India wins seat at United Nations Human Rights Council

India wins election to UN Human Rights Council with highest number of votes

Critics slam UN Human Rights Council's election of 'unqualified' new members

New members Bahrain, Cameroon, the Philippines, Somalia, Bangladesh and Eritrea were elected with between 160 and 178 votes - and immediately drew criticism from rights groups dismissing them as "unqualified" due to their human rights records. Those countries will join other countries with poor human rights records, such as Cuba, China, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, on the world's top human rights body.

"Electing a regime like Eritrea as a United Nations judge on human rights would be like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief", he said.

The New York-based HRW said the Philippines, along with Eritrea, should not be given seats at the council.

"By putting forward serious rights violators and presenting only as many candidates as seats available, the regional groups risk undermining the council's credibility and effectiveness", it said.

"Today, the United Nations chose new members for the Human Rights Council".

Created by the Assembly in March 2006 as the principal United Nations body dealing with human rights, the Human Rights Council comprises 47 elected Member States.

Earlier this week UN Watch, the Human Rights Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights published a report detailing alleged human rights abuses by the countries elected on Friday.

The US quit the council in June, saying it made a mockery of human rights.

The Geneva-based council works on human rights across the globe. Item 7 on "Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories" has been part of the council's regular business 2007, nearly as long as it has existed.

Washington, some European countries and Australia have sided with Israel in condemning Item 7 as prejudiced, noting that countries with worse rights records in recent years, like Syria, are spared such intense scrutiny. It has been elected for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.

Israel has never been a member of the council. Thanks to the support of all our friends @UN, India wins seat to Human Rights Council with highest votes among all candidates.

Human rights groups evaluating each candidate said Fiji was among the countries whose candidacies were "questionable," with a problematic human rights record.

The UNHRC meets three times a year, and reviews the human rights records of all UN members in a special process the council says gives countries the chance to say what they have done to improve human rights, known as the Universal Periodic Review.

"For too long the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias", she said in June of this year, announcing the United States' departure. "Non-democracies could no longer hold up their UNHRC election as a shield of worldwide legitimacy to cover up the abuses of their regime".

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