Background information on the Advisory Committee
Pursuant to Council resolution 5/1 paragraphs 65 to 84, the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee has been established to function as a think-tank for the Council and work at its direction. The Committee held its first meeting in August 2008. It meets twice a year, for one week in February immediately before the March session of the Council and for one week in August.
Mandate & Functions
- The Advisory Committee provides expertise to the Council in the manner and form requested by it. It mainly focuses on studies and research-based advice.
- The Committee may also propose within the scope of the work set out by the Council, for the latter’s consideration and approval, suggestions for further research proposals.
- In its work, the Committee should be implementation-oriented and the scope of its advice should be limited to thematic issues pertaining to the mandate of the Council, namely promotion and protection of all human rights.
- It shall not adopt resolutions or decisions.
The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts from different professional backgrounds representing the various regions of the world (5 from African States; 5 from Asian States; 2 from Eastern European States; 3 from Latin American and Caribbean States, and 3 from Western European and other States). Experts are nominated by Governments and elected by the Council. Elections normally take place at the September session of the Council.
At the thirtieth session in September 2015, elections were held for seven seats, two from African States, one from Latin American and Caribbean States and one from Western European and other States.
Members serve for a period of three years and may be re-elected once. Their term of membership starts on 1 October of the year of their election.
The present composition of the Advisory Committee - with an indication of the expiration of the term of membership in brackets - is as follows: Ibrahim Abdulaziz Alsheddi (Saudi Arabia, 2018); Mohamed Bennani (Morocco, 2017); Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (France, 2017); Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria, 2019); Mario Luis Coriolano (Argentina, 2018); ; Karla Hananía de Varela* (El Salvador, 2019); Mikhail Lebedev* (Russian Federation, 2019); Xinsheng Liu (China, 2019); Kaoru Obata* (Japan, 2019); Obiora Chinedu Okafor (Nigeria, 2017); Mona Omar (Egypt, 2019); Katharina Pabel (Austria, 2018); Anantonia Reyes Prado (Guatemala, 2017); Changrok Soh (Republic of Korea, 2017); Ahmer Bilal Soofi (Pakistan, 2017); Imeru Tamrat Yigezu (Ethiopia, 2018); ) and Jean Ziegler* (Switzerland, 2019).
Past mandates and achievements
Modalities & Methods of work
Preparation of studies
In order to produce its studies, the Committee usually forms drafting groups consisting of 4-5 members from various regional groups. The drafting group members work closely with each other through face-to-face meetings and internet communication.
Studies are then presented to the plenary of the Committee for successive rounds of discussion and revision. Drafting groups normally present a preliminary report and a progress report before submitting a final study to the Council.
Interaction with various stakeholders
The normal course of action followed in the preparation of studies includes seeking comments and advice from stakeholders, i.e. member States, international organizations, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations through questionnaires.
Member States, civil society organizations and national human rights institutions also participate in the deliberations of the Committee.
At its thirteenth session in August 2014, the Committee decided to hold private meetings in the framework of each of its session with: non-governmental organizations and civil society representatives; the Human Rights Council Bureau and the regional and political coordinators. The Committee also decided to continue its practice of resorting to expertise, such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, non-governmental organizations, academics and other relevant stakeholders, in order to inform the Advisory Committee’s deliberations and work.
Annual report and interactive dialogue
The Chair of the Committee presents the annual report to the Council’s September session. This is followed by an interactive dialogue with States and NGOs.
The following seats will be vacant in September:
- Two seats for two members of the Committee from the Africa Group
- Two seats for two members of the Committee from the Asia-Pacific Group
- One seat for one member of the Committee from the Eastern European Group
- One seat for one member of the Committee from the Latin American and Caribbean Group
- One seat for one member of the Committee from the Western European and Others Group