UN Human Rights provides support, guidance and expertise to a wide range of human rights monitoring mechanisms in the UN system, all within the framework of international human rights law.
International human rights law provides the foundation for the work of UN Human Rights and the mechanisms it supports. This legal framework was born with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first document in history to set out fundamental human rights. Together with two international covenants, it now forms the International Bill of Human Rights. Since the UDHR was adopted in 1948, it has inspired a series of legally binding international human rights treaties, declarations and other instruments, all underpinning and guiding UN Human Rights’ activities today.
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There are two types of human rights monitoring mechanisms within the United Nations system: treaty-based bodies and charter-based bodies. The ten human rights Treaty Bodies, made up of committees of independent experts, monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties. The charter-based bodies include the Human Rights Council, Special Procedures, the Universal Periodic Review and Independent Investigations. UN Human Rights provides expertise and support to all of the different mechanisms.