Dubai: In order to ensure more accurate auditing of the human rights record in the region, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has finalised a plan to set up a panel with independent experts.
The foreign ministers of the GCC member states have endorsed the plan for the six-nation regional commission to deal with human rights issues, which will be the first regional body of its kind in this part of the world.
"The move to set up this regional panel comes following a recommendation made by the GCC foreign ministers in a meeting last month," a statement released by the GCC General Secretariat has said.
The panel will be entrusted with the task of highlighting the steps taken by GCC states to improve the human rights situation of the Gulf citizens in line with Arab and Islamic values.
The move is significant keeping in view the fact that all Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE have often found and complained that the reports issued by some international organisations tend to undervalue or ignore the GCC`s achievements in the field of human rights.
The GCC is home to an estimated 20 million foreign workers, including nine million living and working in Saudi Arabia, have several human-rights-related problems.
Many of them are illegal overstayers, runaway workers and criminals with proven complicity in petty crimes.
On the regional front, all individual states have exerted efforts to boost their performance on the scale of human rights records, said the statement.
Saudi Arabia has announced plans to introduce the subject of human rights in its educational syllabus for students at all levels.
The project is in its final stages at the Ministry of Higher Education.
GCC is a political and economic organisation involving the six Arab states of the Persian Gulf with many economic and social objectives.