Human Rights Council (HRC)

(Non Ad Hoc)

In 2006 the Human Rights Council was created by the UN General Assembly with the intention to address situations of human rights violations against the universal declaration of human rights and make recommendations on them. The Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 states responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.In 2007 the Human Rights Council adopted a new way to structure their work, called the ‘institution-building package’. This package includes the following elements:

  1. The Universal Periodic Review The Universal Periodic Review “has great potential to promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world.”– Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General This review assesses the human rights situation in all 192 UN Member States. The main objective is to improve the human right situation in the individual countries. Every four years, the human right situation in a country will be assessed, based on objective and reliable information. Important is that the country under review is fully involved and cooperates with the UN. The report contains recommendations which should be implemented by the country itself.
  2. Advisory Committee The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, composed of 18 experts, has been established to function as a think-tank for the Council and work at its direction. TheAdvisory Committee shall convene up to two sessions for a maximum of 10 working days per year.The function of the Advisory Committee is to provide expertise in the manner and form requested by the Council, focusing mainly on studies and research-based advice. The Advisory Committee should be implementation-oriented. The scope of its advice should be limited to thematic issues pertaining to the mandate of the Council; namely promotion and protection of all human rights.
  3. Complaints procedure This procedure is to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances. Two distinct working groups – the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations – are established with the mandate to examine the communications and to bring to the attention of the Council consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
    A communication related to a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms is admissible, unless amongst others:

    • It has manifestly political motivations
    • It is exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media