Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is part of the UN, responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of all human rights and addressing human rights violations. It holds regular sessions three times a year, including a day on child rights every March. Child Rights NGOs can take part in its work in a number of different ways.

What is the Human Rights Council?

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an inter-governmental body which is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of all human rights and addressing human rights violations. The HRC holds regular sessions in Geneva three times a year in March, June and September. It can also meet for special sessions, usually to address serious human rights crises, such as the recent sessions on Syria. The HRC is composed of 47 UN Member States, which are elected by the UN General Assembly. The HRC covers all human rights, including issues specifically related to child rights. NGO Engagement with the HRC

NGOs working on child rights can engage with the HRC through a number of different mechanisms and processes:

  • Interactive dialogues, panels and resolutions linked to its regular sessions, including the annual day on the rights of the child
  • The Universal Periodic Review
  • The UN Special Procedures: independent human rights experts mandated to report and advise on human rights related to specific themes or countries.

For more information on how the HRC works, please visit the OHCHR website.

Next session

Find out more about the session at the HRC website. The HRC sessions are webcast. If you would like to watch them, go to the media section on the OHCHR website. To find out more about what child rights NGOs are doing during the session in relation to some of the resolutions, contact Child Rights Connect.

Annual Day on the Rights of the Child

Every year, the HRC dedicates a full day to discuss a specific child rights theme during its March session. At the end of the session, it negotiates and adopts a resolution about the specific theme or child rights in general. This more general resolution is called an Omnibus Resolution.

See how Child Rights Connect ensures children’s voices are taken into account:
2015 Annual Day – towards better investment in the rights of the child


2014 Annual Day – access to justice for children

How to Take Part in the Annual Day
Each year, Child Rights Connect helps organise the Annual Day along with States and UN agencies. We create an ad hoc group of NGOs for each theme to ensure that the NGOs with relevant expertise can contribute to both the organisation of the panel discussion and the resolution. read more

Mobilising our members and partners to present a joint NGO position on the theme means that we can influence both the discussion on the day, as well as the text of the resolution. NGOs can also advocate for a particular theme to be discussed the following year. Child Rights Connect usually coordinates its members’ and partners’ views on a theme, especially where consensus has been reached. NGOs then advocate for States to include this theme in the resolution. Since 2012, the thematic report on the Annual Day has been prepared in advance of the panel and resolution. This is another opportunity for NGOs to get involved, by sending contributions about the theme.

Child Rights Resolutions in the HRC

Child Rights Connect has gathered a non-exhaustive list of recent resolutions related to child rights.
For a full list of all the resolutions of the HRC, please refer to the OHCHR website.