Pledges of Human Rights Council Candidates vs. the Reality 2015


According to the UN General Assembly resolution that created the Council (A/RES/60/251, adopted March 15, 2006): "when electing members of the Council, Member States shall take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto;"

BAHAMAS

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


BURUNDI

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


COTE D'IVOIRE

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


ETHIOPIA

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


KENYA

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


KYRGYZSTAN

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


LAOS PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


PAKISTAN

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


TOGO

    NO PLEDGE SUBMITTED


UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The Human Rights Pledge of the United Arab Emirates
    "The United Arab Emirates is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights at home and around the world... The United Arab Emirates has made impressive progress on human rights since its founding in 1971. The openness of the United Arab Emirates to the rest of the world has allowed it to reach its current level of success. The United Arab Emirates has built a peaceful, tolerant, multicultural society in which people from all over the world live harmoniously together." (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - United Arab Emirates, A/70/377)

Some of what the United Arab Emirates neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "The three most significant human rights problems were citizens' inability to change their government; limitations on citizens' civil liberties (including the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and internet use); and arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, and lengthy pretrial detentions. Other reported human rights problems included police and prison guard brutality. The government continued to interfere with citizens' privacy rights, including increased arrests and detentions following individuals' internet postings or commentary. There were limited reports of corruption, and the government lacked transparency and judicial independence. Domestic abuse and violence against women remained problems. Noncitizens faced legal and societal discrimination."
    ( Country Reports on Human Rights Practices United Arab Emirates 2014, U.S. Department of State )

VENEZUELA

The Human Rights Pledge of Venezuela
    "The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela recognizes the importance of the universal system of promotion and protection of human rights and has expressed its commitment to the strengthening and constructive effectiveness of the Human Rights Council, the main body of the United Nations responsible for the multilateral, objective, non-political and impartial treatment of human rights, as has been evidenced by Venezuela during the current period as an elected member of the Human Rights Council (2013-2015).."
    (Voluntary pledge for candidacy to Human Rights Council - Venezuela, A/70/376)

Some of what Venezuela neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "The principal human rights abuses reported during the year included lack of government respect for the freedom of assembly, lack of due process compounded by politicization of the judicial system, and government actions to impede freedom of expression and restrict freedom of the press. The government did not respect judicial independence or permit judges to act according to the law without fear of retaliation. The government used the judiciary to intimidate and selectively prosecute political, civil society, union, and business leaders who were critical of government policies or actions. The government blocked and coopted media outlets, harassed and intimidated privately owned television stations, other media outlets, and journalists throughout the year, using threats, fines, property seizures, proxy buyouts, targeted regulations, arrests, and criminal investigations and prosecutions.

    In addition the following human rights problems were reported by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the media, and in some cases the government itself: unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings by police and security forces; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions and lack of due process rights that contributed to widespread violence, riots, injuries, and deaths in prisons; inadequate juvenile detention centers; corruption and impunity in police forces; arbitrary arrests and detentions; political prisoners; interference with privacy rights; corruption at all levels of government; threats against domestic NGOs; violence against women; anti-Semitism in statements by senior government officials; trafficking in persons; violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and restrictions on workers' right of association."
    (Country Report on Human Rights Practices Venezuela 2014, U.S. Department of State)