CSIP: PRELIMS BOOSTER SERIES-126 International Relations


United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is the principal intergovernmental body responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. It is composed of 47 Member States, which are elected by the UN General Assembly for staggered three-year terms. The Council meets at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland.

The UNHRC has a broad mandate, which includes:
• Strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe;
• Addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them;
• Reviewing States’ human rights records;
• Working to prevent human rights abuses;
• Responding to emergencies; and
• Serving as an international forum for human rights dialogue.

The UNHRC carries out its work through a variety of mechanisms, including:
• The Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is a mechanism for reviewing the human rights records of all UN Member States every four and a half years;
• The Special Procedures, which are independent experts appointed by the Council to monitor, examine, advise, and publicly report on thematic issues or situations of human rights in specific countries;
• The Universal Human Rights Mechanism, which is a comprehensive approach to addressing human rights concerns and violations; and
• The Advisory Committee, which is a body of independent experts that provides advice to the Council on human rights issues.

The UNHRC has played a key role in addressing a wide range of human rights concerns, including:

• Extrajudicial killings, torture, and other forms of ill-treatment;
• Discrimination against women, minorities, and other marginalized groups;
• The rights of the child, the elderly, and persons with disabilities;
• The right to freedom of expression, assembly, and association;
• The right to education, health, and housing; and
• The rights of migrants and refugees.

The UNHRC is an important forum for raising awareness of human rights issues, holding States accountable for their human rights obligations, and providing support to victims of human rights abuses. It plays a vital role in protecting and promoting human rights for all people, everywhere.