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
On 15 March 2006, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to replace UNCHR with the UN Human Rights Council .
* 1 History
* 2 Mandate
* 3 Structure
Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
* 6 Criticism
* 6.1 Israel
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
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
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
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
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 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 .
See also: List of members of the
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
* 15 from the African Group:
* 12 from the Asian Group:
* 5 from the Eastern European Group :
* 11 from the Latin American and Caribbean Group:
* 10 from the Western European and Others Group :
The Commission would meet each year in regular session for six weeks
during March and April in
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.
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.
* 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 .
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 ,
On May 4, 2004,
The commission had also come under repeated criticism from the United
States for its unwillingness to address real human rights concerns. In
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
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.
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.
* 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
* ^ "UN creates new human rights body".
* v * t * e
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Fundamental concepts and philosophies
* List of human rights organisations * of national human rights institutions
* Africa * * Asia * Europe * North America * Oceania * South America
* Category:Rights * Portal: Human rights
* v * t * e
International human rights organisations and institutions
* Committee on the Rights of the Child * Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities * International Criminal Court * Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights * UN Human Rights Committee * UN Human Rights Council * UN Security Council
* African Commission on Human and Peoples\' Rights
* African Court on Human and Peoples\' Rights
African Court of Justice
European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
* Organisation of American States (OAS)
* UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
* v * t * e
* List of members of the
Commission for Social Development (CsocD)
Commission on Narcotic Drugs
* Europe (ECE) * Africa (ECA) * Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) * Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) * Western Asia (ESCWA)
International Labour Organization
WORLD BANK GROUP
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
* Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD - Disbanded 2013 into UNHLPF) * UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR - Disbanded 2006 in to UNHRC)
* v * t * e
* Chairwoman, Presidential Commission on the Status of Women
* 34th First Lady of the
First Lady of
* "My Day" daily newspaper column, 1935–1962
Office of Civilian Defense
* First Lady of New York
* National Organization for Women
LIFE AND HOMES
* Val-Kill National Historic Site
* Campobello home
* Franklin D. Roosevelt\'s paralytic illness
* Hyde Park home and gravesite
* 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
* Morgenthau Plan
Franklin D. Roosevelt (husband
* presidency )
Eleanor Roosevelt (daughter)
James Roosevelt II (son)