- 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?
- Russia has been suspended from the UN Human Rights Council after the 193-member General Assembly voted to adopt a resolution moved by the United States over allegations that Russian troops killed civilians while pulling back from towns around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
- The resolution titled ‘Suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council’ was adopted with 93 votes in favour, 24 against and 58 abstentions, including India.
- With this, Russia became the second country to have its membership rights stripped at the rights council, which was established in 2006. In 2011, Libya was suspended by the assembly when upheaval in the North African country brought down longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi.
- The Human Rights Council consists of 47 Member States, elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the UNGA members. The General Assembly, with its two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, may suspend the rights of membership in the Council of a member of the Council that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights. Abstentions do not count.
- Russia’s current membership on the Council expires in December 2023.
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