UNHRC Expresses Concerns over NRC in Assam and Situation in J and K

Published: September 11, 2019

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, and the tense situation in Jammu and Kashmir while addressing the opening of the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.

What is UNHRC?

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is an inter-governmental organisation within the United Nations. It is 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.

The UNHRC has the mandate to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.

Working of UNHRC

The UNHRC came into being through a United Nations Resolution 60/251 in 2006. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It discharges its duties through the following mechanisms:

  • The Universal Periodic Review mechanism serves to assess the human rights situations in all United Nations Member States.
  • The Advisory Committee serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues.
  • The Complaint Procedure which allows individuals and organizations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council.
  • The UN Special Procedures established by the former Commission on Human Rights and are made up of special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working groups monitor, examine, advise and publicly report on thematic issues or human rights situations in specific countries.

Membership to UNHRC

The Human Rights Council consists of 47 UN Member States elected by the United Nations General Assembly through a direct and secret ballot based on the contribution of the candidate states to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.

Distribution of Seats
  • African States: 13 seats
  • Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
  • Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
  • Western European and other States: 7 seats
  • Eastern European States: 6 seats

The members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

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