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The US government’s decision to “re-engage” with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that US President Joe Biden has promised. Yet key details remain to be worked out.…
The 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
News
The United States government's decision to "reengage" with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that President Joe Biden promised in his major foreign policy speech.…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News
Diplomats at the United Nations Human Rights Council don’t expect someone allegedly associated with a death squad to be among their colleagues. Yet that is the situation confronting officials in Geneva since Sri Lanka’s new permanent…
News
As Joe Biden settles into his presidency, in addition to facing a pandemic and economic crisis, he will hear demands for accountability. If President Biden is going to help restore a robust commitment to the rule of law, he will need to reach…
News
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
News
Last year in Geneva, Iceland put the Philippines in the hot seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council for its murderous “war on drugs.” The boldness of a small country with no axe to grind against the Philippine government – acting solely…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News
As I sat behind the safety glass of a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay in mid-January, for the pre-trial hearings of the five men charged as conspirators in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, my mind kept wandering to a different prison, halfway…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
News
As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
News
It would be easy to give up on the United Nations Human Rights Council, as the Trump administration has done. Based in Geneva, the council is supposed to be a beacon for the world, a place where victims of human rights violations can look for abusive…
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Montserrat listens during the opening of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on September 11, 2017.
News
The corrupt and oppressive government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela has detained and tortured political opponents, shot demonstrators, and left the country so economically devastated that more than 4 million people—some 10 percent of…
The Exiles: A Trip to the Border Highlights Venezuela’s Devastating Humanitarian Crisis
News
The scars ran deep. His back was a maze of thick welts, thinner scars and parts that resembled small craters. His wrists and ankles were raw from where he’d been shackled and suspended from a ceiling for hours, and his limbs appeared…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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Iceland’s Leadership a Model for Others

What we witnessed at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council earlier this month was inspiring and critically important. We saw Iceland’s principled leadership in action, bringing about  the adoption of a resolution putting the human…
Families of victims of the "war on drugs" in the Philippines remove portraits of their slain relatives after the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution to investigate the killings.
News
It was a spectacle unlike anything else seen here in Geneva while I was attending the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Philippine delegation, led by Undersecretary Severo Catura, walked out during an informal…
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN high commissioner for human rights, speaks at the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, September 11, 2017.
News
Shortly after arriving in New York as Donald Trump’s representative to the United Nations, Nikki Haley said she would be “taking names” of those who stood in her way. Most assumed she was referring to governments that blocked U.S.…
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks in the U.N. Security Council at U.N. headquarters in New York City, U.S., February 28, 2017.
News
When it comes to diplomacy, the government of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka likes to portray engagement and interest, in contrast to the surly defiance of the previous Rajapaksa government. It was no different…
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 19, 2017.
News
Much concern has been raised, for good reason, about President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel allegedly was involved in reckless, illegal torture under the agency’s “rendition,…
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018. © 2018 CIA handout
News
As of today, the United States has used its Guantanamo Bay facility for 16 years to detain people it alleges pose a security threat without charge or fair trial. The number of people locked up has been reduced from 780 at the peak to 41…
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