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Follow-up activities of special procedures

Special procedures mandate holders attach great value to following up on their activities undertaken. They do so by, inter alia, issuing follow-up communications to cases previously transmitted to States and non-State actors, reports containing observations on communications and follow-up press releases, undertaking follow-up visits, sending questionnaires and presenting reports to follow up on the implementation of recommendations made after country visits, and convening expert meetings and consultations.

An overview of such activities undertaken by mandate holders in 2016 is available below. More information can be found in the annual reports of special procedures, presented to each March session of the Human Rights Council, which contain information and similar non-exhaustive lists of follow-up activities undertaken by mandate holders. 

Follow-up activities undertaken by mandate holders in 2016

A. Follow-up on communications

In 2016, 187 follow-up communications were sent out of a total of 526 communications; constituting 36 % (see Annex VI). In addition, the following 5 mandate holders issued observations on communications:

Special Rapporteur on the situation   of human rights defenders

Observations on communications transmitted to Governments and replies received (A/HRC/31/55/Add.1)

Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of assembly and of association

Observations on communications transmitted to Governments and replies received (A/HRC/32/36/Add.3)

Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Observations on communications transmitted to Governments and replies received (A/HRC/32/39/Add.3)

Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment

Observations on communications transmitted to Governments and replies received (A/HRC/31/57/Add.1)

Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances

Observations on communications included in the post-sessional documents and annual reports of the Working Group (A/HRC/33/51, A/HRC/WGEID/108/1, A/HRC/WGEID/109/1 and A/HRC/WGEID/110/1)

 

B. Follow-up country visits

7 mandate holders conducted in total 11 follow-up visits:

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced  persons

Visit to Honduras from15 to 17 August 2016 in follow-up to the country visit conducted from 23 to 27 November 2015.
Visit to Ukraine from 1 to 9 September 2016 in follow-up to the country visit conducted from 16 to 25 September 2014
Visit to Serbia and Kosovo* from 11 to 15 September 2016 in follow-up to the country visit undertaken from 9 to 12 October 2013.
Visit to Georgia from 25 to 29 September 2016 in follow-up to the previous follow-up visit undertaken from 10 to 14 June 2013. A short report will be presented to the 35th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2017.
* Any reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, is to be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants

Country visit to Greece from 12 to 16 May 2016 in follow-up to a previous visit conducted in 2012. The report will be presented to the 35th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2017.

Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence

Visit to Belfast from 16 to 18 May 2016, in follow-up to his country visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 9 to 18 November 2015 (A/HRC/34/62/Add.1)
Advisory visits to Sri Lanka from 26 January to 1 February 2016 and from 6 to 10 June 2016, in follow-up to his first advisory visit to the country from 30 March to 3 April 2015.

Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights

Visit to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, from 30 May to 3 June 2016 in follow-up to the country visit conducted to Greece from 30 November to 7 December 2015 in relation to concerns about policy responses of the EU institutions to the sovereign debt crisis affecting several EU Member States. Report to be presented to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2017.

Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and   of association

Country visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 18 to 21 April 2016 in follow-up to the previous visit conducted from 14 to 23 January 2013. The report will be presented to the 35th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2017.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

Country visit to Brazil from 7 to 17 March 2016 in follow-up to a previous visit conducted in 2009. The report was presented to the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council in September 2016 (A/HRC/33/42/Add.1)

Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

Country visit to the United States of America from 19 to 29 January 2016 in follow-up to the previous visit that took place in 2010. The visit report was presented to the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council in September 2016 (A/HRC/**/61/Add.2).

 

C. Follow-up reports

3 mandates presented reports in which they followed-up on their recommendations made to States:

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Follow-up reports on country visits conducted to Pakistan in 2012 and to the Republic of Congo in 2011 presented to the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council in September 2016 (A/HRC/33/51/Add.7).

Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Follow-up report on recommendations made to Mexico following the country visit conducted from 22 April to 2 May 2013 presented to the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council in June 2016 (A/HRC/32/39/Add.2).

Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order

Follow-up report on the human rights impact of WTO law and practice in relation to international trade and investment agreements presented at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council in September 2016 (A/HRC/33/40) to two previous reports presented to the Council in 2015 on related issues.

 

D. Follow-up public statements and press releases

7 mandate holders issued 5 follow-up  public statements:

Special Rapporteur on the situation   of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967

Press release issued on 16 December 2016 highlighting growing legal pressure on human rights defenders in Israel jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, in follow-up to two communications transmitted to the country in 2016 and the Special Rapporteurs report to the General Assembly (A/71/554).

Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

Press release issued on 25 October 2016 in follow-up to an open letter addressed to the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General dated 5 October 2016 on the responsibility of the United Nations for the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Both actions followed up on the Special Rapporteurs’ report to the 71st session of the General Assembly on the same topic (A/71/367).

Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and  consequences, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons

Two press releases issued, on 12 February 2016 and on 18 October 2016, concerning the safety of internally displaced persons in areas liberated from Boko Haram Forces and the release of 21 Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity in follow-up to a country visit to Nigeria conducted by the Special Rapporteurs on sale of children, slavery and health from 18 to 22 January 2016, and in follow-up to several communications led by the Special Rapporteur on sale of children on the topic.

Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Press release issued on 14 October 2016 concerning the unresolved abduction of 159 children from the Gambella region, Ethiopia, six months earlier, in follow-up to a previous press release issued on 25 May 2016 and communications sent on the same issue.

 

E. Follow-up consultations, workshops and other meetings

4 mandate holders took part in follow-up consultations, workshops and other meetings:

Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading  treatment or punishment

Two side-events organized by the Special Rapporteur during the 31st session of the Human Rights Council in follow-up to the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and ill-treatment of children deprived of liberty (A/HRC/28/68).

Special Rapporteur on the situation   of human rights defenders

Meeting held by the Special Rapporteur with civil society representatives on women human rights defenders (June 2016, Geneva, Switzerland) in follow-up to the mandate holders report on the same topic presented to the 16th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2011 (A/HRC/16/44)

Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

Participation in the 4th meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal indicators in November 2016 and engagement with the United Nations Statistical Division in 2016 in follow-up to her report to the 71st session of the General Assembly (A/71/314) recommending States develop disability-related indicators.

Special Rapporteur on the situation   of human rights in Eritrea

Consultations held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1 to 8 September 2016 with representatives of selected United Nations Member States, civil society and other interlocutors to follow-up on the implementation of recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, of which the Special Rapporteur was a member.

 

F. Other follow-up activities

3 mandates undertook other follow-up activities:

Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences

Questionnaire transmitted to regional human rights mechanisms and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on the need for a legally binding United Nations convention on violence against women and girls to follow-up on two reports published by the mandate (A/HRC/29/27 and A/70/209) on this topic and inform future action by the mandate holder.

Working Group on the issue of  human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises

Surveys sent to States in 2016 in follow-up to the 2015 revised Guidance on National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights soliciting their comments on whether, and how, the development and implementation of such National Action Plans have served to better prevent, mitigate and protect against business-related human rights abuse. 23 State replies were received, which informed the final revision of the Guidance.

Special Rapporteur on minority issues

Letters sent to all States that received official visits from the mandate to date sent in October 2016 inquiring about the status of implementation of recommendations. A short summary report on the basis of responses received is available on the mandate’s website.