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The 10th anniversary of the Human Rights Council: Civil society proposes steps to strengthen the Human Rights Council

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Cover HRC10The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and 19 other international, regional and national non-governmental organisations, released a joint civil society paper today on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC).

The joint civil society paper, Strengthening the Human Rights Council at 10, suggests a number of short- and medium-term steps to enhance the HRC’s ability to better fulfil its role.

“The 10th anniversary should be not only an occasion for celebrating the achievements of the HRC, but primarily to critically reflect on its shortcomings, and to enhance its impact and effectiveness,” the report notes. It states that the proposals in the report might help “to gradually turn the HRC into a more accessible, inclusive, efficient, influential, protective and effective human rights body.”


While the report’s proposals are not intended as a blueprint for the reform of the HRC, it is hoped that it will contribute towards a vision of a HRC where:

  1. Outputs have a direct and positive impact on the behaviour of States and non-State actors with regard to human rights,
  2. Serious human rights situations and violations are addressed in a timely, substantive and principled manner,
  3. A diversity of civil society representatives and human rights defenders have a safe and central role in the Council’s work, and are able to contribute substantively and influentially to its work; and
  4. There is greater adherence to HRC membership standards, including in relation to cooperation with the HRC and its mechanisms, and to ‘upholding the highest standards of human rights’ at home, internationally and at the HRC itself.

Click here to download the paper (PDF)