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More scrutiny of Israel rights record sought

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

More scrutiny of Israel rights record sought:


Member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are calling on the UN Human Rights Council to set up a permanent commission to report on human rights violations in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

  • If passed, it would mark an unprecedented level of scrutiny authorised by the UN’s top human rights body.

For details on Israel- Palestine conflict, recent issues, please refer:



In this article, we shall try and learn more about the UNHRC:

  • The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. It replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) serves as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council.
  • OHCHR is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.


  • The UNHRC has 47 members serving at any time with elections held to fill up seats every year, based on allocations to regions across the world to ensure geographical representation.
  • Each elected member serves for a term of three years.
  • Countries are disallowed from occupying a seat for more than two consecutive terms.

The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:

  1. African States: 13 seats.
  2. Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats.
  3. Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats.
  4. Western European and other States: 7 seats.
  5. Eastern European States: 6 seats.


  1. The UNHRC passes non-binding resolutions on human rights issues through a periodic review of all 193 UN member states called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
  2. It oversees expert investigation of violations in specific countries (Special Procedures).

Challenges to UNHRC and Need for reforms:

  1. Despite the continued participation of several western countries in the UNHRC, they continue to harbour misgivings on the understanding of Human rights.
  2. Non-compliance has been a serious issue with respect to the UNHRC’s functioning.
  3. Non-participation of powerful nations such as the US.




  • What’s the difference between UNHRC and UNHCR(related to refugee rights)?
  • It’s always good to know the names and works of a few important global level NGOs working to ensure human rights. Click Here.



Prelims Link:

  1. Where is the west bank?
  2. Gaza strip.
  3. Golan heights.
  4. Who are Hamas?
  5. What is Al-Nakba?
  6. About the conflict.
  7. About UNHRC.

Mains Link:

Suggest solutions to end the long standing Israel- Palestine conflict.

Sources: the Hindu.