UNHRC (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – International Organization)

News-CRUX-10     12th October 2023        

Context: Russia recently failed in its bid to return to the United Nations' top human rights body.


  • About: The Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations system.
  • History: The UNHRC replaced the former UN Commission on Human Rights.
  • Establishment: By the UNGA on March 15, 2006, and held its inaugural session in June 2006.
  • Headquarters: Geneva
  • Composition of Council: 47 UN Member States elected by majority vote in a direct and secret ballot at the UNGA.

oMembership is based on equitable geographical distribution.

oIndia is currently a council member.

  • Tenure: Members serve three-year terms and cannot be immediately re-elected after two consecutive terms.
  • Funding: Approximately two-thirds of UN Human Rights income relies on voluntary contributions from Member States and other donors.
  • Leadership of the Council: The council is led by a five-person Bureau, featuring a president and four vice-presidents, each representing one of the five regional groups.

oTheir terms align with the council's annual cycle.


  • It is tasked with enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.
  • The council addresses and provides recommendations on human rights violations.
  • It has the authority to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations.