The United Nations human rights mechanisms that derive their power from the United Nations Charter include the Human Rights Council and Special Procedures. Charter-based human rights bodies have the authority to review human rights practices of all members of the United Nations.
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 States responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006, to address situations of human rights violations.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process of review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.
Special procedures is the general name of mechanisms to address specific country situations or thematic issues. Special procedures' mandates usually call for the examination, monitoring, and public reporting on human rights situations in specific countries or territories, known as country mandates, or on major phenomena of human rights violations worldwide, known as thematic mandates. Special procedures are either an individual (called "Special Rapporteur", "Special Representative of the Secretary-General" or "Independent Expert") or a working group usually composed of five members (one from each region) . Most Special Procedures receive information on specific allegations of human rights violations and send urgent appeals or letters of allegation to governments asking for clarification.
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