(31 March 2015) BADIL’s Engagement with 28th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

PR/EN/31032015/10

The annual session of the United Nations Humans Rights Council represents an important period in BADIL’s advocacy calendar, and the 28th Regular Session was no exception.

Early in the session, on 9 March BADIL delivered an oral intervention (chapter 20) under Item 7, specifically in relation to the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. This statement drew attention to the artificial creation by Israel of an impossible living environment for Palestinian Bedouin in the central West Bank, and the crucial role played by this suffering in Israeli perpetration of the crime of forcible transfer.

On March 19th, BADIL held a notably well-attended side event, during which an expert panel of Palestinian NGO representatives charted a wide range of grievous rights abuses to which Palestinians are subjected across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt); from the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) to the besieged Gaza Strip. This was followed by an interactive dialogue between the panel and the audience to discuss how the Human Rights Council and other international mechanisms could be best used to address unlawful Israeli actions inside the oPt.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes throughout the session, BADIL maintained its determined lobbying of relevant actors, with a view to raising awareness of the plight of Palestinian refugees, and the need for real, tangible actions at the international level to address Israeli-perpetrated rights abuses.

This message was continued on 23 March through a second oral intervention (chapter 47), delivered in the General Debate under Item 7. This statement – in reference to the recent report of the High Commissioner of Refugees – highlighted the clear Israeli commitment to settlement construction inside the oPt, and called upon member states and the European Union to participate fully with all procedures of the Human Rights Council, and to recognize the essential function of this body as a global source of transparency and justice.

Finally, BADIL also issued a joint written statement, in collaboration with the Palestinian Human Rights Organization Council, which emphasized the necessity of international support for accession by the State of Palestine to the International Criminal Court.