UNHRC - Study Guide


The UNHRC is an inter-governmental body responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world. Its 47 seats are filled by member states elected for three-year term. The UNHRC address human rights-related situations in all UN member states such as freedom of association, of religion or speech, women’s rights and LGBT rights.

The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251. Its first session took place from 19 to 30 June 2006. One year later, the Council adopted its “Institution-building package” to guide its work and set up its procedures and mechanisms

This council is a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly and works closely with the Office of
the High Commissioner for Human Rights and engages the United Nations’ special procedures.

Photo credit:  United Nations

Photo credit: United Nations

TOPIC A: "Protecting Human Rights in contexts of terrorism and counter terrorism"

The international community is nowadays facing a common,undetermined enemy: terrorism. Whilst international security and cooperation are rising, the concern about Human rights’ protection is also growing: Member States are investing on counter terrorism to protect their citizen’s rights and safeness, but it seems that Member States tend to forget that those accused of terrorism are also human beings whose basic rights must be respected.

The OHCHR is engaged as an active member of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) and promotes the mainstreaming of human rights across the work of the CTITF, in particular through its role as co-chair of the Working Group on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law while Countering Terrorism. The High Commissioner regularly has called upon the CTITF and its entities to intensify efforts to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism, and has promoted compliance with human rights as an integral part of assistance to States in the development and implementation of counter-terrorism related legislation and policy.

TOPIC B: "Human Rights commission on Turkey"

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was established in 1946 to weave the international legal fabric that protects our fundamental rights and freedoms. Composed of 53 States members, its brief expanded over time to allow it to respond to the whole range of human rights problems and it set standards to govern the conduct of States.

UN reports have detailed extensive human rights violations in Turkey during the state of emergency established by the government and an erosion of the rule of law. Profound violations against hundreds of thousand of people, such as arbitrary detentions or deprivation of the right to work, lack of freedom of speech and tortures have been reported by the UN Human Rights Office in the country. Furthermore, international bodies and NGOs have revealed the inhumane situation that Syrian refugees live in the country.

The situation in Turkey needs to be addressed by the international community, preventing impunity and making clear that all human beings -no matter gender, ethnics, religion or nationality- deserved to be treated according the Universal Human Rights Declaration.

Photo credit:  Carnegie Europe

Photo credit: Carnegie Europe