Sexual Rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council

SRI as a feminist coalition has participated in every regular session of the Council since its formation. SRI works at the Human Rights Council to bring a feminist and intersectional approach to sexuality and gender while foregrounding the voices of the Global South.
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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. 

Learn more about the HRC






































Stay in the know

- February 22

The 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place from 27 February to 4 April 2023.
Below you can find information about:
Anticipated sexual rights-related resolutions, panels and reports
UPR outcomes
SRI’s online events taking place during the 52nd session

Read more


SRI events at the HRC

Published on September 16, 2022

A Conversation on Safe Abortion
Autonomy, control & self-management:
guidelines & essential policy

Side-event during the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council
Tuesday 20 September 17:00 to 18:00 CEST
Palais des Nations, Room XXV




UN Advocacy Tool

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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:

  1. A searchable database of adopted intergovernmental documents and of expert guidance related to sexual and reproductive health and rights,
  2. 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.

To learn more about the Human Rights Council, please visit its website or watch this video produced by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.