The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system, responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
Made up of 47 member states elected by the UN General Assembly, it was created on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations. It meets three times a year at the UN Office at Geneva. At these meetings, the HRC considers reports prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Procedures, discusses various human rights issues, negotiates and passes resolutions on a range of thematic and
country-specific situations, and appoints experts to various human rights positions including the Special Procedures.
The HRC also oversees a number of subsidiary mechanisms, including the UniversalPeriodic Review, as well as the Advisory Committee - the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues - and the Complaint Procedure, which allows individuals and organisations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council.
The Human Rights Council also continues to work closely with the UN Special Procedures, established by the former Commission on Human Rights and now assumed by the Council.
The selection and appointment of Special Procedure mandate holders are of crucial importance for the effective functioning of the mandates. This letter from 15 NGOs sets out the key criteria for appointments and includes a checklist