United Nations Examines the Netherlands’ Human Rights Record

April 18, 2008 06:01 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
As the Netherlands met with the U.N. Human Rights Council on April 15, Muslim members accused the country of Islamophobia.

30-Second Summary

On April 15, the Netherlands was one of the first countries to undergo the new Universal Periodic Review, a so-called “human rights exam” administered by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Each member country in the United Nations will go through this process, which involves delivering a policy report, answering questions and discussing recommendations to resolve any problematic aspects of the country’s human rights record.

According to Radio Netherlands, Human Rights Ambassador Arjan Hamburger felt the exam went well. He added, "It was mainly about integration and immigration and how the Netherlands deals with it. Also about discrimination, human trafficking, violence against women—and Geert Wilders' documentary came up a few times.”

The Boston Herald reported that several Muslim members used the meeting as an opportunity to call for the prosecution of Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders, whose anti-Quran film “Fitna” was released over the Internet in late March.

Over the past few years, the  U.N. Human Rights Council, which replaced the Human Rights Commission in 2006, has itself faced scrutiny regarding its effectiveness.

Headline Links: Netherlands takes “human rights exam”

Background: The Universal Periodic Review

Opinion & Analysis: The U.N. Human Rights Council; success or failure?

Related Topic: The “Fitna” furor


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