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date: 29 May 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the evolution of the United Nations’ (UN) human rights agency from the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) into the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). It explains that UNHRC was created in March 2006 to replace the UNCHR and become the world’s premier human rights body. It evaluates the effectiveness of the UNHRC’s peer-review human rights mechanism called the Universal Periodic Review. This article also offers some suggestions on how to improve the performance of the UNHRC including changes in size and distribution of membership, membership criteria, voting patterns and participation of non-state actors.

Keywords: UNHRC, UNCHR, human rights agency, Universal Periodic Review, membership criteria, voting patterns, non-state actors

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