What is the mandate of UNHRC? Describe its role/features. Critically comment on its functioning by citing examples.Also suggest few corrective measures.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations System. It is mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the Charter of the United Nations and in international human rights laws and treaties.The mandate includes preventing human rights violations, securing respect for all human rights, promoting international cooperation to protect human rights, coordinating related activities throughout the United Nations, and strengthening and streamlining the United Nations system in the field of human rights.

Its role/features:-

1. UNHRC is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.

2. It addresses situations of human rights violations and makes recommendations on them.

3. The UNHRC consisting of 47 members has been provided the authority to discuss all human rights issues and situation where its attention is required.

4. The Universal Periodic Review, the Advisory Committee and the complaint procedure forms the backbone of the organization to efficiently deliver its function.

5. The council after adopting the Institutional Building Package has developed several mechanisms to effectively bring the violation of human rights to the Assembly.



1. The UNHRC has been criticised to be ineffective as many countries like China, Russia, Libiya, SriLanka are its member. They have mutual understanding of not voting against one another.

2. UNHRC is criticized for its focus on selective countries instead of reviewing human rights violations in all the countries. Since its inception in 2006 Israel has been condemned on most occasions and other incidence of the world in Darfur, Tibet, North Korea and Zimbabwe have not been discussed at the council.

3. Other problem is that big countries like US have huge influence on the system and resolutions not having support of these countries generally dont make through. For instance- UNHRC adopted a resolution by Sri Lanka praising its conduct in Vanni, ignoring pleas for international war crime investigations. Once USA took active role in UNHRC, much focus has been given on human rights violations at the end of civil war in Sri Lanka.

[Corrective measures should be acc. to your own opinion, but here m highlighting my views to give u idea/clue.]

Some corrective measures:-

1. The structure and voting system needs to be amended so as to reflect the democratic nature of the organisation.

2. It should be given more powers to act in case of violation of human rights by the nations.

3. A strong, impartial and efficient UNHRC should be establish in favour of all citizens of the world and bestow(grant) on them more rights and freedom.


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