United Nations Human Rights Council


The Human Rights 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. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

The Human Rights Council is a separate entity from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This distinction originates from the separate mandates they were given by the General Assembly. Nevertheless, OHCHR provides substantive support for the meetings of the Human Rights Council, and follow-up to the Council's deliberations.

The Human Rights Council works closely with the UN Special Procedures established by the former Commission on Human Rights and assumed by the Council. Special Procedures is the general name given to the mechanisms established to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures are either an individual -- a special rapporteur or representative, or independent expert -- or a working group. They are prominent, independent experts working on a voluntary basis, appointed by the Human Rights Council.

Contact Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10  
Phone: +41 22 917 9220
Website (link opens in a new window)

Focus: Governance, Human Rights, Security, Switzerland, Global

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