HRC Elections | How do the candidates for 2020 rate?

19.06.2019

ISHR has published ‘scorecards’ for each of the States seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council for 2020- 2022.

To coincide with the #HRCpledging events in New York and Geneva hosted by ISHR and Amnesty International, ISHR has published a 'scorecard' for each State standing for election to the UN Human Rights Council.

The scorecards offer a quick ‘at-a-glance’ objective comparison of the candidates, focusing on their cooperation with the Council, leadership roles regarding country situations of concern, their support for civil society, their engagement with UN treaty bodies and Special Procedures, whether they have spoken out in concern about specific cases of reprisals, and whether they have established a national human rights institution.

'If the Council is to fulfil its promise and mandate, it must be comprised of Member States that uphold the highest human rights standards and cooperate fully with the Council - as required by General Assembly resolution 60/251. Members must have a genuine commitment to promoting universal human rights and defending those who advocate for them,’ said ISHR’s Human Rights Council Advocate Salma El Hosseiny.

The scorecards and #HRCpledging events are an important contribution in this regard. The scorecards are intended to give a brief overview of the candidate’s relationship with UN mechanisms, and increase transparency in the elections.

However, ISHR acknowledges that data limitations and the need for objectivity mean that many of the criteria are concerned with form rather than substance.  

'For example, the fact that a State has accepted a high number of UPR recommendations says nothing about the extent to which recommendations have been implemented on the ground,' ISHR's Programme Manager and Legal Counsel Tess McEvoy stated. 

‘We encourage these 'at-a-glance' scorecards to be read in conjunction with the more in-depth reporting on country situations and human rights record such as the world reports produced by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and the election guide published by the Universal Rights Group,' said McEvoy. 

'More importantly, we urge voting States to treat human rights considerations as paramount in electing members to the Council, and to prioritise fundamental human rights over political or economic interests.’

Voting on candidates for the Human Rights Council will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2019.  

Scorecards are available for: 

Public pledges on a States’ candidacy are another valuable contribution. To date, the following candidate States have published a public pledge: BrazilGermany, Iraq, Japan, Marshall Islands, Republic of MoldovaThe Netherlands, Poland, and Republic of Korea

Scorecards from 2018 are available here

The sources and criteria for the scorecards are set out here and below:

ELEMENT

SOURCE

Previous terms

OHCHR website, List of past members of the Human Rights Council

Submitted a public pledge on its candidacy in a timely manner

United Nations Documents Search

Pledged to strengthen Human Rights Council membership and adherence to membership standards

Signed the joint statement at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council presented by the Netherlands, or pledges to sign on to an Incoming Members’ Pledge, akin to the joint statement at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council delivered by Australia, or the joint statement delivered by Fiji at the 40th session, or otherwise formally commits by way of statement to the Human Rights Council to the principles reflected in these joint statements.

 

Committed to applying an objective, human rights-based criteria in addressing situations of concern

Signed joint statement at the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council presented by Ireland, or  the joint statement at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council presented by the Netherlands, or  the joint statement at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council delivered by Australia, or the joint statement delivered by Fiji at the 40th session or otherwise formally commits by way of a statement to the Human Rights Council to the principles reflected in these joint statements.

Played a leadership role on country situations at the Council

Fulfilled commitments set out in the joint statement at the 32nd Council session presented by Ireland, resulting in significant attention on at least two country situations, by leading (pen holder) or delivering a joint statement dedicated fully or substantially to a country situation, or leading a resolution (pen holder or member of core group) or a request for a special session (initiating the request as a sponsor).

 

*This includes any country situation in respect of which the State has played a non-public leadership role resulting in collective action at the Council

 

Issued a standing invitation to Special Procedures

OHCHR website, Standing Invitations

Consistently responded positively to country visit requests (Less than 5 outstanding)

OHCHR website, Country visits and special procedures

 

*Country visits requests made more than 6 years ago without a reminder sent by the special procedures are not counted.

 

 

Sent a reply to more than 80% of communications received from Special Procedures

OHCHR database, Communications sent and replies received  

 

Accepted more than 70% of UPR recommendations

UPR Info website, Statistics of Recommendations -  https://www.upr-info.org/database/statistics/ Or data base

Case of reprisals has never been highlighted in SG reports (2008-2018)

OHCHR website, Acts of intimidation and reprisal for cooperation with the special procedures

Spoken out expressing concern about particular cases of reprisals

Publicly expressed concern about particular cases of reprisals, such as: under Items 2, 4 or 5 or during the annual interactive dialogue with the Assistant Secretary General on reprisals

The State has consistently sponsored Council and Third Committee resolutions on human rights defenders, civil society space and reprisals

Sponsored more than 8 of the following resolutions: Human Rights Council resolutions 13/13, 22/6 & 31/32, 40/22 (human rights defenders), 24/21, 38/12 (civil society space), 12/12, 24/24, 36/21 (reprisals), 25/18 & 34/5 (renewal of mandate of Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders); General Assembly resolutions: 66/164, 68/181, 70/161, 72/247

Ratified 10 or more international human rights treaties and protocols

  

 

Ratified 10 of more of the following international human rights treaties and protocols - ICCPRICCPR-OP1ICCPR-OP2ICESCRICESR-OP; ICRD; CEDAWCEDAW-OPCRCCRC-OP-ACCRC-OP-SCCRC-OP-ICICMWCPEDCPRDCRPD-OPCATOP-CAT
OHCHR website, Ratification status

Has 3 or fewer outstanding treaty body reports

OHCHR website, Reporting Status

 

Has an NHRI in conformity with the Paris Principles (A-status)

GANHRI, Status of National Institutions

 

Sponsored both the Council and Third Committee resolutions on NHRIs

Sponsored Human Rights Council resolution 39/17, and General Assembly resolution 72/181

 

 

Contact: Salma El Hosseiny at s.hosseiny@ishr.ch or +41 79 596 76 75 (Geneva) and Tess McEvoy at t.mcevoy@ishr.ch (New York), International Service for Human Rights

 

Category:

Topic
  • United Nations
Mechanism
  • UN General Assembly
  • UN Human Rights Council