UN Human Rights Commission Becoming Increasingly Irrelevant
Every 10th of December of a year is observed as Human Rights Day. However, 10 Dec 2022 was being perceived as more of “Human Disenfranchisement Day” for very obvious reasons that more and more people the world over are witnessing the “Denial of Rights” despite the UN Human Rights claiming otherwise. In the last 3 decades or so, Human Lives all over the world have become more insecure than ever before.
Today “Human Rights” has become one of the most controversial subjects. This term coined following World War II for initiating punitive actions primarily against the Germans and the Japanese for their war crimes, has lost its relevance. Following the formation of UN in 1945 through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Panel in 1948, this charter was essentially for the “dignity, freedom, justice and peace for all human beings in the world” that intended to impart Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to all. This included the rights to ethnic and religious minorities as well. Later, refugees incl women and children were added in the list. Today, many of those basic provisions of Human Values stand eroded with UN, UNSC and UNHRC meekly taking up the cause in some cases but remaining mute spectators in many others. In the last several months, while the UN debated the concerns of rights violations in Ukraine, little was done to raise the issues of gross violations elsewhere in Afro-Asia esp Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.
Human rights violations occur when the States or non-State actors breach any or many of the provisions of the UDHR or other international norms on human rights or humanitarian laws. In regard to Human Rights violations article 39 of the United Nations Charter designates the UN Security Council as the only tribunal, that may determine Human Rights violations. However, the special powers given to the P-5 have made it useless. Human Rights abuses are supposed to be monitored by United Nations committees, national institutions & governments and many independent non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, World Organisation Against Torture, Freedom House, International Freedom of Expression Exchange and Anti-Slavery International. These organisations are expected to collect the evidence of human rights abuses free of any biases to document in their annual/special reports before submitting to the UN. However very often their collections of data and inferences are heavily biased. The 2022 Human Rights report of Pakistan mentions that Amnesty and other agencies were under threat of bodily harm (incl rape and death) if they reported the wrongdoings of the state-protected terrorists, yet it was accepted on its face-value (read “Highly biased Human Rights report 2022” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/highly-biased-human-rights-report-2022-india-vs-pakistan/). A gross bias was also observed in the Amnesty International report on Rights abuse by Israel in which one sided report of disproportionate violence was reported while not a single mention was made of the indulgence by Hamas and the World Jihad Council terrorists inciting it all (read “Biased and Shameless Amnesty International” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/biased-shameless-amnesty-international-part-1/). In addition to all these, the stronger or more influential the nations (or group of nations), the more are the biases. In such list of influentials, three categories often escape the culpabilities for rights violations as mentioned below:-
- Strong P-5 Nations (USA, China, Russia, France and UK),
- The influential group of nations (Organisation of Islamic Countries, European Union, African Union)
- Strongest military block of nations (NATO)
Today, the world is a mute witness to the dying people as acts of war be it Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Pakistan to name a few. In recent months the world has witnessed as to how the UNSC has become a spineless body in taking a stand on Ukraine war (read “Showing two fingers to the useless UNSC” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/showing-two-fingers-to-unsc/). Parallelly, human tragedy has been going on for years in the form of illegal migrant ingress into Europe but little is being done to prevent it. The radical and hardliner Muslims among them are already creating law & order problems (incl rapes of women) in the nations offering them shelter. Bangladesh, world’s most densely populated nation, is marred with nearly a million of Bangla-speaking Rohingya Muslim migrants. India, the other densely populated nation (which is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Charter), is struggling with nearly 50 million illegal Bangladeshi & Rohingya Muslim migrants. There is no effort by the UN to relocate the huge sea of illegal migrants elsewhere in the sparsely populated world.
The world wonders how religious minorities have vanished from the Islamic nations which can be considered the biggest rights violations and genocides. However, OIC being a very influential block, seldom a credible investigation by neutral agencies been initiated (read “Deafening Silence of UNHRC on Persecution of Religious Minorities in Islamic Nations” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/deafening-silence-of-unhrc-on-persecution-of-religious-minorities-in-islamic-nations/). Rights violations of women & children esp of the religious minorities by the Islamists are matters of daily occurrences in nations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria but the Human Rights watchdogs have conveniently closed their eyes. The ethnic black community have long been suffering discriminations in USA but not a single resolution has held them culpable. Illegal killings leading to ‘Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was only the tip of the iceberg. Several other extrajudicial killings incl those of many Sikhs, have taken place in USA that have not been investigated by the UNHRC. In the last 30 yrs or so, Radical Islamic groups have been carrying out gross rights violations in the name of ‘Jihad’ through numerous terrorist acts but the world has remained largely mute.
