The United Nations Human Rights Council is set to usher in new members at the start of the calendar year, with many facing allegations of abuses.
The council comprises 47 member states that serve for a period of three years, thus making roughly a third of the current body set to depart and be replaced on Jan. 1, 2022.
These are the countries elected in October that are set to begin — or, in some cases, return for a new term — in the new year: Argentina, Benin, Cameroon, Eritrea, Finland, Gambia, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Qatar, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
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China is among the countries currently sitting on the Human Rights Council. The Trump and Biden administrations have said the Chinese government is committing genocide against the Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities.
The U.S. government passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act earlier this month, banning the importation of goods from China’s Xinjiang region over concerns the products were developed through forced labor.
Other countries to be added to the committee include a handful of African nations, many of which with their own questionable record.
The governments of Eritrea and Libya have been accused of conducting arbitrary executions, enforced disappearances, and torture, according to U.N. Watch, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to holding the United Nations accountable to its founding principles.”
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Additionally, Mauritania, the last country in the world to outlaw slavery, still struggles with the issue, while Somalia has the world’s highest prevalence of female genital mutilation. Both countries are on the committee.