United Nations mandated commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions and investigations are increasingly being used to respond to situations of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, whether protracted or resulting from sudden events, and to promote accountability for such violations and counter impunity. These international investigative bodies have been established by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
As part of its core work, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides expertise and support to commissions and missions established by UN bodies, and carries out missions under the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights or at the request of other bodies. OHCHR work includes developing guidance and tools for the operation of commissions and missions, advising on mandate development, investigation methodology and applicable international law, setting up secretariats with specialist staff, providing administrative, logistical and security support, providing briefing and training to members and staff, undertaking reviews and lessons learned exercises. Since 1992, OHCHR has provided support to and deployed close to 50 commissions and missions.
The Research Guide provides key information on international commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions and other investigations established by the United Nations to gather information, analyze and report on violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including: mandating authority, mandate, members, key dates and links to related resolutions and reports.
Press statement on the alleged use of chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta
13 April 2018
UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Sexual and gender-based violence against women, girls, men, and boys a devastating and pervasive feature of the conflict and must end now
15 March 2018
Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar: concrete and overwhelming information points to international crimes
12 March 2018
UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Amid the ruins of Ar-Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr, calls for justice and accountability by victims and families must be urgently addressed
06 March 2018
UN Human Rights Commission collects evidence to hold more than 40 South Sudanese officials accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity
23 February 2018
Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic A/HRC/36/55 (8 August 2017) | العربية (Annex)
Human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations in the Syrian Arab Republic, 21 July 2016- 28 February 2017*. Conference room paper of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic - A/HRC/34/CRP.3English only (10 March 2017)
Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi
A/HRC/36/54 (11 Aug. 2017) and Corr.1 (4 October 2017)
Rapport final détaillé de la Commission d’enquête sur le Burundi A/HRC/36/CRP.1/Rev.1 (20 September 2017) (Français)
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