December 20, 2010

Iran’s Human Rights Situation Receives Much Concern, Little Action at UN Human Rights Council


Washington, D.C. – A report issued by the Democracy Coalition Project (DCP) finds that Iran was the top country of concern at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in the first full year since the US joined the body. However, according to the report, the UNHRC has failed to take concrete steps regarding Iran’s human rights violations.

The report, “Human Rights Council Report Card: Government Positions on Key Issues 2009-2010,” reveals that the Iran’s human rights situation is the top country-specific issue area of concern among UNHRC member states and international human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, while the report notes that a global campaign successfully led Iran to withdraw its bid for membership on the Council, it finds that the UNHRC “failed to adopt a resolution condemning violations in the country or heed the call to establish a special rapporteur to monitor” the human rights situation in Iran.

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has joined international human rights NGOs in calling for the international community to take concrete steps to extend protection for human rights in Iran, including by establishing an independent UN human rights monitor for Iran.

NIAC has argued that serious multilateral efforts are critical to successfully addressing Iran’s human rights situation. Accordingly, NIAC has urged the Obama Administration to seriously engage the international community to ensure that US membership on the UNHRC yields meaningful results in advancing protections for human rights in Iran. Critics of US participation on the Council, including incoming House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), have argued the opposite—that the US should readopt the Bush Administration policy of disengagement from multilateral institutions like the UNHRC.

The next opportunity for meaningful action on Iran from the UNHRC will be in March when the body reconvenes. NIAC has urged that the US work with the international community to ensure that a mandate for an independent UN human rights monitor on Iran is established during this session.




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