- The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system.
- The Council’s mandate is to promote “universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all” and “address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and make recommendations thereon.”
- It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.
- The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. It replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
- The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The Council is made of 47 Member States, which are elected by the majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot.
- The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution.
- Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
Why in News?
- The UN Human Rights chief, in a new report on Sri Lanka, has pointed to “setbacks to accountability for past human rights violations and the recognition of victims’ rights”, despite the Rajapaksa government’s recent steps aimed at reforms.
- The latest report on Sri Lanka comes ahead of the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. While there will be no resolution on Sri Lanka this session, an interactive dialogue on the progress made by Sri Lanka in promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights is expected to be held during the week.