UN begins review of Nigeria’s human rights record, 13 other countries

UN’s highest human rights body, the Human Rights Council (HRC), will start reviewing the track records of Nigeria and 13 other countries on Monday.

The process is called — Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and the ultimate goal is to improve human rights situation for people around the globe.

The UPR review sessions take place for two weeks, three times a year, and 14 countries are reviewed in each session – a total of 42 per year.

This time, the countries will be reviewed in this order: Saudi Arabia, Senegal, China, Nigeria, Mexico, Mauritius, Jordan, Malaysia, the Central African Republic, Monaco, Belize, Chad, Congo and Malta.

Every four and a half years, the 193 UN Member States undergo interactive review of human rights situation in their countries on rotational basis.

The idea is to give equal treatment to all the countries and allow them to exchange best practices.

The Human Rights Council was created in 2006 as part of a general wave of reforms of the UN system, composed of 47 Member States, elected by the UN’s 193 Member States.

However, any country can take part in the discussions held during a review; each state review is led by group of three countries (known as “troikas”), randomly chosen.

Information and evidence are presented, and questions are asked by special independent experts (called ‘Special Rapporteurs’), and the UN’s Member States.

Civil-society organisations can also submit questions and evidence through country representatives.

The country under review is given a chance to explain the actions they have taken, or plan to take, to address the issues presented.

Recommendations are officially made, and technical assistance provided where needed, with each country’s review lasting about three and a half hours.

The UPR assesses the human rights obligations set out in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the human rights treaties ratified by the reviewed Member State, and International Humanitarian Law.

Daily trust

Hassan Usman Author

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