The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed the first Asian and first Indian as an independent experts on racism and related intolerance. Dr Ashwini’s appointment has been officially made at the UNHRC’s session which concluded in Geneva on October 7. Three names, including that of Ashwini, were doing rounds for the post. Dr Ashwini will take over the UNHCR special rapporteur in Geneva on November 1 for a period of six years. She is the first Asian as well as the first Indian to be appointed for the post.
Notably: Ashwini’s name was part of a three-member shortlist recommended by the Consultative Group for the selection of the mandate holders to the President of the Council. Besides Ashwini, the shortlist included Joshua Castellino, also from India, and Botswana’s Unity Dow.
United Nations Human Rights Council: Important points
- The UNHRC president then nominated her to the Council, which officially appointed her just before the conclusion of its 51st session. Ashwini’s three-year term will begin on November 1.
- Ashwini will be the sixth SR to hold this mandate. All her predecessors have been from Africa.
- The SR fulfils the mandate through communications with states and issuing urgent appeals over alleged violations of international human rights laws, fact-finding country visits and reporting to the UNHRC and General Assembly.
- Ashwini, who has worked as an assistant professor of political science at Bengaluru’s St Joseph’s College, is co-founder of a non-governmental organisation, Zariya: Women’s Alliance for Dignity and Equality.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- United Nations Human Rights Council Founded: 15 March 2006;
- United Nations Human Rights Council Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland;
- United Nations Human Rights Council President: Federico Villegas.