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The 11th session of the Human Rights Council begins


The 11th session of the Human Rights Council opened today in Geneva. Lasting from 2-19 June 2009, the session will assess the human rights situation is various countries.

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 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. 

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, John Ruggie, presented his report "Business and human rights: Towards operationalizing the 'protect, respect and remedy' framework." The report outlines how such a mandate can be translated into a framework of practical guiding principles. At its core is the basic expectation that the state is responsible for the standards that should protect people from any sort of corporate culture that infringes or violates their human rights. Ruggie stressed that remedy, as provided by the state, should not comprise only punishment, but importantly, prevention and mediation.

The full programme of work of the 11th session of the Human Rights Council is available online. Also, see here for the full list of reports by all the Special Rapporteurs and Representatives.