December 1, 2008). "A Disappointing Record, Will the new Human Rights Council take its mandate seriously?". America Magazine. Retrieved 2015-09-28. * ^ Sudan
Sudan
keeps U.N. human rights post - World news - MSNBC.com * ^ http://www.anneapplebaum.com/2003/04/16/the-uns-human-rights-rituals/ * ^ "The Struggle against Anti-Israel Bias at the UN Commission on Human Rights". UN Watch . 4 January 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2013. * ^ Anne Bayefsky: Ending Bias in the Human Rights System New York Times, May 22, 2002. * ^ UN Commission on Human Rights, Resolution 2002/8 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2012. , UN Doc. E/CN.4/RES/2002/8, 15 April 2002. * ^ See e.g. Question of the Violation of Human Rights in the Occupied Arab Territories, Including Palestine Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine . Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-eighth session, Agenda item 8. E/CN.4/2002/L.16. 9 April 2002. * ^ Steven Edwards: UN Backs Palestinian Violence Christian Action for Israel, April 16, 2002. * ^ Ed Morgan: Slaughterhouse-Six: Updating the Law of War, Part 2 of 2 Archived June 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine . German Law Journal , Vol. 5 No. 5–1 May 2004. * ^ University of Wollongong - Faculty of Arts - STS Research Archived October 14, 2004, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ A B C D Schabas, William (2000). Genocide
Genocide
in international law: the crimes of crimes, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-78790-4 , ISBN 978-0-521-78790-1 pp. 468,469 * ^ Schabas, p.466 footnote 124 citing UNCHR Decision 9 (XXXV).

* v * t * e

Human rights
Human rights

* Children\'s * Intersex * Men\'s * Women\'s

Fundamental concepts and philosophies

* Natural law * Positive law * Sovereignty
Sovereignty
* Universal jurisdiction

DISTINCTIONS

* Claim rights and liberty rights * Individual and group rights * Natural and legal rights * Negative and positive rights
Negative and positive rights

ASPECTS

* Corporal punishment
Corporal punishment

ORGANIZATIONS

* List of human rights organisations * of national human rights institutions

BY CONTINENT

* Africa * * Asia * Europe * North America * Oceania * South America

* Category:Rights * Portal: Human rights
Human rights

* v * t * e

International human rights organisations and institutions

TYPES

* Human rights
Human rights
group * Human rights
Human rights
commission * Human rights
Human rights
institutions * Truth and reconciliation commission

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

* Committee on the Rights of the Child * Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities * International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
* Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights * UN Human Rights Committee * UN Human Rights Council * UN Security Council

REGIONAL BODIES

* African Commission on Human and Peoples\' Rights * African Court on Human and Peoples\' Rights * African Court of Justice * European Court of Human Rights * European Committee for the Prevention of Torture
Torture
* Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
* Inter-American Court of Human Rights

MULTI-LATERAL BODIES

* European Union
European Union
* Council of Europe
Council of Europe
* Organisation of American States (OAS) * UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) * International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
(ILO) * World Health Organization
World Health Organization
(WHO) * UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) * Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) * UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) * Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) * UN Population Fund (UNFPA) * UN Children\'s Fund (UNICEF) * UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) * UN Development Programme (UNDP) * Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) * UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)

MAJOR NGOS

* Amnesty International * FIDH * Human Rights Watch * International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) * Emergency NGO * Human Rights First

* v * t * e

United Nations
United Nations
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

MEMBERSHIP

* List of members of the United Nations
United Nations
Economic and Social Council

FUNCTIONAL COMMISSIONS

* UN Commission for Social Development (CsocD) * Commission on Narcotic Drugs * Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) * UN Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW) * Commission on Population and Development * UN Statistical Commission * United Nations
United Nations
Forum on Forests

REGIONAL COMMISSIONS

* Europe (ECE) * Africa (ECA) * Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) * Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) * Western Asia (ESCWA)

