- 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 United Nations Human Rights Council has announced that it would hold an urgent session this month on Iran, where a brutal crackdown on mass protests has left hundreds dead.
- The support of 16 of the Human Rights Council’s 47 members which are more than a third, is required to convene a special session outside the three regular ones held each year.
- The UN body said, so far, 44 countries, including 17 Council members, have backed the call.
- The request follows eight weeks of protests in Iran, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress rules for women in the country.