All sovereign nations are expected to protect their nationals against the rights abuse irrespective of religion, caste, class, ethnicity, age, sex or any other criteria. However, the Rights provisions of the early 20th century are becoming inadequate. Who in those years of Rights drafting could have imagined that a conspirator of Terror sitting in the remotest area of one country can cause devastation, massacre of innocent lives in other country or other continent? Today, there are many State supporters of terror, unhindered for decades, on various pretexts.....with both weak & mighty nations being targeted. Unfortunately, the international communities are yet to define the word “Terrorism” because it does not suit some states who are either the perpetrators themselves or harbour terrorists on their soil for narrow geo-political or socio-religious gains. Also, UN has been alleged to be partisan in its approach....through banning and applying wide sanctions against some and turning a blind eye to the others.
In spite of the UN charters on Human Rights, violations by States and non-State actors have been continuing. Black community remains at the edge of social inequality esp in the nations with white majority. The girls and women remain disadvantaged, underprivileged, socio-economically weak and exploited in orthodox families and societies. Crime against women is ever increasing. Children too are exploited at all levels. Their basic rights are threatened. There is rampant child labour in many countries, who are also enslaved and sexually exploited. Nobel laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi has put-in significant effort to free the bonded-labour children in India.
The lower caste individuals and their families have been suffering the worst exploitations esp in rural India. They had generations of their forefathers as bonded labour to the upper caste. It is inherent among all religions. Thanks to the upper caste reformers who have taken up their cause of equality, ending untouchability, providing reservations in education and employment. Even now, they are anywhere close to being equal but things are changing. Now some lower cast people are committing atrocities against the weaker sections of the forward caste as revenge. Some of the Tribal populations are undergoing persecution. Very recently, the entire 50-family Tribal community of Palamu in Jharkhand, India by the Muslims, fraudulently claiming the village land belonged to Waqf Board. The Muslim-appeasing govt of the state chose to remain mum.
Religious minorities in almost all Islamic countries have largely vanished and the few remaining ones continue to be persecuted but UN has turned a blind eye. The population of the religious minorities in Pakistan were approx. 21% in 1951 which is <4% now with reports coming every now & then of their persecution, forced conversion and abduction & marrying of their women to Muslims. Actually, Pakistan deserves a very special status among the extremes of Rights violators. It carried out the genocide of the Bangladeshi nationalist Muslims & Hindus from 1965 to 1971 that culminated in a full-fledged war before its liberation. Those genocides went unpunished. Pakistan also carried out genocide of Baloch people and till now, no independent investigation has been carried out. The Mohajirs and Shia Muslims are gradually being persecuted. Hundreds of Sikh and Christian women are routinely abducted, raped and forced to convert every year in Pakistan. Pakistan is the leading nation in training, harbouring and exporting Islamic terror all over the world esp to non-Islamic nations (esp India). Today, most of the international Islamic terror incidents have its threads linking it to Pakistan.
Pakistan is not alone in carrying out such atrocities on religious minorities. Sri Lanka has escaped with genocide of their Tamils. Islamic terrorism has been ongoing for decades in furthering their cause of global caliphate. Of the 57 Islamic nations, 34 are reported to be committing such crimes with impunity, with the UN watching helplessly. Only 4 Islamic majority nations can be called moderate where religious minorities are not facing extreme persecution. Non-Muslims in those nations do not enjoy the same rights as those of Muslims. They have to pay a special tax “Jajya” for their safety mentioned in their Quran and Hadith. The basic pretext being “No Dhimmi (non-Muslims) are supposed to live freely under Islam (read “Are Muslim countries really unreceptive to religious freedom (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/07/10/are-muslim-countries-really-unreceptive-to-religious-freedom/). Human Rights Watch has possibly closed its eyes to such gross Rights violations.
Tony Blair Institute for Global Change named five of the ten deadliest countries Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan & Iraq as very fragile states. Mali, Egypt, Nigeria & Pakistan are equally involved but lay outside major conflict zones. Beyond these countries, there are numerous other countries affected by violent Islamist extremism & terrorism. If UN has to have its credibility, depleting percentage of religious minorities in any member state must be probed thoroughly and the perpetrators be punished. The Human Rights panel must initiate transparent investigations at the earliest. “Jihad” as one of the seven tenets of Islam has long been used as a tool of terror on non-Muslims and unfortunately there is no word of concern from secular individuals, societies or even UN to ban it. Hate and discrimination against them are enshrined in their religious books itself (read “Is Quran a source of hate and intolerance?” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/is-quran-a-source-of-hate-and-intolerance/). All state or non-state actors presently find it convenient to pronounce Jihad and as a result, Islam is at loggerheads with almost all other religions & faiths in the world.
Muslim Women (incl those converted) have suffered the worst of rights abuse (read “Oppressed Women in Islam” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/oppressed-women-in-islam/). Islamic nations don't recognize their rights. They are denied education, kept in veils/burqa as if personal slaves. This act of Islam in Islamic nations has infuriated their women to the extent that they have started burning burqas and taken to street protests against the ill-practice that is no longer limited to Iran. Nearly 500 women have been killed by Iranian police/security forces alone and more have been punished in other nations. Why doesn’t the UNHRC condemn such atrocious practice of Islam? Why has Iran not been censured?
