Caroline McHale


This Note uses the case of Honduran street children to demonstrate that the U.N. Principles have not been adequately implemented, and argues that the international community should use the creation of the U.N. Human Rights Council (“Council”) as an opportunity to insist on better training and monitoring of investigative personnel worldwide. Part I reviews the legal standards establishing extrajudicial executions of street children as a major human rights violation and the Honduran State's duty to investigate. Part I also examines challenges facing Honduran investigative police agencies, including budget crises and accusations of corruption and complicity. Part I concludes with a review of the structure and function of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”) and the investigative standards set forth in the U.N. Principles. Part II of this Note discusses competing frameworks for Commission reform, focusing on the proposal of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change (“High Level Panel Proposal”), the proposal of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (“Report of Secretary-General”), and the proposal of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) and the international human rights non-governmental organization (“NGO”) community (“HRW Proposal”). Part II also reviews the U.N. Draft Text (“Draft Text”) on the creation of the Human Rights Council (“Council”). Part III of this Note argues that the HRW Proposal best conceives of Commission reform vis-à-vis the U.N. Principles. Part III also proposes that, in restructuring the U.N. human rights system, Member States should consider strengthening the role of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, and should explore options for more consistent U.N. monitoring of investigative personnel worldwide.