Human Rights Council Advisory Committee Concludes Its 31st Session


The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee has concluded its 31st session in Geneva. During the session, which ran from 19 February to 23 February, the Committee worked on two studies mandated by the Human Rights Council; firstly, on neurotechnology and human rights and; secondly, on the human rights implications of new and emerging technologies in the military domain.

The session was opened on 19 February by the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Omar ZNIBER, who welcomed new members of the Committee and expressed his appreciation for the fact its membership had reached gender parity for the first time. The President also recalled the role played by the Committee as the Council’s “think-tank,” and welcomed the submission of its two latest reports, namely on advancing racial justice and equality by uprooting systemic racism, and on the impact of new technologies intended for climate protection on the enjoyment of human rights. In addition, the President noted how successfully States, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders had engaged in discussion with the Committee’s Chair during an interactive dialogue that was held during the 54th session of the Human Rights Council in September 2023. He thanked the Committee for its work on them. They would inform the Council’s discussion on these topics, he said.

“I am also looking forward to the two studies on which your Committee is currently working,” Ambassador Zniber said, noting that many stakeholders had expressed support for these upcoming studies.

During this session, chaired by Javier Palummo, the Committee continued working on the two studies mandated by the Human Rights Council, namely on:

  • the impact, opportunities and challenges of neurotechnology with regard to the promotion and protection of all human rights (HRC resolution 51/3)
  • human rights implications of new and emerging technologies in the military domain (HRC resolution 51/22).

Finally, the Committee held discussions on its methods of work, and held private meetings with NGOS as well as with the Bureau of the Human Rights Council and regional and political coordinators.

At the end of the session, the Committee took action on two issues.

On Neurotechnology and human rights, the Committee took note of the preliminary draft report submitted by the drafting group. The Committee requested the drafting group to finalize the report in the light of the discussion held and decided to submit it to the Human Rights Council at its 57th session in September-October 2024, after having circulated it electronically to all members of the Committee for approval.

On Human rights implications of new and emerging technologies in the military domain, the Committee welcomed the inputs received from Member States and other stakeholders in response to a note verbale and questionnaire circulated after its 30th session. The Committee requested the drafting group to submit a preliminary draft of the report at its 32nd session, considering the input from stakeholders and the discussions held at the current session. The Committee also encouraged stakeholders to continue to contribute to the work already under way.

In closed meetings, the Advisory Committee held a discussion on the following research proposals and reflection papers:

  • Plastics life-cycle’s implications on the realization of human rights
  • Promoting and protecting the human rights of intersex persons
  • Human rights education
  • Rights of older persons
  • Rights of prisoners on remand awaiting their trials

Documentation on the 31st session is available on the Advisory Committee’s session webpage. The 32nd session of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee is scheduled to take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 5 to 9 August 2024.


The Advisory Committee is a body of 18 independent experts serving as a “think tank” to the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was established in 2008, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, to provide studies and research-based advice, as requested by the Council, and meets twice a year. The Committee’s work is implementation-oriented and follows thematic issues linked to the mandate of the Council, namely, the promotion and protection of all human rights. It interacts with States, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisations and other civil society representatives.

* The current composition of the Advisory Committee and the term of membership of each expert are as follows: Nurah Alamro (Saudi Arabia, 2024); Noor Al Malki Al-Jehani (Qatar, 2025); Joseph Gérard Angoh (Mauritius, 2026); Buhm-Suk Baek (Republic of Korea, 2026*); Nadia Amal Bernoussi (Morocco, 2026*); Rabah Boudache (Algeria, 2025); Aldo de Campos Costa (Brazil, 2025); Milena Costas Trascasas (Spain, 2025*); Riva Ganguly Das (India, 2026); Sebastião Da Silva Isata (Angola, 2025); Jewell Major (Bahamas, 2025); Javier Palummo (Uruguay, 2025*); Vasilka Sancin (Slovenia, 2025); Patrycja Sasnal (Poland, 2026*); Vassilis Tzevelekos (Greece, 2024); Catherine Van de Heyning (Belgium, 2026*); Frans Viljoen (South Africa, 2024); and Yue Zhang (China, 2025).

[*Member serving second term]

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