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Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

Introduction

19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX © UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre
19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
© UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre


The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 October 2014 there are 39 thematic and 14 country mandates.

With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.
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Visual Directory


Directory of Special Procedures Mandate Holders

Special Procedures Visual Directory Accessible - August 2014
English
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Annual Fact and Figures 2013


Annual Fact and Figures 2013

English
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Civil Society Handbook

Civil Society Handbook

Click here Chapter VI - Special Procedures and the Full handbook here (PDF, 1,28MB)

UPR recommendations relating to the Special Procedures (2008-2013)

UPR recommendations relating to the Special Procedures (2008-2013)

UPR recommendations  (PDF, 1,73MB)

Videos


Visit of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons -- Italy, September 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on truth -- Uruguay, October 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation -- Brazil, December 2013



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Feature stories

Feature stories about the Special Procedures of the
Human Rights Council.
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Contact us


Postal address:
Special Procedures Division
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Fax : +41 22 917 90 08

Philippines / Right to food
“Philippines must prioritize food and nutrition security,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, warns at the end of her first fact-finding mission to the country.

A victory for freedom of expression
The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, hails the US Federal Communications Commission’s decision to protect net neutrality in the country.

Fighting slavery in Belgium
“Proper victim identification is crucial in fighting modern slavery in Belgium”– UN expert Urmila Bhoola calls on the Government to strengthen its fight against all forms of contemporary slavery.

Mission to Mali
UN Independent Expert Suliman Baldo will visit Mali to assess the situation of human rights in the country at a key moment in the current round of peace negotiations (1-10 March).

35 years against disappearances
The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances meets in Argentina 35 years after its creation in response to dictatorship’s disappearances (2-6 March 2015).

More press releases...

For further information on how to submit communications on alleged human rights violations, please read the webpage on Communications and send your submission to: urgent-action@ohchr.org.