China’s Interference in United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms

This report details China’s efforts to harass independent activists, primarily those from China. Chinese officials have photographed and filmed activists on UN premises in violation of UN rules, and restricted travel by mainland activists to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. China has also used its membership on the Economic and Social Council’s Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to block NGOs critical of China from being granted UN accreditation, and it has sought – and succeeded in – blacklisting accredited activists from participating in UN events.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech in the Palais des Nations at the United Nations in Geneva, January 18, 2017.


  • September 22, 2011

    One Year in the Life of the UN Human Rights Council

    The 69-page report examines the Council's work from July 2010 through June 2011, and describes some notable progress by the Council in its fifth year.
  • June 24, 2010

    The 2011 Review of the Human Rights Council

    Curing the Selectivity Syndrome examines the successes and failures of the Human Rights Council to date, and finds significant gaps in the performance of its mandate. Human Rights Watch calls on the Council to engage on all human rights situations that need its attention and to overcome selectivity in its work.
  • September 24, 2007

    Indicators for Evaluating Progress in the HRC Group of Experts Process

    On September 24, 2007, the Human Rights Council will consider an interim report by the Group of Experts (GOE) appointed on Darfur. The GOE compiled existing recommendations on Darfur in its June report, and has been working with the government of Sudan to foster their implementation.
  • September 10, 2007

    The Human Rights Council’s Backlog of Work

    As it enters its second year, the Council must take hold of the many situations that “require the HRC’s attention,” and take action of some sort to address them. The HRC’s efforts to address these situations will provide an important indication of its ability to fulfil the purpose for which it was created.
  • May 25, 2007

    A Briefing Paper by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Human Rights Watch

    In this 13-page briefing paper, Human Rights Watch and the EIPR said that Egypt’s terrible human rights record made that country a poor choice for membership. They nevertheless welcomed the Egyptian government’s public pledges to improve its practices domestically and to strengthen the capacity of the council.
  • May 15, 2007

    Analysis of Belarus’ Assertions on its Suitability for UN Rights Council Membership

    General Assembly resolution 60/251 requires that states “take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto” in voting to elect members of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
  • March 12, 2007

    In this first year of its existence, the Council is understandably preoccupied with institution building. But human rights violations haven’t been suspended while the Council focused on these tasks; in fact they have worsened in many locations. The Council’s attention to institution building has created a growing backlog of work that deserves the HRC’s attention.
  • November 13, 2006

    The task of the intergovernmental working group on review of mandates is wide-ranging and important. In this paper, Human Rights Watch identifies the six key points that should help guide the working group's review.
  • October 3, 2006

    An Analysis of the Uzbek Government’s June 30, 2006 Aide-Memoire

    In this 16-page briefing paper, Human Rights Watch analyzes an Uzbek government memorandum from June 2006, which was prepared in response to a December 2005 UN General Assembly resolution that was critical of Uzbekistan’s human rights record.
  • September 15, 2006

    New Approaches to Addressing Human Rights Situations

    The new Human Rights Council (“HRC” or “Council”) was created in order to strengthen protection for the victims of human rights violations worldwide. The Council’s ability to succeed in that mission will depend on the development of a more effective approach to consideration of human rights situations in particular countries.
  • August 18, 2006

    In May 2006, Human Rights Watch released its initial paper on the functions of the new Human Rights Council (HRC), focusing on universal periodic review (UPR), country situations, and the review of special procedures. In the ensuing months, numerous member states, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and leading scholars have offered proposals for how the UPR should be conducted.
  • May 19, 2006

    In this brief initial paper, Human Rights Watch seeks to contribute to the ongoing discussions about how the Human Rights Council should function and develop its work. The first year of the Council will be one of transition, but also a unique occasion to build a principal human rights organ that delivers results in the short, medium, and long term.
  • September 8, 2005

    Background on the human rights aspects of U.N. reform, in question-and-answer format.
  • January 1, 2001

    Government Human Rights Commissions in Africa

    State-sponsored national human rights commissions represent a new vogue among governments, and particularly in Africa. The number of state human rights commissions has multiplied across the continent in the past decade, spreading from one country in 1989 to two dozen by 2000.