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India Elected to UNHRC

  • 13 Oct 2018
  • 3 min read

India has been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.

  • The elections for selecting new members to UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) were held at the United Nations in which the 193-members of the UN General Assembly took part. 
  • India received 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category.
  • India was vying for a seat in the Asia Pacific category, which has 5 seats in UNHRC. Along with India, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji, and the Philippines were also elected to UNHRC from Asia-Pacific.
  • India has previously served in Human Rights Council from 2011-2014 and 2014-2017.

Significance

  • India's election with the highest number of votes reflects India's standing in the international comity.
  • It recognizes India's commitment towards the protection of Human Rights.

Criticism of Election

  • Human Rights NGO, Human Rights Watch has criticized the election saying that the election was devoid of any competition and countries with the worst Human rights records like Philippines, Eritrea, Bahrain etc. have been elected in UNHRC.

About UNHRC

  • The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.
  • The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis from 5 groups.
  • To become a member, a country must receive the votes of at least 96 of the 191 states of the UN General Assembly (an absolute majority).
  • The members are elected for a period of three years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms.

Silver Jubilee of National Human Rights Council (NHRC)

  • India's top human rights body, NHRC has completed 25 years of its formation.
  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India was established on 12 October 1993.
  • It is a statutory body established under the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993.
  • It is based on the Paris Principles, adopted at the first international workshop on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights held in Paris in October 1991.
  • The NHRC is an embodiment of India’s concern for the promotion and protection of human rights.
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