Human Rights Council

Committee language: English

The Human Rights Council of the UN (United Nations Human Rights Council, for short: UNHRC) is one of the subsidiary organs of the General Assembly and is the main UN forum for cooperation on human rights (Resolution 60/251). The Human Rights Council is obliged to meet at least three times a year and consists of 47 states, which are elected by the General Assembly according to the regional group principle for a period of three years.

The main task of the MRR is to support states in fulfilling their human rights obligations and to make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding the further development of international law in the field of human rights. To this end, the MRR regularly reviews each individual UN member state within the framework of the Universal Periodic Review and may convene special procedures that deal specifically with a human rights situation in a state or a human rights issue. Other instruments of the HRC are the advisory committees and complaints procedures.

Topics MUNHN 2021:

International cooperation in the fight against organised trafficking in human beings 

Many people are forced to look for new opportunities abroad because of conflicts or a lack of employment opportunities. Too often, traffickers take advantage of this situation and force migrants into prostitution or work. Since more and more people are getting into human trafficking-like structures due to diverse and extensive conflicts, the HRC has decided to put the fight against human trafficking back on its agenda.

Protection of academic freedom and equitable access to quality education

In its 1997 Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, UNESCO describes academic freedom as "the right [...] to freedom of teaching and discussion, freedom to conduct and disseminate research and to publish the results thereof [and] freedom from institutional censorship" (quote translated by MUNHN). In reality, however, research and academic education find themselves threatened by a variety of different problems. Not only the repression of certain research projects or institutions and the dismissal and arrest of critical academics pose a major threat. Even in countries that value academic freedom, a creeping undermining of this very freedom is occurring. Even in modern times, there is inadequate access to quality education in many countries. Since academic freedom is the foundation of a free social order, and since education is one of the most important human rights that is still not granted everywhere, the Human Rights Council has decided to put this issue on its agenda.

Protecting youth from recruitment by extremist organisations 

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child grants every child the right to protection from physical and mental violence and exploitation. Nevertheless, children and young people fight in extremist groups and often lose their lives in the process. Especially in times of digital information dissemination, these organisations also have the opportunity to carry out transnational propaganda. Since this means that more and more children and young people are falling into the hands of terrorist organisations, the UN Human Rights Council has decided to deal with this issue.