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Promotion and protection of human rights around the globe

Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Feature Stories

Human Rights Council feature stories

New treaty would codify right to development
The right to development is the focus of a new international human rights convention currently being drafted as requested by the Human Rights Council. The Convention on the Right to Development will, among other things, codify the right to free, active and meaningful participation in development and in fair-sharing the benefits from development.
Voices of women and girls essential to fight for human rights
Women, girls and people with diverse gender identities continue to face barriers to the freedom of opinion and expression. Female politicians, journalists, human rights defenders and activists are particularly targeted. Governments and social media platforms must do more to end gender-based harassment and violence both online and offline.
“We are erased.”
Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the human rights situation of women and girls has deteriorated, said Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights during a meeting of the Human Rights Council. The country is witnessing a staggering regression in women and girls’ enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, she added.
Human rights should be at the heart of tech governance
Technology has been a dominant force during the covid-19 pandemic, yet its use has exposed major risks to human rights, underscoring the importance of good governance in order to fully harness its enabling potential.
A villager holding a baby maneuvers on a makeshift bridge at a flooded community brought by Typhoon Conson in Muntinlupa city, Metro Manila, Philippines, 10 September 2021 © Francis R. Malasig/EPA-EFE
“I lost friends, relatives, our house”
More people have been forced to flee their homes because of drought and other natural disasters caused by climate change than by armed conflict, and the scale of human displacement is growing every year, experts said during a Human Rights Council panel discussion on the adverse effects of climate change.
UN expert warns of dangerous decline in media freedom
“The decline of media freedom and the rise in threats to the safety of journalists is a worldwide trend, most sharply evident in backsliding democracies and recalcitrant totalitarian States,” said Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in a report to the Human Rights Council.