DFA Logo

This content from the
Department of Foreign Affairs
has now moved to Ireland.ie/un/geneva. If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.

Skip to main content

Please be advised that the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, Geneva website has moved and this page is no longer being updated. The Permanent Mission's website is now available at Ireland.ie/un/geneva.

Human Rights Council - Introduction

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an intergovernmental body within the UN system composed of forty-seven Member States elected for three-year terms. The HRC works towards promoting and ensuring the respect for human rights worldwide. Its mandate is to:

  • Address situations of human rights violations and human rights emergencies
  • Make recommendations to the UN General Assembly in relation to international human rights law
  • Promote the full implementation of human rights obligations undertaken by States
  • Undertake a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the fulfilment by each of the 193 UN Member States of their human rights obligations.

The HRC holds three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least ten weeks.  Regular sessions take place in March (four weeks), June (three weeks) and September (three weeks); while special sessions may be convened at any time to address urgent human rights violations or emergencies, at the request of at least one third of member states.