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United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

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The United States recently announced that it would rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council.

It may be known that three years ago, former President Donald Trump separated America from the United Nations Humans Rights Council.

The United States will currently join it as an observer, with the purpose of being elected as a full member on the Council.

United Nations Humans Rights Council (UNHRC):

  • The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.
  • Its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland.


  • It is group of 47 United Nations member countries elected by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Currently, the United Nations Humans Rights Council has 47 members, and to ensure geographical representation of the entire world, seats are allocated on an annual basis.
  • The council members have tenure of three years, and after serving for two consecutive terms, no member is eligible for immediate re-election.
  • A country is allowed one seat, for a maximum of two consecutive terms.

Functions of the United Nations Humans Rights Council:

  • The Council, through a ‘universal periodic review (UPR)’ of all 193 member states of the United Nations, passes non-binding resolutions on human rights related subjects.
  • It oversees expert investigations for human rights violations in particular countries.
  • Challenges and reforms are required before the United Nations Humans Rights Council.
  • Human rights records of member countries of the UN Human Rights Council, such as Saudi Arabia, China and Russia, do not correspond to its purpose and mission, causing critics to question the council’s relevance.

What was the reason that America got out of this?

  • Membership of the United Nations Humans Rights Council was very comfortable, which sometimes includes countries that are seen as countries with extensive human rights abuses.
  • The structure of the council’s membership has been an important concern for critics. Countries such as China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela have joined the council despite allegations of human rights abuses.
  • The US pulled out of it in 2018 due to the council’s incompatible focus on Israel, Significantly, the Council has received the most critical proposals regarding Israel than any other country.

Source – The Hindu

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