Pledges of Human Rights Council Candidates vs. the Reality 2014

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;"




The Human Rights Pledge of Congo
    "The Republic of the Congo declares its candidacy for re-election to the Human Rights Council as a testament to its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms...the Constitution of the Congo is a legal instrument that enshrines its commitment to the universal values of peace, freedom, equality, justice, tolerance and probity, and to the virtues of dialogue. It guarantees all citizens' civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights."

Some of what Congo neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "Major human rights problems included beatings and torture of detainees by security forces, poor prison conditions, and lengthy pretrial detention. Other human rights abuses included: lack of due judicial process; arbitrary arrest; political prisoners; infringement of citizens' privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association; refugee abuse; restrictions on the right of citizens to change their government peacefully; restrictions on the activities of opposition political groups; official corruption and lack of transparency; discrimination against women; sexual and gender-based violence, including domestic violence, child abuse, female genital mutilation/cutting, and forced child marriage; trafficking in persons; lack of access for persons with disabilities; discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, particularly toward indigenous persons; discrimination based on sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS status; and child labor. The government seldom took steps to prosecute or punish officials who committed abuses."




The Human Rights Pledge of Qatar
    "The promotion and protection of human rights is one of the pillars of the policy of the State of Qatar...The State of Qatar is addressing the issue of human rights in an integrated manner that takes into account the importance of fundamental freedoms and democracy, places human beings at the centre of State policy, respects freedom of expression and judicial independence, and promotes a culture of peace and acceptance of others."

Some of what Qatar neglected to mention in its pledge:
    "The principal human rights problems were the inability of citizens to change their government peacefully, restriction of fundamental civil liberties, and pervasive denial of noncitizen workers' rights. The monarch-appointed government prohibited organized political parties and restricted civil liberties, including freedoms of speech, press, and assembly and access to a fair trial for persons held under the Protection of Society Law and Combating Terrorism Law. Other continuing human rights concerns included restrictions on the freedoms of religion and movement, as foreign laborers could not freely travel abroad. Trafficking in persons, primarily in the domestic worker and labor sectors, was a problem. Legal, institutional, and cultural discrimination against women limited their participation in society...There is no specific law criminalizing domestic violence... domestic violence against women continued to be a problem."