The U.N. General Assembly will vote Tuesday to admit 14 countries to the 47-member Human Rights Council; among them are some candidates with poor rights records, including Afghanistan and Venezuela.
Seventeen candidate countries from five regional groups are running, but only two groups — Asia-Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean states — face a real contest. The other three groups are running “clean slates”— although countries will still need a simple majority of the secret ballots to make it onto the Geneva-based council.
Venezuela is in a contested group. It will face Chile and Costa Rica for two available seats.
“Venezuela’s vengeful assault on critics of the government makes the country unfit for membership in the U.N.’s top rights body,” Louis Charbonneau, U.N. director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Returning this abusive government to the council would undermine the U.N.’s credibility by rewarding Venezuelan authorities with a role in judging other countries’ human rights while they brutalize their population.”