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2. The Human Rights Council as a political space

2.7 Sponsorships – Your country as an actor

Your government has made certain international human rights commitments, through voluntary pledges and sponsorships, as well as by ratifying international treaties. Understanding these can help you in your work to protect and promote human rights at the national level.

This section includes information on Sponsorships, while the previous section focused on Commitments and Obligations.


Sponsors are those States who are the leaders or main supporters of a resolution on a particular human rights theme or country situation. Sponsors typically write, negotiate and present the resolution to the Human Rights Council.

Co-sponsors are those States that are supporters of the resolution, and indicate so by signing on to it.

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Below are some examples of sponsorships by different States.

Sponsors of particular human rights themes:

  • Brazil - Human Rights Education
  • Norway - Human Rights Defenders
  • Portugal - Education
  • Canada - Violence against Women
  • Austria - Safety of Journalists
  • Senegal – Minorities
  • Latin American and Caribbean countries, EU – Rights of the Child
  • Brazil, Finland, Germany, Namibia – Right to Adequate Housing

Sponsors of a particular country:

  • EU – on Burundi
  • France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UK, US (core group) – on Syria

Why are they important to your advocacy strategy?

If you know the sponsor of a resolution, then you know the right country representative to talk to, to ensure your points are included in the resolution.

Knowing co-sponsors is important too. In the civil society space, co-sponsors are the ones you want to talk to in order to garner support for another resolution on a similar issue. Or put another way, if you are looking for States to support a particular position or issue, find out which States were co-sponsors of a resolution on a similar issue.

Key Resources

Resolutions, State sponsorships and HRC elections:

  • The RightDocs database will help you find out when a particular country was elected to the Human Rights Council, what human rights themes or countries a State is sponsoring/co-sponsoring, which State is sponsoring/co-sponsoring a particular resolution, what resolutions have been adopted by the Human Rights Council on a particular human rights theme or country, and when and how a State voted on a particular resolution.

Human Rights Council voting, preparing for elections:

  • The Universal Rights Group website has the Country Voting History Portal, which gives the voting records of all States who have been members of the Council, and the Human Rights Resolution Portal, which provides information on, and access to, all resolutions passed by the Council, and all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly's Third Committee since 2006.

Reflection Questions

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Use the Key Resources links at the bottom of this section to help you research the following:

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