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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 July 2014 there are 38 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)

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

Do more to protect journalists
Attacks on reporters covering conflicts harm us all, freedom of expression experts say, as they call for greater protection for journalists.

Victims of Enforced Disappearances
Two UN expert groups call on States “to remove all obstacles” to aid search for the disappeared, including through the opening of all archives -especially military files.

The right to challenge detention
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention launches a global talk on the right of anyone deprived of liberty to contest the lawfulness of his or her detention before court (1-2 September).

Discrimination against women
Mission to Chile: the UN Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice will assess progress made towards gender equality in the country (1-9 September).


More press releases...

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

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.