Sónia Roque, “The Protection of Civilians in Internal Armed Conflicts: Challenges Facing the Work of UN Human Rights Council” Panel 22

This article focuses on the analysis of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) work, highlighting the protection of the civilian population in internal armed conflicts in the Council’s working sessions. The Council was established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 60/251 adopted on 15 March 2006. The aim was to replace the Human Rights Commission criticized for being a slow organ in the fight against human rights abuses and extremely politicized. This institutional reshaping intended to transform the Council into an action-oriented body. The purpose was to respond more effectively to the global challenges affecting human rights protection. Between these challenges I stress our day’s conflicts characterized by a high level of complexity affecting most severely the civilian populations and their daily lives. The author argues that the analysis of the HRC work is illustrative of the pressure between on one hand the scope of the Council’s mandate: a worldwide promotion and protection of all human rights and on the other hand its intergovernmental dimension regarding the decision-making.

Sónia Roque is a PhD student in IR: International Politics and Conflict Resolution at the Faculty of Economics, at the University of Coimbra Centre for Social Studies (FEUC-CES). Roque holds an MA in Political Sciences and International Relations from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the New University of Lisbon (FCSH-UNL), a Postgraduate Degree in Strategic and Security Studies by FCSH-UNL/ the Institute of National Defense in Portugal, a Postgraduate Degree in Human Rights and Democratization from the Human Rights Centre of the Law Faculty of the University of Coimbra (FDUC), a Postgraduate Degree in International Relations and European Studies by the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences at the Technical University of Lisbon (ISCSP-UTL) and graduated in Political and Economic Studies from ISCSP-UTL. She is currently a fellow of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in Portugal. She was Adjunct of Higher Education in Human Rights at FEUC for her Degree in Internal Relations, was a researcher of the e-planning Lab, collaborated with Amnesty International in Portugal and served in the International Relations Office of the Ministry of Justice Portugal.

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