The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is the main inter-governmental body within the United Nations (UN) system responsible for the protection of human rights and addressing relevant violations worldwide. It’s impact reaches beyond the committee room, as it establishes international legal standards and makes recommendations on how to improve human rights on global, national, and local levels. Since the Council’s inception in 2006, the HRC has worked with representatives of regional human rights mechanisms in five continents, as well as with the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in order to facilitate the mainstreaming of economic, social and cultural rights. Beyond these core roles, the UNHRC has three side commissions and procedures to facilitate the advancement of human rights
in its member states. These are:
1. The Universal Periodic Review, which looks at the human rights situation of every UN member-state on a fixed schedule and makes recommendations based on its findings; each state is currently reviewed every 4.5 years.
2. The Advisory Committee, which provides with expertise and advice on human rights issues. This Committee does not address any country-specific issues.
3. The Complaint Procedure, which is the platform for both individuals and organizations to report human rights violations to the HRC.
This organ usually carries out commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions and investigations mandated by the UN Secretariat. Its work is vital as delivering accountability and counter impunity to individuals through its immediate response to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.