Special responsibility: Germany elected to the UN Human Rights Council

United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva / Switzerland

Human Rights Council, © picture alliance


On 17 October 2019, Germany was elected to serve on the UN Human Rights Council from 2020 to 2022. As a member, Germany will advocate, among other things, the right to sanitation and water and will work to fight human trafficking.

Germany’s upcoming membership in the Human Rights Council (2020-2022)

Whether it be campaigning against torture and the death penalty, for children’s rights or the right to education and health – Germany is working steadfastly to protect human rights. Working to advance human rights is a cornerstone of German foreign policy.

From 2020 to 2022, Germany will assume special responsibility for human rights. On 17 October 2019, Germany was elected to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council. This will be Germany’s fourth membership in this key institution, which is committed to protecting and further developing human rights around the world.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement following Germany’s election to this body:

Germany’s election to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations is a token of confidence in our country and a tribute to our consistent stand on human rights around the world. Seventy years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its proclamation of dignity and personal freedom remains merely a distant promise for many. Particularly at a time when other countries are withdrawing from the Council, Germany will stand up for the protection and promotion of human rights across the world.

From the right to water to the fight against human trafficking

The right to water and sanitation, the fight against human trafficking and the protection of privacy in the digital age are only some of the priorities that Germany intends to pursue as a member of the Human Rights Council. Germany is also campaigning for inclusion in the Council agenda of human rights issues that arise due to climate change and the employment of artificial intelligence.

Moreover, Germany will resolutely defend the important role played by civil society in the Human Rights Council and will bring to the table current human rights issues from around the globe. Women’s rights also remain an important priority. Germany is combating gender-based violence at the international level.

Multilateralism – working together for human rights

In 2020, Germany will be a member of both the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council – two key bodies of the multilateral order and international cooperation. As as a defender of multilateralism, Germany will work closely with other member states towards strengthening human rights around the world.

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