United Nations Human Rights Council

About The Committee

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva. When creating the Human Rights Council in March 2006 the United Nations General Assembly decided that the Council’s work and functioning should be reviewed five years after it had come into existence at the level of the General Assembly. The Council is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly. The Human Rights Council replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Agenda: Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief

“The UN’s highest human rights body has reaffirmed that addressing religious intolerance, discrimination and violence is best achieved through open debate, where the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are both fully protected,” said Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19. This resolution is an important reminder to the world that freedom of expression should not go out of the window in the name of ‘security’ or ‘unity’, but rather dialogue should be central to the promotion of tolerance. According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, violence and discrimination against religious groups by governments, as well as social hostilities by a variety of actors, have reached new heights in all regions but a lot of work is still left to do These problems are not new. Combatting religious intolerance and discrimination has been once of the international human rights system’s top priorities since the very founding of the UN. However, the sensitivity of the subject matter has consistently acted as a barrier to progress. It is recommended that these issues of religious intolerance, stigmatization, negative stereotyping and discrimination are combated using educational measures, youth forums, strategic plans and public information and media campaigns, including online platforms