October 3, 2016 to October 5, 2016

Social Forum 2016, Palais des Nations, Geneva


The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is defined as a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year.

In setting the theme and focus of discussion for each Forum, the Human Rights Council underlines the importance of coordinated efforts at national, regional and international levels for the promotion of social cohesion based on the principles of social justice, equity and solidarity as well as of addressing the social dimension and challenges of the on-going globalization process. The debates are steered by a Chairperson-Rapporteur, appointed every year by the Human Rights Council from candidates nominated by regional groups, who is responsible for leading the discussions.

The Social Forum is open to the participation of representatives of United Nations Member States and all other interested stakeholders including intergovernmental organizations, different components of the United Nations system, representatives of the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and representatives of other non-governmental organizations, whose aims and purposes are in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Forum is also open to the participation of emerging actors, such as: small groups and rural and urban associations from the North and the South; anti-poverty groups; peasants’ and farmers’ organizations and their national and international associations; voluntary service organizations; youth associations; grassroots organizations, trade unions and associations of workers, among others.