Easier Said Than Done Report for the 40th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
This Easier Said Than Done (ESTD) report is a part of the series started in 2007 to review the voting patterns of Commonwealth member states at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. It provides a basis for evaluating their engagement with the Council and examines whether their voting behaviour in support of resolutions is consistent with their voluntary pledges and commitments made to the HRC. In 2017, at the end of the HRC’s first decade, CHRI conducted a study, ‘The Commonwealth at the Human Rights Council: A Decade of Voting’, to understand the extent to which voting behaviour actualised the safeguarding of human rights by member states in conformity with their own voluntary pledges and their commitments at the HRC.
This ESTD report summarizes and presents an analysis of the performance of the following 11 Commonwealth member states during the 40th session of the HRC: Australia, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Fiji, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). It highlights the disparities between human rights promises made by Council members and their implementation at the national levels. Overall, the ESTD series seeks to bridge gaps between international human rights systems and local landscapes at the country level.
The series seeks to present a clear picture of the activities of Commonwealth member states in the HRC and track thematic developments there, along with shifts in foreign policy approaches of member states on rights issues. The report aims to highlight institutional and human rights concerns in the HRC and explain discrepancies in the behaviour of the member state. It calls for greater accountability so that member states act in accordance with their pledges and commitments.
The ESTD reports contribute towards enabling and strengthening stakeholders’ access to the HRC. It is an information- sharing tool which aims to reach a wider audience. The target groups include civil society, national human rights institutions as well as researchers, who are otherwise unable to access the HRC. The report promotes the accountability of member states and furthers efforts for human rights protection in the Commonwealth through dialogue and data- driven advocacy.