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Human Rights Council.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) was established by the UN General Assembly in March 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights. The HRC is the most important inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, as well as addressing specific human rights violations. This is primarily done by adopting thematic and country specific resolutions that for example establish mandates for special rapporteurs and independent experts as well as for fact-finding missions and investigative mechanisms as well as through the Universal Periodic Review (read more here).

The HRC consists of 47 member states who are elected by the UN General Assembly in accordance with a principle of equitable geographical distribution. The HRC holds three ordinary sessions a year: Four weeks in February/March, three weeks in June/July and three weeks in September.

Danish priorities and membership of the HRC
In September 2018 Denmark was elected as a member of the HRC for the first time. Thus, Denmark is a member of the HRC in 2019-2021 and as such plays an active role in the work of the HRC by taking part in votes on resolutions during each session.

Denmark particularly focusses its work in the HRC on well establish and long lasting Danish human rights priorities. These includes:

  • Women’s rights including sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • prevention of torture
  • rights of indigenous peoples
  • freedom of religion or belief

In addition, Denmark uses its membership to focus on a number of focus area of importance to us, including strengthening accountability and the rule of law, promotion and protection of civic space, the human rights aspects related to new and emerging digital technologies, matters related to business and human rights, and the link between human rights and the 2030 agenda. 

You can read more about the Danish human rights priorities here (in Danish):  Danish membership of the Human Rights Council 2019-2021