How do candidates for the Human Rights Council elections 2022-2024 rate?

ISHR has published ‘scorecards’ for States seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council for 2022-2024  to help inform voting States’ decisions in the upcoming election.

To coincide with the Human Rights Council Pledging Event hosted by ISHR and Amnesty International, ISHR has published a 'scorecard' for each State seeking election to the Human Rights Council and regional cards comparing candidates States of every region. 

The scorecards offer a quick ‘at-a-glance' objective comparison of the human rights record of each candidate through criteria such as focusing on their cooperation with human rights bodies such as the Council, their support for civil society, their engagement with UN Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures, among others.

Candidates were also expected to put forward voluntary pledges and commitments on what they will achieve as members – at both domestic and international level. Together, both should inform voting States’ decisions of whether to support them in the election.

Through Council membership, States commit themselves to 'uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,' and to fully cooperate with the Council and its mechanisms. Voting States must treat human rights considerations as paramount in electing members to the Council, and prioritise human rights over political or economic interests.

 

Who are the candidates to the Human Rights Council elections 2022-2024? 

This year 18 countries are running for 18 seats. Scorecards of the candidates are as below [Update 1st September 2021: there has been several changes in candidacies and we are in the process of updating the scorecards]: 

  • African States: Benin, Cameroon, Eritrea, The Gambia, Somalia (5 candidates for 5 seats: closed slate)
  • Asia and the Pacific States: India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, (5 candidates for 5 seats: closed slate)
  • Latin America and Caribbean States: Argentina, Honduras and Paraguay (3 candidates for 3 seats: closed slate)
  • Western Europe and other States: Finland, Luxembourg and the United States of America (3 candidates for 3 seats: closed slate)
  • Central and Eastern Europe States: Lithuania and Montenegro (2 candidates for 2 seats: closed slate)

 

To date, the following countries have published voluntary pledges: Argentina, Finland, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Paraguay, United Arab Emirates, United States of America

 

Sources and criteria for the scorecards

The sources and criteria for the scorecards are set out below:

ELEMENT

SOURCE

Previous terms

OHCHR website, List of past members of the Human Rights Council

Voluntary pledges

Submitted a public pledge on its candidacy

United Nations Documents Search

Submitted its public pledge on its candidacy in a timely manner

United Nations Documents Search 

Strengthening the Council’s effectiveness

Pledged to strengthen Human Rights Council membership and adherence to membership standards

Signed the joint statement at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council presented by the Netherlands, or pledges to sign on to an Incoming Members’ Pledge, akin to the joint statement at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council delivered by Australia, or the joint statement delivered by Fiji at the 40th session, the joint statement delivered by the Marshall Islands at the 43rd session, the joint statement delivered by Senegal at the 46th session or otherwise formally commits by way of statement to the Human Rights Council to the principles reflected in these joint statements.

Committed to applying an objective, human rights-based criteria in addressing situations of concern

Signed the joint statement at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council presented by the Netherlands, or pledges to sign on to an Incoming Members’ Pledge, akin to the joint statement at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council delivered by Australia, or the joint statement delivered by Fiji at the 40th session, the joint statement delivered by the Marshall Islands at the 43rd session, the joint statement delivered by Senegal at the 46th session or otherwise formally commits by way of statement to the Human Rights Council to the principles reflected in these joint statements.

Played a leadership role on country situations at the Council

Fulfilled commitments set out in the joint statement at the 32nd Council session presented by Ireland, resulting in significant attention on at least two country situations, by leading (pen holder) or delivering a joint statement dedicated fully or substantially to a country situation, or leading a resolution (pen holder or member of core group) or a request for a special session (initiating the request as a sponsor).

*This includes any country situation in respect of which the State has played a non-public leadership role resulting in collective action at the Council

Cooperation with Special Procedures

Issued a standing invitation to Special Procedures

OHCHR website, Standing Invitations

Consistently responded positively to country visit requests (Less than 5 outstanding)

OHCHR website, Country visits and special procedures

*Country visits requests made more than 6 years ago without a reminder sent by the special procedures are not counted.

Sent a substantive reply to more than 80% of communications received from Special Procedures

OHCHR database, Communications sent and replies received

Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Has the State developed and published an action plan for implementation of the UPR recommendations?

Information provided and published by the State

Has the State submitted a UPR mid-term report?

OHCHR mid-term report page

Treaty bodies

Ratified the 9 core international human rights treaties plus the related optional protocols?

 

Ratified the 9 core international human rights treaties or more (Optional Protocols): ICCPR, ICESCR,  ICERD, CEDAW, CRC, CAT, CED, CPRD, ICMW , OHCHR website, Ratification status

  

Optional Protocols: ICCPR OP1 (complaints) and 2 (death penalty), OP-ICESCR (complaints), OP-CEDAW (complaints), CRC OPACT, CRC OPSC, CRC OPIC, OPCAT,   OP-CRPD (complaints)

Has accepted all individual complaint mechanisms?

Individual complaints mechanisms of 9 core international human rights treaties:

ICCPR-OP1, CAT (art 22), CERD (art 14), CEDAW-OP, CRPD-OP, CED (art 31), CMW (art 77), ICESR-OP, CRC-OPIC

Has 3 or fewer outstanding treaty body reports

OHCHR website, Reporting Status

Civil Society

No case of unresolved reprisals highlighted in Secretary-General reports (2010-2019)

OHCHR website, Acts of intimidation and reprisal for cooperation with the special procedures

Spoken out expressing concern about particular cases of reprisals

Publicly expressed concern about particular cases of reprisals, such as: under Items 2, 4 or 5 or during the annual interactive dialogue with the Assistant Secretary General on reprisals or during the UPR or in resolutions

The State has consistently sponsored Council and Third Committee resolutions on human rights defenders, civil society space and reprisals

Sponsored more than 8 of the following resolutions: Human Rights Council resolutions 13/13, 22/6 & 31/32, 40/22 (human rights defenders), 24/21, 38/12 (civil society space), 12/12, 24/24, 36/21 (reprisals), 25/18 & 34/5 (renewal of mandate of Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders); General Assembly resolutions: 66/164, 68/181, 70/161, 72/247

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs)

Has an NHRI in conformity with the Paris Principles (A-status)

GANHRI, Status of National Institutions

United Nations Contributions

Has paid its UN contributions?

Paid its contributions for the year 2020 by end of year, UN Committee on Contributions

Acknowledging the limitations of objective criteria in providing a complete picture, we encourage these 'at-a-glance' objective scorecards to be read in conjunction with the more in-depth reporting on country situations and human rights records such as the world reports produced by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. 

 

Attend our pledging event!

Voting on candidates for the Human Rights Council will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2021. Ahead of the elections, ISHR and Amnesty International will hold a Pledging event to take place online on September 8, 2021.

Attend the event! 

We encourage all States, civil society, national human rights institutions as well as international and regional human rights experts to attend and participate in the event including by posing pertinent questions to the candidates using the hashtag #HRCelections2021 on Twitter.

Join our campaign!

Join our campaign!

19 countries are running for a seat at the Human Rights Council. All of them need to improve their human rights record. Join us to make sure the Council remains strong and principled!

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