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The UN Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an inter-governmental body within the UN system. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006 by resolution 60/251. The Council is made up of 47 UN Member States elected by the General Assembly. It is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

Among the Council's procedures and mechanisms are:

  • the Universal Periodic Review mechanism which serves to assess the human rights situations in all UN Member States
  • the Advisory Committee which serves as the Council’s "think tank" providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues
  • the Complaint Procedure which allows individuals and organizations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council

The HRC also works with the UN Special Procedures. These are made up of special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working groups that monitor, examine, advise and publicly report on thematic issues or human rights situations in specific countries.

The Council held its first session in June 2006. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.

Read more on the HRC website

HRC reports

Relevant reports from the Human Rights Council will be posted below, including links to documents.

 

July 2, 2012 - <media 455 - - "TEXT, SG paper on IP participation ENG, SG_paper_on_IP_participation_ENG.pdf, 251 KB">Report of the Secretary-General</media>:
Ways and means of promoting participation at the United Nations of indigenous peoples’ representatives on issues affecting them

Summary:
In the present report, ways and means of promoting participation at the United Nations of indigenous peoples’ representatives are described. First, a summary is presented of reasons why indigenous peoples’ representatives may find it difficult to participate in the United Nations and why their participation is desirable. Second, details are provided of existing United Nations rules and practices in relation to the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and non-State actors. The report includes a description of arrangements adopted to enable the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives in bodies mandated by the United Nations that focus specifically on indigenous peoples’ issues, irrespective of whether they have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as non-governmental organizations. Third, possible ways forward in terms of developing a procedure to enable the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives in the United Nations are outlined. Lastly, issues that would need to be considered in order to implement a procedure to enable the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives in the United Nations are discussed.