The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was established in 1946 to weave the international legal fabric that protects our fundamental rights and freedoms. Composed of 53 States members, its brief expanded over time to allow it to respond to the whole range of human rights problems and it set standards to govern the conduct of States. It also acted as a forum where countries large and small, non-governmental groups and human rights defenders from around the world voiced their concerns.

During its regular annual session in Geneva, for which over 3,000 delegates from member and observer States and from non-governmental organizations participated, the Commission adopted about a hundred resolutions, decisions and Chairperson's statements on matters of relevance to individuals in all regions and circumstances. It was assisted in this work by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a number of working groups and a network of individual experts, representatives and rapporteurs mandated to report to it on specific issues.