Human Rights Council

What is the Human Rights Council?

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system, which is responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights and addressing human rights violations across the world. The HRC holds regular sessions in Geneva three times a year; in March, June and September.

The HRC is composed of 47 UN Member States, which are elected by the UN General Assembly.

For more information on how the HRC works, please visit the OHCHR website, where you can access the HRC webcast.

Our engagement at the Human Rights Council

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including those working on children’s rights can engage with the HRC through a number of different mechanisms and processes: Influencing interactive dialogues, panels and resolutions during its regular sessions. A crucial one is the Annual Day on the Rights of the Child (ADRC), which is a panel discussion that takes place during the March session.

We coordinate network activities at the HRC and provide awareness-raising and technical assistance to our wider membership. Through this collaborative approach and by bridging the local to global, we create a stronger voice for children and are helping to ensure that children’s views influence the work of the Council to advance children’s rights at all levels.

Promoting meaningful, safe and effective child participation for children is one of the strategic priorities and key areas of expertise of Child Rights Connect. We also work to strengthen child participation at the HRC.

However, the broader UN human rights system is yet to incorporate effectively children’s views in its work. Child Rights Connect empowers children, children’s rights defenders and States so that they better understand and promote the role of children within the broader human rights framework and then strengthen the national level child participation processes accordingly.

Annual Day on the Rights of the Child

Every year, the Human Rights Council dedicates a full day to discuss a specific children’s rights theme during its March session. At the end of the session, it negotiates and adopts a resolution about that specific theme. This event takes the form of two panel discussions

How to Take Part in the Annual Day

Each year, Child Rights Connect helps to 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.

By mobilising our partners for the Annual Day each year, we can influence a  stronger child rights-based approach in both the discussion on the day as well as the text of the resolution. We also coordinate advocacy for  particular themes to be addressed. Since 2012, a thematic report on the Annual Day has been prepared by OHCHR in advance of the panel and resolution. This is another opportunity whereby Child Rights Connect takes forward a network approach to submit suggested text and advocacy positions.

See how Child Rights Connect ensures children’s voices are taken into account:

Our member network has a broad reach and works in every country in the world.

It is unique in its global outreach and its diversity, constituting a strong and credible global voice on children’s rights.

Help us create a world in which all children can enjoy their rights.