|The Maldives are a great place to honeymoon...|
|... but you wouldn't want to live there.|
Besides rewarding Mauritania for being the worst country on earth for slavery (more here), the UN Human Rights Council also elected the Maldives and Ecuador as vice-presidents of the council, both of which go to prove that abusing human rights is the best route to high office in the UN Human Rights Council.
It's an especially bad year to reward the Maldives with a vice-presidency. In February, the Maldives first democratically elected president in 2,000 years was overthrown and the new regime reversed the president's attempts to reform the Maldives brutal history of repression. Even before this year's coup, the U.S. Department of State reported that:
The most significant human rights problems include restrictions on religious rights, abuse and unequal treatment of women, and corruption of government officials. The constitution requires all citizens to be Muslim, and the government’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs actively polices and enforces compliance with Islamic practices. There were reports of religion-related self-censorship in the press and among civil society contacts.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) condemned the performance of the judiciary and executive branch for their inadequate treatment of criminal cases, especially rape. Corruption existed within the judiciary, members of parliament, and among officials of the executive and state institutions.
Other human rights problems reported included flogging, arbitrary arrests, harassment of journalists, and discrimination against expatriate laborers. Migrant laborers were subjected to labor abuses and were the primary victims of human trafficking. Many laborers migrated illegally into the country, making them particularly vulnerable to forced labor and debt bondage.
As for Ecuador, the State Department reports that:
The following human rights problems continued: isolated unlawful killings and use of excessive force by security forces, sometimes with impunity; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; corruption and other abuses by security forces; a high number of pretrial detainees; and corruption and denial of due process within the judicial system.
President Correa and his administration continued verbal and legal attacks against the independent media. Societal problems continued, including physical aggression against journalists; violence against women; discrimination against women, indigenous persons, Afro-Ecuadorians, and lesbians and gay men; trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation of minors; and child labor.
The next time you hear about the UN Human Rights Council, remember its purpose is not to protect human rights, but to protect human rights abusers.