The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council (HRC) aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 United Nations Member States. Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every 5 years.
Prior to the consideration of each Member State, NGOs can provide a written report regarding the implementation of recommendations of previous reviews. This information is taken under consideration by the UN and other Member States and can be reflected in their recommendations to the State under review.
The State of Israel was reviewed on the 23rd of January and we are glad that our efforts to raise the human rights violations against the Bedouin community bore fruits. In collaboration with the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages, Alhuquq Center and Sidreh, we submitted a report to the Human Rights Council, showing that not only the State of Israel did not implement the recommendations from the previous UPR session (that took place in 2013) regarding the Bedouin community, but also that new policies and actions by the state only intensified human rights violations against the Bedouins.
In order to communicate our report better, we met with different diplomats from various embassies in Israel and briefed EU delegates. To top our efforts, we sent Amir Abo Kweder, a committed activist for the rights of the Negev-Naqab Bedouin community, to the session in Geneva. Amir held meetings with delegates of Germany, Belgium, France and the UK. Amir briefed the delegates about recent events in the Negev-Naqab, from the exacerbation of house demolition policy to the prevention of basic social services, and urged them to make recommendations regarding the Bedouin community of the Negev-Naqab.
The final outcome report on Israel has yet to have been published, but during the session Member States like USA, Austria, France and Slovenia recommended Israel to eliminate all forms of discrimination towards the Negev-Naqab Bedouin community. It seems our endeavors urged these states to call upon Israel to ensure Bedouins have equal rights.