Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council (HRC) works as an inter-governmental organization of the United Nations and was created on March 15th 2006. It replaced the CHR, which was mainly criticized for allowing states with a low human rights standard to join the committee. The HRC has been the main body within the UN task of the protection and promotion of the human rights of all people around the world. It consists of 47 geographically balanced member states, which are elected by the General Assembly (GA) every three years. Having its office in Geneva, the Human Rights Council meets there three time per year. The main tasks of the HRC are addressing human rights violations, providing the GA with recommendations on how to improve international law regarding human rights and also promoting human rights education. Therefore, the council applies a procedure called Universal Periodic Review, which lasts four years. In this way, the HRC is able to survey the human rights situation in all the 192 member states of the UN periodically, such as submitting specific violations of human rights to the Council. During this procedure, not only the Council itself but also other member states are allowed to make proposals inquiring amendments of the human rights in other states. These, then can decide whether to implement or to reject the proposal. The HRC is for most of the time an observer of the Universal Periodic Review, nevertheless it steps in, if conflicts or problems arise. Furthermore, the HRC can also send its own observers into countries, on the basis of the so-called “Special Procedures”. These involve a resolution-based appointment of experts in the relevant topic, that can either be a “thematic mandate”, which is a general worldwide human rights issue or the situation in a specific territory, which is called a “country mandate”. Currently, there are 41 thematic and 14 country mandates.

CEWELand NiedersachsenSuSGVWEStadt OldenburgEriksen StiftungMPA‑Flashlight