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The Role of the Human Rights Council in Implementing the Responsibility to Protect

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
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Over the past fifteen years since the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect, all eyes have been on the UN Security Council and its ability to respond to situations at imminent risk of, or experiencing, atrocity crimes. To the contrary, little attention has been given to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (hrc) and its procedures and mechanisms. This is interesting considering that the hrc has responded to emerging and protracted atrocity situations around the world, often at times when the Security Council remained silent. hrc response to atrocities in Myanmar, Venezuela, and elsewhere highlights the unique role it can play in implementing R2P and triggering follow-up action outside of Geneva; yet, much remains to be done to overcome both institutional and political challenges to fully utilise the hrc’s potential to uphold our individual and shared responsibility to protect.

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