Today, 21 March 2016, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) released a tool-kit (report) on how UN member states can take concrete action at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in order to ensure the implementation of the Council’s recommendations and resolutions regarding the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
As the Human Rights Council marks its 10th Anniversary, the Council’s work on the OPT remains a long standing example of the struggle to implement volumes of resolutions into concrete action on the ground liable to protect the rights of the Palestinian people living under occupation.
For the sake of its own credibility and effectiveness, the Human Rights Council, as the permanent international body mandated with the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide, has to effectively address the continuous failure of Israel as the Occupying Power to comply with its international duty and obligations. Ensuring implementation of recommendations remains the only solution to improve the worsening human rights situation of Palestinians and work towards a peaceful solution to the conflict.
The report comes in the context of important discussions on the human rights situation in the OPT scheduled to take place today March 21 at the 31st session of the UN HRC currently convening in Geneva. During the session, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) will present its report to the Council regarding the follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations set forth in three important investigative reports submitted previously to the international human rights body. These reports are the repot of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on the implications of settlements (2013),the report of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza events, and the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict (2009).
In this context, CIHRS puts forward the following recommendations to the HRC:
- Follow-up on the reports of the Commission of Inquiry and the Fact Finding Mission on Gaza by establishing a commission to report on Israel’s lack of domestic mainstreaming of its International Humanitarian Law obligations in conducting military and policing activities; including by examination of the failure of domestic accountability mechanism in addressing the recurrence of such violations.
- To mandate a team of experts to review comprehensively and on periodical basis the lack of implementation by Israel of previous recommendations, and international law obligations from 2006 onwards, including treaty bodies, UPR and relevant resolutions.
- To request the United Nations General Assembly for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legality of denying access of HRC mechanism in situations of grave and systematic violations of International human rights and humanitarian law, in particular in the situation of the OPT.
- To continue to request the continuous engagement of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights on the issue of settlement activities in the OPT, including through requesting the OHCHR in cooperation with the Working Group on Business and Human Rights to establish a list of businesses violating the guiding principles by conducting activities in settlements.
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