Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council (HRC) was founded as a subsidiary body of the United Nations in 2006. It replaced the Commission on Human Rights, which was regarded as overly politicized. As one of the main UN bodies tasked with human rights protection, the HRC discusses a large variety of issues, from preventing discrimination to political rights and the rights of refugees. In addition to being a discussion forum for these issues, the HRC issues recommendations to the General Assembly and promotes human rights education.

47 member states elected by the General Assembly make up this body, and the HRC meets for at least three sessions a year in Geneva. An innovative mechanism has been introduced in 2006 to improve respect for human rights: in the Universal Periodic Review, the human rights situation in every member state is reviewed every four years and recommendations are issued by the other members. Thus, the HRC hopes to resolve human rights issues through dialogue and practical recommendations. The council can also examine specific problems (thematic mandate) or situations in specific states (country mandate).


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