Sexual Rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council
What we do
We do this through advocacy with member states, UN mechanisms and agencies. Each session, we engage the council’s debates, discussions and panels through statements, often written and delivered in collaboration with activists and other civil society organisations. We also provide workshops and trainings to organisations and activists interested in engaging with the council. Finally, we contribute to developing knowledge on sexual rights by organising events and panels, organising campaigns and creating and sharing knowledge resources.
At the HRC, we:
- Support the individual and collective power of feminist and SRHR advocates, particularly from the Global South, to (re)claim this space for accountability and justice
- Engage with states to shore up support, leadership and positive engagement on SRHR issues.
- Engage with various stakeholders (states, UN agencies, civil society organisations and activists) in the Council to better integrate an intersectional, decolonial, and economic justice approach to SRHR.
This work intersects with the Special Procedures when they report to the Council and the Universal Periodic Review.
UN Advocacy Tool
This tool is a collaborative project by Fòs Feminista and the Sexual Rights Initiative. It aims to facilitate access for advocates and delegates to UN intergovernmental resolutions, expert guidance, and technical information in order to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights at the global level and hold governments accountable for their international obligations and commitments.
This tool includes two sections:
- A searchable database of adopted intergovernmental documents and of expert guidance related to sexual and reproductive health and rights,
- A curated list of key sexual and reproductive health and rights terms with selected examples of agreed language and additional guidance, definitions and resources.
What is the Human Rights Council?
The Human Rights Council, an intergovernmental mechanism made up of 47 UN member states, was created by the General Assembly in 2006 to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights across the globe and address human rights violations and make recommendations. The HRC can discuss either thematic or country-specific issues. The human rights council has three regular sessions every year and special sessions for urgent situations.
47 UN Member States are elected by the UN General Assembly to serve on the Human Rights Council for a three-year term. All 193 UN Member States can participate in the proceedings of the Human Rights Council; however, only the 47 Members are entitled to vote on actions to be taken.
The Human Rights Council is mandated to:
- Engage governments, civil society, and experts to debate, discuss, and adopt resolutions on thematic and country-specific human rights concerns.
- Appoint Special Procedures to analyze and report on human rights related to particular themes and in specific countries.
- Assess the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States through the Universal Periodic Review.
- Examine human rights violation complaints.
The Human Rights Council meets three times a year for regular sessions in March, June, and September at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.