UNHRC: Going (Too) Far, Missing Points of Urgency


In Indonesia, racial and religious minorities are becoming victims of discrimination due to the tensions and power-thirsty politicians. In some African and Islam-based countries, people with unique sexual orientation and gender expression are facing criminal sanctions and death sentences. France released a state sanction for those who choose to wear religious attributes in public. So far, how does the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) address those?

            To be frank, the conference today, August 2, has addressed none of the above…yet. This is of course disappointing to most of us. When the world wants urgent solutions for the newly emerging problems, member states decided to avoid the most crucial discussions.

            Instead of debating on whether or not the Uighurs deserve concentration camps and “re-education”, or whether or not the homosexuals deserve equal marital rights like the heterosexuals, members of the council like the Delegate of People’s Republic of China and others avoid such topics and, instead, continue discussing about public education. Such topic is of course irrelevant when you talk about the discriminative policies released by politicians with great-to-perfect educational backgrounds. Forget education of regular citizens; too many Non-Governmental Organizations have educated them through the most accessible mediums possible.

            While the council members do not bother to reach consensus on the definition of “minority”, they are already going too far by setting several controversial parameters as “good treatments for the minority”. Delegation of Philippines, for instance, has mentioned about LGBTQ+ rights and how they are proud as one of the few countries in their continent to acknowledge them. In the other hand, as we interviewed the Delegation of Afghanistan, they mentioned that LGBTQ+ rights should only be limited to giving them “treatments to cure their mental illness”, not acknowledging their rights to express themselves freely.

            If common understanding on the said issues are not reached yet, then what can we expect from this council? The answer is, we do not know. With only six committee sessions left, delegates should be aware of the time limit they have, as they are expected to pass a resolution on August 4.