8 June 2017

The Human Rights Council in its midday meeting concluded its clustered interactive dialogue with Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, and with Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.


Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

Statements by Concerned Countries


China, speaking as a concerned country, recalled that the visit of the Special Rapporteur last year had been warmly accepted by the Chinese Government, which had adopted a cooperative attitude. The Special Rapporteur had been given access to high-level representatives of the State, including national agencies and ministers. The Special Rapporteur had spoken positively of China’s efforts to fight against poverty and his recommendations were highly valuable. However, some views and figures did not reflect the reality. The Chinese Government had asked for several amendments to the report. That request had not been taken into account. In his conclusions, the Special Rapporteur had criticized several detention cases of criminals which amounted to overcoming its mandate and breaking the principle of sovereignty. China would not tolerate that the human rights banner could be used to cover activities that would go against public order. Turning to the issue of poverty, China stated that the poverty rate had been diminished in the last 10 years, allowing every Chines citizen to enjoy the benefits of growth. By 2020, poverty should be reduced in rural areas in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.


Clustered Interactive Dialogue


Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights commended the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty for his visit to China, noting that in Tibet, the poverty rate was 32.9 per cent in 2015. Tibetans were excluded from participatory planning and all members of the Human Rights Council were urged to support policies ensuring that human rights considerations were part of all policymaking in China. International Service for Human Rights noted that the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty had faced challenges during his visit to China, asking how other Special Procedures could constructively engage with China. It was essential that China cease reprisals.


International Federation for Human Rights, referring to the situation in China, noted that while development and human rights were mutually reinforcing, they were not synonymous. One of the greatest challenges was to understand how the leading role of the Communist party could coexist with the recognition of individual rights and the provision of accountability mechanisms.

Human Rights Watch highlighted China’s restrictions on civil society’s participation in shaping economic policies and poverty alleviation, adding that those most vulnerable groups faced insurmountable barriers in overcoming poverty. Association “Paix” pour la lute contre la Contrainte et l’injustice stressed the progress achieved in Mauritania in fighting poverty and in upholding human rights. Policies were in place to ensure that everyone benefited from economic growth.


Concluding Remarks


PHILIP ALSTON, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, noted the reluctance of some to engage on the mandate, but expressed gratitude to the non-governmental community for following up on the topics he had raised. A number of speakers had asked what could be done in the future to make sure that problems did not jeopardize country visits, and the only answer to that was vigilance. The international community should not hesitate to go public and persuade the Government concerned to adopt a more open approach. He expressed appreciation for China’s comment that parts of the report were fair, but rejected the concept of “judicial sovereignty” which would lead a Special Rapporteur not to reflect on human rights violations. He reiterated his concern for the treatment of Jiang Tianyong. Regarding Mauritania, he noted that his visits had covered most of the population of a vast country. The Government had suggested he had not met with a wide range of non-governmental organizations; in fact he had met with over 50 of them. The main challenge in Mauritania was to recognize the distinctions which took place on the basis of ethnicity. The Government would be better served if it disaggregated data based on ethnicity. He called for the Government to release the two “IRA” representatives who were still imprisoned.