Yesterday, the United States of America (US) retired from the Human Rights Council. The announcement was made by US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley, alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department. The two ministers denounced a « hypocritical » and « selfish » institution accused of being « a source of embarrassment » for the United States, though criticized for their migration policy.

The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006, with the main purpose of addressing situations of Human rights violations as well as issuing recommendations against them. Made up of 47 States, they are responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of Human rights around the globe.

This withdrawal is one more on the US’s list as they already withdrew from the trans-Pacific partnership, the Paris Agreement, the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) and the UNESCO. It is in line with the unilateralist and willingly isolationist policy of a Trump Administration defiant towards international organizations.

In recent days, Donald Trump has been sharply criticized for his firm stance on the separation of children from their parents on the Mexican border. The growl came from his own side since Melania Trump herself stood against this situation. The UN seized the debate on the 18th of June as well as… the Human Rights Council. High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein declared that it is inadmissible “to think that a State seeks to dissuade parents by inflicting ill-treatment on children”

This disengagement « is not a good signal when human rights are massively put to the test, » said François Delattre, the French representative to the UN, which recalls that « they are two great personalities French and American, René Cassin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who have written together the Declaration of Human Rights, whose 70th anniversary we are celebrating this year.”

What an irony that the US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council occurs at this moment. Today is International Refugee Day. The protection of Human rights has never been so crucial as one person every 2 second is forced to flee their home due to war in the world.

 

Ludivine Plenchette

 

For further information

About the Human Rights Council:

UNHRC Website – https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/Home.aspx

“Almost 2000 children separated from families”:

The Independent – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/children-separated-trump-immigration-policy-zero-tolerance-parents-border-a8401526.html

For an alternative point of view of the fact:

Timesofisrael website – https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-poised-to-quit-uns-human-rights-council-over-anti-israel-bias/

About the International Refugee Day: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/46871/world-refugee-day-belongs-most-vulnerable-–-eu-stands-them_en