A Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or country situation. This position is honorary and the expert is not a United Nations staff member, nor paid for his/her work. The Special Rapporteurs are part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.
In October 2010, the Human Rights Council adopted
resolution 15/21 establishing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association for an initial period of three years.
The Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for an additional period of three years in September 2013 (resolution 24/5) and June 2016 (resolution 32/32).
The mandate-holder serves for an initial period of three years, renewable once.
The Special Rapporteur is mandated by Human Rights Council
resolution 15/21 (OP5):
- “(a) To gather all relevant information, including national practices and experiences, relating to the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, to study trends, developments and
challenges in relation to the exercise of these rights, and to make recommendations on ways and means to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in all their manifestations;
- (b) To incorporate in his or her first report an elaboration of the framework, including seeking the views of States, through which the mandate holder will consider best practices, including national practices and experiences, that promote and protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, taking into account in a comprehensive manner the relevant elements of work available within the Council;
- (c) To seek, receive and respond to information from Governments, nongovernmental organizations, relevant stakeholders and any other parties who have knowledge of these matters, with a view to promoting and protecting the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association;
- (d) To integrate a gender perspective throughout the work of the mandate;
- (e) To contribute to the provision of technical assistance or advisory services by the Office of the High Commissioner to better promote and protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association;
- (f) To report on violations, wherever they may occur, of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, as well as discrimination, threats or use of violence, harassment, persecution, intimidation or reprisals directed at persons exercising these rights, and to draw the attention of the Council and the High Commissioner to situations of particularly serious concern;
- (g) To undertake his or her activities such that the present mandate will not include those matters of specific competence of the International Labour Organization and its specialized supervisory mechanisms and procedures with respect to employers’ and workers’ rights to freedom of association, with a view to avoiding any duplication; and
- (h) To work in coordination with other mechanisms of the Council, other competent United Nations bodies and human rights treaty bodies, and to take all necessary measures to avoid unnecessary duplication with those mechanisms”.
In the discharge of his mandate, the Special Rapporteur: