US quits UN Human Rights Council, as it faces criticism over detention of children at borders

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein  who has been very critical of US border policy of separating migrant children from parents slammed the US move  as “Disappointing”.

He  called on Washington to halt its “unconscionable”  border policy.

Rights groups have criticized the Trump administration for not making human rights a priority in its foreign policy.

Critics say this sends a message that the administration turns a blind eye to human rights abuses in some parts of the world.

Diplomats have said the U.S. withdrawal from the body could bolster countries such as Cuba, Russia, Egypt and Pakistan, which resist what they see as U.N. interference in sovereign issues.

Among reforms the United States had been seeking was to make it easier to kick out member state with egregious rights records.

Haley said the U.S. withdrawal from the Human Rights Council “is not a retreat from our human rights commitments.”

Twelve rights and aids groups, including Human Rights First, Save the Children and CARE, wrote Pompeo to warn the withdrawal would “make it more difficult to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world.”

“The U.S.’s absence will only compound the council’s weaknesses,” they wrote.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program, said Trump’s “misguided policy of isolationism only harms American interests and betrays our values as a nation.”

Jewish rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center applauded the U.S. withdrawal and urged other countries to do the same.

Reuters reported last week that talks on reforming the council had failed to meet Washington’s demands, suggesting the Trump administration would quit.

The council meets three times a year to examine human rights violations worldwide. It has mandated independent investigators to look at situations including Syria, North Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.

Its resolutions are not legally binding but carry moral authority.

Speaking before the U.S. announcement, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “is a strong believer in the human rights architecture of the U.N. and the active participation of all states.”

When the Council was created in 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration shunned the body.

Under President Barack Obama the United States was elected for a maximum two consecutive terms on the council by the U.N. General Assembly.

After a year off, Washington was re-elected in 2016 for its current third term.

In March 2011, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously suspended Libya’s membership in the council because of violence against protesters by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

But U.N. officials said no member has withdrawn.

Haley said a year ago Washington was reviewing its membership and called for reform and elimination of a “chronic anti-Israel bias.”

The body has a permanent standing agenda item on suspected violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories that Washington wanted removed.

The council last month voted to probe killings in Gaza and accused Israel of using excessive force.

The United States and Australia cast the only “no” votes.

“The U.N. Human Rights Council has played an important role in such countries as North Korea, Syria, Myanmar and South Sudan, but all Trump seems to care about is defending Israel,” said Human Rights Watch executive director Ken Roth.

UN back to business as usual with empty U.S. seat

The United Nations’ Human Rights Council returned to business as usual Wednesday despite the U.S. pulling out — what one Western diplomat called a “big bang”— a day earlier.

The UN’s top rights body, based in Geneva, took up a discussion on summary executions and freedom of expression with the U.S. seats unoccupied.

Diplomats made no immediate or direct mention Wednesday of the American move. But one Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said the U.S. was notably absent from an informal back room meeting in Belarus that it might normally have attended.

Russia’s U.N. mission said in a statement that the U.S. exit from the Council reflected Washington’s unilateralist approach to global affairs.

It said the U.S. had tried but failed to turn the body into an “obedient instrument for advancing their interests and punishing the countries it dislikes,” and that American criticism of the body for failing to make changes advocated by Washington appeared “cynical.”

The Russian mission described the council as a “key international platform for cooperation in protecting human rights.”

Reuters/ France24/AP

  • Arzna

    Another senseless Trump move

    • vs

      more sense and saved money than in your comment

      • Arzna

        It takes humans to believe in Human rights .
        f you love Trump so much we will gladly ship him over to you.
        Do you want him gift wrapped too … there is no extra charge but be extra careful when you unwrap him … you never know what to expect . Remember … he doesn’t like immigrants

        • vs

          95% “humans” are fools like You, recursively. You are usual liberal fundamentalist (“Human” rights of cannibals vandals) Trump is not. You can bark on Trump more like

          rabbit masturbating about the trough

          • Arzna

            Remember again he doesn’t like immigrants …. so be careful what you say .

          • vs

            I’m Jew, living in North Israel (Galilee) 10 km between Armageddon and Nazareth. Welcome, Arzna, welcome Trump, visit me hope like. Love me – love my umbrella. Arzna does’t like Jew (me)… be careful what you say

          • Arzna

            Thanks for the invitation. You never know …one day I may surprise you and knock at your door. It may be years before I can do that , because as you know our countries are technically at war . Lets both pray that one day we will all be living in peace in this troubled region and visiting each other
            Believe me I am against any form of discrimination , be it color, origin, religion , age etc etc
            am also a strong believer in human rights .

          • vs

            Thank You. Just Human rights must not be replaced by vandals rights by Liberal Fundamentalism (new religion – bureaucracy)

          • vs

            my say is my think and no bad motivation at all

          • Niemals
  • vs

    First time that the hypocrisy of UNHRC set on real fire! Applauses to Nikki Haley!

  • Rascal

    “Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic rights,” said Haley, citing Venezuela, China, Cuba and Democratic Republic of Congo.
    Haley also said the “disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.”

  • Hind Abyad
  • Hind Abyad

    Referencing toddler Ali Saad Dawabshe, killed in a 2015 arson attack carried out by Jewish terrorists, right-wing extremists chanted “Where is Ali? Ali’s dead,” “Ali’s on the grill” and other hate slogans.

  • Niemals

    It’s no longer Zionists terrorists? as those arabs, they don’t chant kill the Zionists… with the Turkish flag.

    The Palestinian arabs aren’t afraid to show their true colors in Sweden;
    Some samples

  • Niemals

    More syrians arrested….
    Last year, a 35-year-old man in the city of Düsseldorf was arrested for having allegedly killed more than 30 people in Syria, as a member of the terrorist organization the al-Nusra Front.

    The German authorities detained a 28-year-old Syrian man on Thursday, in connection with alleged war crimes.
    The arrest took place in on Wednesday in the south-western city of Freiburg.

    The alleged crimes are said to have taken place in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

    The 28-year-old man is accused of cruel and inhumane treatment of two men in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. The men were under the suspect’s custody at the time they suffered the alleged abuses.

    He is said to have beaten the men, while they were half-naked, with the use of a cable.
    His victims were alleged supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    Many survivors of torture from the Syrian civil war have been turning to the Bundesgerichte in search for justice and German authorities have arrested several people across the country in connection with crimes committed in Syria.

    Do you remember the attack in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg done by a 19-year-old syrian asylum seeker?
    This attack had caused nationwide outrage – high-ranking politicians as well as Kanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) were affected.

  • Niemals

    The image of the girl who cries when her mom is on body search after crossing the US border has become a symbol of the United States hard-criticized migration policy in which migrant families deprived their children.
    However according to the guard who searched the mother, the child and her mother was never apart.

    The photograph gives an accurate picture of what happened on June 10 at the US-Mexico border, according to a border guard Carlos Ruiz, who encountered the girl with her mother.

    We asked her to put the child in front of her, not away from her, so we could crawl the mother. The child started to cry immediately when she was put down. I went to the mother and asked her, “Are you ok? Is the child ok? “And she replied: Yes, she is tired and thirsty. The time is 23 at night, he says to CBS News.

    According to Carlos Ruiz, the mother had to pick up the child immediately after the search.

    It took less than two minutes. As soon as the scan was complete, she picked up the girl and the girl stopped crying immediately, he said.

    The mother and child has never have been apart, according to Carlos Ruiz, who is critical of how the image is used, including the Times.