28 Oct 2016
2017-2019 UN Human Rights Council Elections and the Responsibility to Protect

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect welcomes the election of 14 members to the Human Rights Council for the period of 2017 to 2019. The Global Centre also notes that Iraq, Croatia, and Rwanda will serve their first term on the Human Rights Council. With the election of Rwanda, Japan, Hungary, United Kingdom and United States, 18 of the 47 Council members are also members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect.

Mass atrocity crimes - genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing - are usually the culmination of sustained human rights abuses. By addressing specific risk factors for mass atrocities, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms (including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Special Procedures and treaty bodies) help to uphold our collective responsibility to protect.Since 2008, the Human Rights Council has referred to states' responsibility to protect their populations in over 20 thematic and country resolutions. However, more work is needed to translate the rhetoric of prevention
into a practical reality.

The Global Centre has compiled profiles on each of the newly-elected Human Rights Council members. These provide a basic overview of their engagement with R2P and their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights.