FIDH has been involved in the work of the Human Rights Council (HRC) since 2006, when it succeeded the late Commission on Human Rights. The advocacy work conducted by FIDH at the HRC covers both country situations (in particular, closed countries and situations of human rights crises) and thematic issues, such as human rights defenders, the right to privacy, freedom of expression, business and human rights, etc. It is based upon three ideas:
Bringing the voices of civil society, human rights defenders and victims of human rights violations and abuses from around the world to the HRC has an inherent value. Within the HRC, civil society space must be protected, claimed and expanded;
Advocacy and lobbying conducted by FIDH in its own name and with its member and partner organizations contribute to shaping the agenda of the HRC and influencing the contents of the resolutions it adopts, which can be powerful tools to bring about progress at the national, regional and global levels; and
Civil society’s capacity to contribute to shaping the responses articulated by the HRC to patterns of human rights violations and situations of human rights crises must be strengthened, including its capacity to raise awareness and to formulate proposals on actions to be taken by the Council, in particular to protect victims of violations and abuses, human rights defenders and civil society organizations.
FIDH’s work at the HRC is based on advocacy materials (letters to states and UN institutions, advocacy notes, position papers, reports, etc.), oral statements delivered before the Council, and “side events” organized in parallel to HRC sessions, in addition to reaching out to state representatives and providing relevant information to UN officials and independent experts.