Islamic law gives lesser rights to their women. They cannot step out of the four walls of their homes without the company of male family members. They cannot talk to strangers, cannot use mobile phones, cannot drive a vehicle, have no right to speak out against male folks and so on.... Islamic rulers and groups have abused women esp of other religions with impunity for slavery and forced conversions. This is one of the main reasons why several states in India are promulgating laws against conversions (read ‘Combating Love Jihad’ in India’, https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/love-jihad-muslims-radical-hindu-religious-demography-kerala-conversion/). Yezdis in Iraq, Christian girls and women in Nigeria and Sikh/Hindu/Christian women in Pakistan/Afghanistan are the latest examples of such crimes. UNHRC has conveniently ignored that several of the Yezidi women are still captive by the erstwhile ISIS terrorists living in the garb of ordinary men in various cities of Iraq, Idlib of Syria and other Islamic nations. Cairo declaration 1990 by the OIC as a shield cannot be accepted in this regard. There cannot be one yardstick of Human Rights for Islamic nations and another for others.
One may question the indifference of the Human Rights Group at the UN as to why they are not seeking detailed investigations on the HR atrocities on the vanishing religious minorities in the Islamic nations. The answer to it is for everyone to see…majority of the nations in the UN Human Rights panel are from the Islamic group or their supporters (for whatever reasons). There are many “indifferent others” too, not affected by Islamic radicalism, terror or atrocities so they hardly ever show any concerns. As a result, Muslim nations are able to carry out the gradual Genocides of their religious minorities with impunity through gross HR violations.
Hindus/Sikhs/Christians are vanishing from Afghanistan/Pakistan/Bangladesh. This is an ongoing gradual process but the UN Human Rights agencies seem to be least concerned. Another gradual genocide of Christians has been going on in the Middle East countries that were reported by the then British Home secretary Jeremy Hunt (as reported in ‘The Guardian’), but the UN Rights bodies have chosen to remain mum, for not displeasing the 57-member OIC. God only knows what kind of legacy the UN Human Rights bodies are creating by being partisan and biased. While large attention is being given to ‘Climate Change’, the larger enigmas are being ignored (read ‘Climate change only part-concern of larger enigma’ https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/climate-change-part-concern-of-larger-enigma/).
It is strongly felt that time has come when UN must render a clear mandate to the Islamic nations to treat religious minorities at par with Muslims. All radical acts against non-Muslims must stop. “Jihad” should be banned as’ inhuman act’ once and for all, even if that warrants amending the relevant verses of Quran and/or Hadith that enshrine violence as a tool (read ’60 hateful & intolerant verses of Quran’ part-1, https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/60-hateful-intolerant-verses-quran-part-1/ and part-2 https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/60-hateful-intolerant-verses-quran-part-2/. Terror or violence cannot be permitted to be carried out against anyone, be it the same or other religions. If the UN bodies felt the need (and rightly so) to debate and ban Islamophobia (read ‘Factual Islamophobia in the world’, https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/factual-islamophobia-in-the-world/), they should have also had the courage to ban Hinduphobia or phobias against any other faiths (read ‘Hate against Hindu, Hinduism & Hindutva’ https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/hate-against-hindu-hinduism-hindutva/). UN Human Rights bodies must not be doing injustice by being partisan (overtly or covertly) to the religious freedom to any of the religions/faiths in any of its member nations.
Human Rights violations for any reason need condemnations. While nations may have reason to wage wars, deaths of civilians are inexcusable whether it pertains to Ukraine, Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Ethiopia or elsewhere. Rights violations against women and children are equally appalling. The worst is the biased and partisan approach of the UN Human Rights Commission in voicing concerns and investing some while conveniently ignoring others. Ms Bachelet, the previous head of UNHRC did go to Xinjiang, China but conveniently overlooked the plights of the Tibetan Buddhists. It is never too late to start. UNHRC must initiate Rights violations of Religious Minorities in all Islamic nations as mentioned above. In addition, genocides of Bangladeshis & Baloch by Pakistan Army must be initiated. All nations harbouring terror groups on their soil and exporting them elsewhere also must be investigated by independent UN bodies because those terrorists are the worst perpetrators of Rights Violations.
If the Human Rights Group of the UN/UNSC wishes to be seen as a saviour of Rights, it must reform itself and its approach towards the past as well as the presently ongoing Rights violations in any/all its member states. The UNHRC constituent Panel must represent all sections of population on realistic terms, on the basis of the percentage population of the different religions/faiths, races & ethnicities. Unless that takes place, abolition of Human Rights violations will remain a distant dream. It is immaterial as to how the “Human Rights Day” is observed the world over, the UNHRC has been making itself largely irrelevant through those biases.