Academic Friends of the Advisory Committee


About the Academic Friends of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee

At its 15th session in August 2015, the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee decided to establish an academic friendship with academics and universities around the world to work together collaboratively on the topics of the Advisory Committee's studies and research-based reports, by conducting joint research and holding related workshops and seminars.

Contributing to the work of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee as its Academic Friend, is purely pro bono, and out of support to the work of the Committee. No compensation of any kind is given to members of this network for their contributions. An honorary mention in studies or reports and the attribution of the title ‘Academic Friend of the Advisory Committee’ can be the only recognition on behalf of the Advisory Committee, if the Committee deems it appropriate.

Collaboration within this network is mainly through digital communication (e-mail, video conferencing etc.). Members of this network can provide relevant written inputs to studies or research-based reports of the Advisory Committee, and discussions can also take place in the context of other existing networks of academics. Academic Friends may also be accredited to attend the plenary discussions of the Committee at its sessions, should they wish to travel at their own expense to Geneva for that purpose.

Objectives of the network of Academic Friends

Linking theory and academic analysis with practice, this network of Academic Friends also aims to support the studies and research-based actions of the Advisory Committee to foster debate between academics and practitioners, and to build a broad network among academics on human rights expertise.

Overview of the selection process

Academic Friends of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee are selected on the basis of academic excellence in research, relevant expertise and experience in human rights, independence, impartiality, personal integrity and objectivity. The process involves a written application, following which successful candidates are contacted to finalize the selection process. Applications are reviewed bearing in mind the following criteria:

1.     Qualifications: relevant educational qualifications or equivalent professional experience in the field of human rights; excellent communication skills, including outstanding drafting skills in English.

2.     Relevant expertise: strong knowledge of international human rights instruments, norms and principles; as well as knowledge of institutional mandates related to the United Nations or other international or regional organizations work in the area of human rights; proven work experience in the field of human rights.

3.     Established competence: nationally, regionally or internationally recognized competence related to human rights.

4.     Flexibility/readiness and availability of time to contribute to the work of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, including attending, if necessary, its sessions.

5.     Affiliation with a university/academic institution: the candidate should be an academic, and not a representative of an NGO or an individual with no link to any university. The university/academic institution in question should be an internationally recognized one.

6.     Academic expertise: preference will be given to candidates who have relevant expertise with regard to current and future mandates of the Advisory Committee. High interests and proven experiences in the field of human rights, in particular the current thematic issues discussed amongst the Advisory Committee will be a strong asset.

7.     Graduation level: the candidate should be a PHD holder or PHD candidate. Master degree with relevant research papers and publication on human rights issues may also be considered.

8.     Working languages: the candidate should be fluent in English and/or French or Spanish.

9.     Due consideration is given to gender balance and equitable geographic representation, as well as to an appropriate representation of different legal systems.

Current thematic issues of the Advisory Committee

1.     Impact of new technologies for climate protection on the enjoyment of human rights

2.     Advancement of racial justice and equality

Application procedure

For the time being, the Committee is not accepting any new applications.