The Human Rights Council is the principal United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for human rights. It is composed of 47 Member States, which meets in at least three sessions per year in Geneva, Switzerland.
Its role includes addressing violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, the promotion of respect for human rights for all, and effective coordination and mainstreaming of human rights within the UN system.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the secretariat for the Human Rights Council.
Elected for three-year terms, Member States of the Council discuss, take action and pass resolutions related to various items of a standing agenda:
During a given session the Council considers the activities of its subsidiary human rights procedures and mechanisms, and may organize panel discussions and special events to enhance dialogue and mutual understanding on specific issues.
Outside its normal sessions, the Council may also hold special sessions related to country-specific or thematic issues.
In addition to Member States of the Council, Observers, which include non-Member States, inter-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), may also participate in a session.
The Council’s sessions are broadcast live via webcast. Past sessions are archived.
Only NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) can be accredited to participate in the Human Rights Council’s sessions as Observers.
As Observers, NGOs are able, amongst other things, to:
1. A practical guide for NGO participants (about accreditation, attending the session, access to the public gallery, requesting a room for a parallel event, making an oral statement, documentation and resources, and participation in general, etc.)
Chinese - English - French -
Spanish. Before you request for accreditation to the HRC/UPR sessions and related meetings, please ensure that you have finalized the annual accreditation of your NGO with the United Nations Office at Geneva. For more information on annual accreditations, please consult the following website:
NGO Written Statement submission -
Deadline for the submission of written statements: 11 February 2019
3. A user friendly
practical guide to submitting statements online can be downloaded here to assist
Link to Oral Statement Registration. Download here the guidelines on how to use the online registration system for Oral Statements
Spanish. The online system to register requests for oral statements will open on Thursday, 21 February 2019 at 2 pm (Geneva time).
At the opening of the lists of speakers for the adoption of the UPR outcomes on Tuesday 26 February 2019 at 2 pm (Geneva time), technical issues occurred again and it was not possible for NGOs to select countries from the drop-down list. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by these repeated technical errors. We will proceed to a rebooting of the online system in order to re-open inscriptions on the lists of speakers for the adoption on Friday 1 March 2019 at 2 pm (Geneva time).
5. NGO joint-statement form - Oral Statement [Download].
NGO Side-Event Room Request Form
Deadline for the submission of requests: 11 February 2019. 7.
Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: Handbook for Civil Society.
8. Participating in the Human Rights Council by video message [Download].
9. Calendar and deadlines for registration for 2018 [Download]
For further information or assistance, please contact the NGO Liaison team of the Human Rights Council Secretariat at
* * * * *