PoliticsForeign Policy


The US' Departure Could Weaken The UN Human Rights Council

The Trump administration pointed to a perceived anti-Israel bias as one reason for leaving the council.
Posted at 9:38 PM, Jun 19, 2018

For the second time, the U.S. has opted not to be a part of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

When the council was founded in 2006, the Bush administration decided not to join. The Trump administration pointed to similar reasons as the Bush administration for its withdrawal on Tuesday: It says the council has a standing "anti-Israel bias" and that member states aren't held accountable for their own alleged human rights abuses. 

The HRC is responsible for "strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and [making] recommendations on them."

The Obama administration decided to join the group in 2009, saying it was easier to reform the council from the inside.

With the U.S. back on the sidelines, it could be difficult for it to promote the reforms the Bush and Trump administrations called for. It could also give countries with questionable human rights records, like China, an opportunity to push their own agendas without the U.S. there to challenge them.