Today, the State of Israel will be reviewed under the United Nations Human Rights Council’s new mechanism, Universal Periodic Review (UPR). This mechanism was established as a means of responding to the criticism that the UN Human Rights Commission (the predecessor body of the Human Rights Council) was selective and maintained double standards in responding to human rights violations inside States. Under UPR, the human rights record of all member States of the United Nations will be reviewed on a four year basis. Israel will join a list of 32 other States whose human rights records have already been assessed under the mechanism so far this year.
Al-Haq coordinated with seven other Palestinian human rights organisations, from both the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, each of whom submitted five page briefs on select violations of Palestinian human rights by Israel, the Occupying Power, over the last four years. Topics were chosen with a view towards raising awareness at the UN level of human rights issues that have not been prominently raised by other UN human rights bodies/mechanisms. Al-Haq’s brief, along with the six other briefs by other Palestinian human rights organisations, is available on the Universal Periodic Review website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: