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2. The Human Rights Council as a political space

2.3 Human Rights Council actors and groups

When we think of the Human Rights Council, it’s important to understand that the Member States are not the only actors in the room – there are other bodies and groups influencing the activities of the Council.


Various actors engage with the Human Rights Council:

  • Countries that are members of the Council (the only actors who can vote)
  • Other countries: Observer States
  • NGOs
  • NHRIs
  • UN agencies
  • Media


How States act within the Council is influenced by its membership in various groups and they represent alliances or shared positions.

These can be divided into three broad groups:

  • Regional Groups
  • Political Groups
  • Informal Groups

Find out more about the roles of these actors and groups in the following sections.

Learn more

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