The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday (Local time) voted to increase scrutiny on the “deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression”.
At the 34th Special Session Human Rights Council adopted a draft resolution entitled “Deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine caused by the Russian aggression” by a vote of 33 in favour, 2 against, and 12 abstentions, calling for enhanced scrutiny of the human rights situation in Ukraine. The vote follows the creation in March of an independent panel to probe alleged human rights violations in Ukraine.
India, while abstaining from voting, raised concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country stemming from the Russian aggression and supported calls to ensure uninterrupted humanitarian access and safe passage for the people.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said this pattern of abuse continued to be widespread due to the “use of explosive weapons” in populated areas, such as the use of heavy artillery, including multiple rocket systems, as well as missiles and airstrikes.
In a video message, Bachelet said Russian troops were probably responsible for most of the casualties, and Ukrainian troops also caused casualties, but to a much lesser extent.
Bachelet highlighted the latest harrowing findings of UN investigators in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions. She told members of the Human Rights Council that the bodies of thousands of civilians had been found in the Kyiv region alone. Some were killed in the hostilities, but others appear to have been summarily executed.
Erik Mose, chairman of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, said, “While this is not strictly a judicial case, one of the Commission’s mandates is to identify, where possible, responses to violations or abuses of human rights or Individuals and entities responsible for international humanitarian law or other related crimes.”
Several UN-appointed independent human rights experts have expressed deep concern over violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the UN Charter, in Ukraine since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
These include abuses against some of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers and foreigners in Ukraine.