The Project

When the UN Human Rights Council was created in 2006, Human Rights Watch was among the many organizations pressing for – and hoping – the body would become an effective way of promoting and protecting human rights worldwide. In the past several years, we have seen positive signs the council can make a significant contribution in addressing abuses; we have also seen some of the council’s shortcomings.

This project – Votes Count – is an effort to cast a light on the activities of the Council, hold its members accountable for their actions and help create a forum for discussion. It focuses on the Council's performance addressing “situations of violations of human rights” throughout the world.

On this website you can follow a particular country’s performance at the Human Rights Council over time. You can see whether that country supports the Council’s work addressing human rights violations on the ground – and in particular countries. You can see whether the country in question played a leadership role in bringing attention to a particular country situation. You can see how it voted on resolutions addressing country-specific violations and whether it was an active participant in the Council’s debates on particular situations.

This website is organized by countries that are or have been member states of the Human Rights Council since 2012. But you can also search  by the kinds of country resolutions the Council has adopted in order to see how different countries voted on a particular country-specific issue.

This project does not address the Human Rights Council's performance on thematic issues or on its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism.

We plan to continually update this site with news and analysis, the latest resolutions and votes, creating a resource that can be used by anyone interested in the council and human rights.