UPR and Israel « IntLawGrrls

Rosa blogged at IntLawGrrls:

“The United Nations Human Rights Council is conducting the second cycle of its Universal Periodic Review mechanism. In January this year, Israel became the first country to refuse to attend its review session. That decision has been a diplomatic disaster. The Council has rescheduled the review for Tuesday 29th October. The question now is whether or not Israel will send a delegate to participate in this rescheduled session. So far, during the mechanism’s first two cycles, every single UN member state has attended its own review session. Every country, that is, except for Israel. The UPR relies upon universality – meaning that any country that pulls out can topple the house of cards. If Israel does not send someone – anyone – then its non-participation will both weaken the UPR and that country’s standing in the eyes of all of its peers.”

UPR and Israel « IntLawGrrls.

Failing to Protect: The UN and the Politicisation of Human Rights

New book published by Hurst in May 2014.

From the publisher:

Every year tens of millions of individuals suffer grave abuses of their human rights. These violations occur worldwide, in war-torn countries and in the wealthiest states. Despite many of the abuses being well-documented, little seems to be done to stop them from happening. The United Nations was established to safeguard world peace and security, development, and human rights yet it is undeniable that currently is it failing to protect the rights of a great many people –– from the victims of ethnic cleansing, to migrants, those displaced by war and women who suffer horrendous abuse. This book looks at the reasons for that failure. Using concrete examples intertwined with explanations of the law and politics of the UN, Rosa Freedman offers clear explanations of how and why the Organisation is unable, at best, or unwilling, at worst, to protect human rights. Written for a non-specialist audience, her book also seeks to explain why certain countries and political blocs manipulate and undermine the UN’s human rights machinery. Failing to Protect demonstrates the urgent need for radical reform of the machinery of human rights protection at the international level.

Haiti Cholera Claims: Absolute Immunity vs Human Rights

Rosa blogged at IntLawGrrls:

“On Monday, the United Nations formally declined to award compensation to individuals in Haiti who were affected by a cholera outbreak that began in October 2010. The UN failed to screen its peacekeepers for the disease prior to them entering into Haiti. Nepalese troops brought the disease into Haiti, a country that had not been affected by cholera for over 50 years. Poor waste management at the UN peacekeepers’ camp resulted in infected human faeces being deposited in a tributary that feeds into Haiti’s main river. Within the first 30 days, Haitian authorities recorded almost 2,000 deaths from cholera. In July 2011, the epidemic infected at a pace of one person every minute. The impact of the cholera outbreak has been devastating. Almost three years on from the outbreak, the country is still struggling to rid itself of the disease.”

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Backwards Step on LGBT Rights « IntLawGrrls

Rosa blogged at IntLawGrrls:

“Last week, South Africagay flag quietly announced that it will not table a resolution on Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 23rd Session. There had been significant expectation from states and civil society that the resolution would be discussed at the session, which is currently taking place in Geneva. The announcement is disappointing and demonstrates a step backwards in the fight for universal protection and promotion of sexual orientation and gender identity rights. At present, we can only speculate about the reasons for South Africa’s decision, although a brief exploration of the history and politics over recent years will lead us to make some educated guesses.”

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Backwards Step on LGBT Rights « IntLawGrrls.

Book launch and signing at the UN Library, Geneva

Book presentation and signing

The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Critique and Early Assessment by Rosa Freedman

Cover for Dr Rosa Freedman, The United Nations Human Rights Council - A Critique and Early Assessment, Routledge, 2013

The United Nations Human Rights Council – A Critique and Early Assessment, Dr Rosa Freedman

The Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

About the book

The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Council’s mandate and founding principles demonstrate that one of the main aims, at its creation, was for the Council to overcome the Commission’s flaws. Despite the need to avoid repeating its predecessor’s failings, the Council’s form, nature and many of its roles and functions are strikingly similar to those of the Commission. This book examines the creation and formative years of the United Nations Human Rights Council and assesses the extent to which the Council has fulfilled its mandate. International law and theories of international relations are used to examine the Council and its functions. Council sessions, procedures and mechanisms are analysed in-depth, with particular consideration given to whether the Council has become politicised to the same extent as the Commission. Whilst remaining aware of the key differences in their functions, Rosa Freedman compares the work of the Council to that of treaty-based human rights bodies. The author draws on observations from her attendance at Council proceedings in order to offer a unique account of how the body works in practice.

About the author

Rosa Freedman completed her undergraduate studies at Queen Mary University of London and her LLM in Public International Law at University College London. She was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn before beginning her doctoral studies, which was funded by the University of London. Rosa started working at Birmingham Law School in 2011. She has published academic articles on international law, international human rights law and international institutions. Her research is interdisciplinary, focus-ing on law, international relations and post-colonial studies. Rosa also writes comment pieces on a wide range of legal matters for The Guardian, Huffington Post and UK Human Rights Blog. She provides research and expertise to a number of national and international NGOs.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013, at 13:00

UNOG Library Events Room (B-135)• Palais des Nations, Door 20, 1st floor • Geneva, Switzerland

Light refreshments will be served. Kindly confirm your participation at