Rights activists hail Venezuela’s departure from UN Human Rights Council as a victory
Activists celebrate last week’s news that Venezuela was removed from the UN Human Rights Council.
Last week’s vote at the UN Human Rights Council to remove Venezuela from the council was a victory for Venezuela’s rights campaigners.
The country’s departure from the human rights council was a result of a series of attacks on the council by wealthy countries that fund it. The attack was in response to the council’s vote on Venezuela’s political prisoners and other measures to support Venezuela’s national security.
The council voted to block Venezuela from the council for three years. The vote was 7-2, with Venezuela’s two American allies, Guatemala and Panama voting against it.
The vote at the UN Human Rights Council against Venezuela was largely seen as a setback for the rights groups that had put a lot of effort into pushing the Venezuelan government to withdraw from the body.
However, Venezuela’s decision to exit the human rights council was more than just a symbolic victory for Venezuela’s rights activists. It is a victory for the whole of the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Venezuela’s decision to exit the Human Rights Council will have far reaching consequences for people with human rights abuses from anywhere in the hemisphere. In recent years it has received widespread international attention for the rights violations carried out in the context of the conflict leading to the deaths of more than a thousand people, most of them civilians, in the ongoing conflict between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.
The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva holds periodic meetings to discuss human rights abuses that range from violations of international humanitarian law through to domestic and sexual harassment in different countries on the planet. The debates within the council also discuss issues such as international terrorism, international humanitarian law, gender-based violence, and indigenous rights.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has also consistently supported the work of the UN Human Rights Council, and has repeatedly stated that the council has the duty to ensure that human rights abuses are prevented through human rights resolutions.
The ICJ writes in its latest report on the UN