UN Authority Figures

UN Human Rights Council Vice-President: Angola

Photo from Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images
Homeless Angolan children hang out in their neighborhood south of Luanda 21 May 2007. The Angolan government has destroyed over 3,000 houses in Luanda since the 2002 ceasefire, according to the non-governmental organizations SOS Habitat and Human Rights Watch, to make way for new homes for the middle class and the rich. Some 20,000 people, who lived in modest houses built for the displaced fleeing the 1975-2002 civil war, are now the poorest in the capital after their overnight expulsion.

Mission of the Human Rights Council:
"The General Assembly...2. Decides that the Council shall be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner; 3. Decides also that the Council should address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and make recommendations thereon..." (Resolution 60/251)

Term of office: 2010-2011

Angola's Record on human rights:
"The government's human rights record remained poor, and there were numerous, serious problems...Government security forces tortured, beat, and otherwise abused persons...[Torture included] cigarette burns, prolonged sun exposure, heavy weights tied to testicles, and flogging until they bled from their ears, noses, eyes, and mouths...[C]orruption was a severe problem...Domestic violence against women, including spousal abuse, was common and pervasive...10 cases of rape occurred daily nationwide...Female inmates informed...that prison guards regularly raped them...Women [accused of witchcraft] were killed, beaten, or expelled from their families or died from mistreatment and malnourishment...[C]hild labor...remained a problem...Children engaged in...exploitive labor practices [which] included forced prostitution, involvement in the sale or transport of illegal drugs, and the offloading and transport of goods in ports and across border posts...Street children were common..." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Angola)