Procedure to submit information to the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disability

The communication’s procedure

The Special Rapporteur seeks to receive credible and reliable information on alleged human rights violations relevant to her mandate from a variety of sources – including individuals, groups, DPOs, NGOs, civil society, Governments, United Nations agencies and bodies, and intergovernmental organizations – with a view to assess and bring individual cases, situations of concern, and/or trends and patterns of alleged violations, to the attention of the State concerned and, at a later stage, to the international community, to ensure the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

If the Special Rapporteur decides to act on the information received, she will then transmit a letter to the relevant State raising concerns and seeking clarification on the alleged violations and requesting a reply with comments and observations within a specific timeframe.

Communications sent by the Special Rapporteur and State replies received remain confidential until they are published in the Communications Reports submitted before each regular session of the Human Rights Council (in March, June and September). In certain situations, including those of grave concern, the Special Rapporteur may issue a public statement earlier.

Protection of victims and sources

It is important to note that neither the Special Rapporteur nor the United Nations have the means to ensure the safety of persons on whose behalf they may intervene.

According to the established procedure, the names of alleged victims are included in communications sent to States to enable the competent authorities to investigate the alleged violations and/or take appropriate preventive/corrective actions. The names of victims are normally also published in the Communications Reports, unless privacy or protection concerns require maintaining their identity confidential (e.g., for children, victims of sexual violence and other cases, identities are redacted from the public reports).

The identity of sources of information is always kept confidential. Therefore, it is neither included in the communication sent to the State, nor in the public Communications Report.

Procedure to submit information to the Special Rapporteur

The following information is required to assess allegations concerning individual cases:

  1. Identity and contact details of the source of the information, including:
  • Name and Surname of the person submitting the information;
  • Name and type of institution;
  • Relationship to the victim(s);  
  • Address and contact details (address, phone number, email)
  1. Identity of each alleged victim:
  • Name and  Surname;
  • Sex
  • Date of birth (or age at the time of the incident)
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • Contact details, if available
  • Other relevant information (e.g. type of impairment)
  1. Informed consent of each victim (and/or their parents/legal guardians, as appropriate) on whose behalf information is submitted, to:
  • Share information about their case with the Special Rapporteur;
  • Have their case and identity included in a confidential letter to the State concerned, should the Special Rapporteur decide to act on the information;
  • Have a summary of the case appear in the public Communications Report of the Special Procedures;
  • Decide whether they wish to have their identity included in the summary of their case in the public Communication Report, or just their initials (for children and other sensitive cases, information is automatically redacted).  
  1. Identity of the alleged perpetrator(s) (if known) of the violations:  name of the entities, institutions, groups and/or individuals involved.
  • Name of the State authorities/institutions involved, or non-State actors (if relevant);
  • Name of individuals alleged perpetrators (if relevant)
  • Role of the alleged perpetrator in relation the alleged violations
  1. Detailed description of the circumstances of the events and alleged violations, in chronological order, including:
  • Date, time and location where events occurred;
  • Context and circumstances of the events and related alleged violations;
  • Indicate whether the perceived or actual disability triggered the alleged violation;
  • Description of the alleged violations that have already occurred (e.g. denied access to inclusive education of a child with disabilities), are ongoing (arbitrary detention on the basis of disability); or about to occur (e.g. risk of forced institutionalization);
  1. Steps taken by the victim(s), their families or representatives on their behalf
  • Complaints filed with relevant State authorities (e.g., date, by whom, before which competent body);
  • Action(s) taken by official State central/regional/local authorities (e.g., date, type of action, name of competent authority/institution)

Please note that politically motivated information, or solely based on media reports, or containing abusive language will not be considered.

Important: After submission of the above information, please keep the Special Rapporteur updated of any further developments concerning the case, and share additional information that was subsequently received. 

Information meeting the criteria above can be submitted to the Special Rapporteur in accessible format, either by:

  • e-mail to:  sr.disability@ohchr.org 
  • postal mail to: Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    OHCHR-UNOG
    8-14 Avenue de la Paix
    1211 Geneva 10
    Switzerland