Monday, April 6, 2020 -
Print Edition

Perverse: Slave state sits on UN’s Human Rights Council

It appears there’s always a new low to be achieved by the UN. One may have thought that slavery would be a red line for the international organization. But apparently not.

On Thursday, Oct. 17, no less than the UN Human Rights Council elected to its leadership Mauritania, a country that nearly everyone agrees continues to practice slavery. Actual human bondage. Around 90,000 human beings, many of them children, according to Global Slavery Index, in forced labor. Others estimate the number to be closer to half a million people, or 10% of the country’s population. It was no less than the UN’s own special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, who provided this figure to CNN in 2012.

The Human Rights Council? Clearly, for the UN, those words are utterly meaningless. In addition to slavery — which was only criminalized in 2007! — other human rights abuses committed by the Mauritania include, according to a 2010 US State Dept. report:

  • Female genital mutilation
  • Child marriage
  • Arbitrary arrests

That the State Dept. also says Mauritania practices racial and ethnic discrimination almost seems like child’s play when compared to actual slavery, it’s just as important, as much of slavery is based on religious and ethnic discrimination inherent in the society.

Again, human rights council? This is beyond preposterous. It is disgusting. It is so disgusting it requires no long treatise, or explanation. All one needs to know is that a country where actual slavery exists sits on the UN Human Rights Council.

Forget about the UN no longer being fit for purpose. It is now actually promoting human rights abuses. Not convinced: Guess who else was elected today alongside Mauritania? Libya, Sudan and Venezuela.

When will the world wake up?

Leave a Reply


Dear valued reader,

Let’s get right to it.

During these very difficult times that we’re all experiencing, why does the Intermountain Jewish News matter more than ever?

  • It connects us when we feel separated and surrounded by chaos. With the IJN, we are not alone. We are all in this together as a community.
  • It is our trusted, distinctive news source. With fake news, conspiracy theories and half truths rampant, the IJN works hard to provide facts, not sensationalism.
  • It brings you the impact of COVID-19 on the Colorado Jewish community, as well as the impact of the coronavirus on the global Jewish community.

Like other small businesses and media companies, the IJN is also being impacted in an unprecedented way by effects of the coronavirus.

That’s Why Your Help Is Needed Today.

Please click on the link below and subscribe today or purchase a gift subscription — an online gift is social distancing.


Rabbi Hillel Goldberg
Editor & Publisher

Shana R. Goldberg
Assistant Publisher