UNGA elects more human rights violators to U.N. Human Rights Council

U.N. Human Rights Council accepts Cameroon as a new member, despite President Paul Biya ruling the country since 1982.

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October 13, 2018 01:06
1 minute read.
UNGA elects more human rights violators to U.N. Human Rights Council

Overview of the Human Rights Council one day after the U.S. announced their withdraw at the United Nations in Geneva,. (photo credit: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)

 
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The UN General Assembly elected 18 countries to join the Human Rights Council on Friday, among them Eritrea and Cameroon, which are known human rights violators.

Thousands of Eritrean asylum-seekers currently reside in Israel after escaping what they describe as a cruel conscript system in which would-be soldiers are forced to serve in the army for an unlimited time period in extreme conditions. 

Alleged acts of planned police brutality were carried out during 2017 in Southern Cameroon. The nation has been ruled by Paul Biya, the President of Cameroon, since 1982.

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The UNHRC is know for having a strong anti-Israel bias. Israel is the only country which has a regular agenda item dedicated to to it. Agenda Item 7 dictates that whenever UNHRC meets it will discuss Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Each voting region in the UNGA agreed in advance that the 18 available seats should be given to these countries, meaning the elections were without any competition. There are 47 seats in the UNHRC and elections are held annually for one third of the seats.

The countries which were voted into the council were Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Togo, Somalia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Philippines, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Argentina, Bahamas, Uruguay, Austria, Denmark and Italy.

In response to the vote, World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer stated that these elections show "“a clear and deep need for reform to both the structure and priorities” of the UN’s top human rights body."
 
"“The UNHRC reforms must include competitive and fair elections, as well as immediate efforts to deal with its double standards against Israel," he said in a Friday press release. 


   

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