UN Human Rights Council

UNHRC and India: India is re-elected for a 6th term to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2022-24 term and vowed to for protection of human rights through “Samman, Samvad and Sahyog”.

About- The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the ‘United Nations’ system.

  • The UNHRC replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 by a resolution.

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.


  • It is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
  • It adresses situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.


  • The Council is made of 47 Member States, elected by the General Assembly of the UN through direct and secret ballot.
    • The General Assembly takes into account the candidate States’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.
  • The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
    • African States: 13 seats
    • Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
    • Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
    • Western European and other States: 7 seats
    • Eastern European States: 6 seats
  • Members of the Council serve for a period of 3 years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
  • The Bureau of the Council consists of five people – one President and four Vice-presidents – representing the five regional groups. They serve for a year, in accordance with the Council’s annual cycle.
Image Source-UNHRC

Working: The UNHRC works closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR). The commission also engages in the UN’s special procedures.

  • The Council’s work and functioning should be reviewed five years.
  • UN’s Special Procedures of Human Rights Council: These are independent human rights experts. They have the mandate to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective.

Universal Periodic Review(UPR): The council also carries out the Universal Periodic Review of all UN member states.

  • This allows civil society groups to bring accusations of human rights violations in member states to the attention of the UN.

Sessions: The Council holds no fewer than three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least ten weeks.

  • If one third of the Member States requests so, the Council can hold a special session to address human rights violations and emergencies.
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