SPECIALIZED AGENCIES

* International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
(ILO) * Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) * United Nations
United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) * World Health Organization
World Health Organization
(WHO) * International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
(IMF) * International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) * International Maritime Organization (IMO) * International Telecommunication Union (ITU) * Universal Postal Union (UPU) * World Meteorological Organization (WMO) * World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) * International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) * United Nations
United Nations
Children\'s Fund (UNICEF) * United Nations
United Nations
Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) * United Nations
United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) * United Nations
United Nations
Office of Project Services (UNOPS) * International Refugee Organisation (IRO – ceased to exist in 1952) * International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

WORLD BANK GROUP

* International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) * International Development Association (IDA) * International Finance Corporation (IFC) * Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) * International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

OTHER ENTITIES

* United Nations
United Nations
Development Group (UNDG) * United Nations
United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) * United Nations
United Nations
International Children\'s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) * High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

DISBANDED ENTITIES

* Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD - Disbanded 2013 into UNHLPF) * UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR - Disbanded 2006 in to UNHRC)

* Category
Category
* United Nations
United Nations
Portal
Portal

* v * t * e

Eleanor Roosevelt

* Chairwoman, Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961–1962) * 34th First Lady of the United States
United States
(1933–1945)

UNITED NATIONS

* United States
United States
delegate, United Nations
United Nations
General Assembly (1946–1952) * United Nations
United Nations
Commission on Human Rights (1947–1953, Chairperson 1946–1951) * Universal Declaration of Human Rights * Human Rights Day

First Lady of the United States
United States

* "My Day" daily newspaper column, 1935–1962 * Co-Chair, Office of Civilian Defense
Office of Civilian Defense
* Marian Anderson
Marian Anderson
Lincoln Memorial Concert * Tuskegee Airmen flight * Arthurdale and Eleanor, West Virginia

* American Youth Congress

* National Youth Administration

* Black Cabinet * 1940 Democratic National Convention speech * Women in Defense * Freedom House
Freedom House

OTHER EVENTS

* First Lady of New York

* Presidential Commission on the Status of Women

* National Organization for Women

* Encampment for Citizenship

LIFE AND HOMES

* Val-Kill National Historic Site

* Val-Kill Industries

* Campobello home

* Franklin D. Roosevelt\'s paralytic illness

* Hyde Park home and gravesite

LEGACY

* Roosevelt Institute

* Roosevelt Institute Campus Network

* Roosevelt Study Center * Eleanor Roosevelt Monument * Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights * Statue at the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial * Eleanor Roosevelt College * Marian Anderson: the Lincoln Memorial Concert (1939 film) * Sunrise at Campobello
Sunrise at Campobello
(1958 play, 1960 film) * The Eleanor Roosevelt Story (1965 film) * Eleanor and Franklin (1976 film) * Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977 film) * The Roosevelts (2014 documentary)

RELATED

* United Nations
United Nations
Prize in the Field of Human Rights

* International Bill of Human Rights

* International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights * International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

* Morgenthau Plan

ROOSEVELT FAMILY

* Franklin D. Roosevelt (husband * presidency ) * Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (daughter) * James Roosevelt II (son) * Elliott Roosevelt (son) * Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. (son) * John Roosevelt II (son) * Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves (granddaughter) * Curtis Roosevelt (grandson) * Sara Delano Roosevelt (granddaughter) * Franklin Delano Roosevelt III (grandson) * John Roosevelt Boettiger (grandson) * James Roosevelt III (grandson) * Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt
Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt
(father) * Anna Hall Roosevelt (mother) * Hall Roosevelt (brother) * Theodore Roosevelt Sr. (grandfather) * Martha Stewart Bulloch (grandmother) * Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
(uncle * presidency ) * Bamie Roosevelt (aunt) * Fala (family dog)

* United Nations
United Nations
portal * Human rights
Human rights
portal

AUTHORITY CONTROL

* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 140637990 * LCCN : n79105785 * ISNI : 0000 0001 2292 8537 * GND : 1008628-6 * SUDOC : 031424961 * BNF : cb12264158k (data) * NLA : 35561642 * BNE : XX129054

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