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Reporting mandate of the Secretary-General on intimidation and reprisals for cooperation with the UN in the field of human rights

Human Rights Council resolution 12/2 invites the Secretary-General to submit, annually, a report to the Council containing a compilation and analysis of any available information, from all appropriate sources, on alleged reprisals, as well as recommendations on how to address the issue of intimidation and reprisals. This report, entitled “Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights”, will also reflect the activities of the Assistant Secretary-General.

The most recent report was presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2016 (A/HRC/33/19). For the full list of reports, please see the links below.

Definition of acts of intimidation and reprisal for cooperation with the UN in the field of human rights

Based on the mandate given to the Secretary-General to report on this issue annually to the Human Rights Council (see resolutions 12/2 and 24/24), States are urged to prevent and refrain from all acts of intimidation and reprisal against those who:

(a) Seek to cooperate or have cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, or who have provided testimony or information to them;
(b) Avail or have availed themselves of procedures established under the auspices of the United Nations for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and all those who have provided legal or other assistance to them for this purpose;
(c) Submit or have submitted communications under procedures established by human rights instruments, and all those who have provided legal or other assistance to them for this purpose;
(d) Are relatives of victims of human rights violations or of those who have provided legal or other assistance to victims.

Consistent with the mandate given to the Secretary-General, the report may include cases of intimidation and reprisals due to cooperation with the whole United Nations in the field of human rights. It may therefore include cases in relation, for example, to the Human Rights Council and its subsidiary bodies and mechanisms, including the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, Special Procedures, Treaty Bodies, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, its field presences and human rights advisers, United Nations Country Teams, human rights components of peacekeeping missions or other parts of the Secretariat or specialized agencies working in the field of human rights.

Based on this definition, all those cooperating with the UN – human rights activists, community workers, lawyers, journalists, and even government officials – are potential targets. The victims may include not just the person targeted, but their families and friends and anyone else linked to them.

Useful links

Secretary-General reports based on HRC resolution 12/2, on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the fields of human rights

2017 report (A/HRC/36/31 Advance Unedited Version)
2016 report (A/HRC/33/19)
2015 report (A/HRC/30/29)
2014 report (A/HRC/27/38)
2013 report (A/HRC/24/29 and A/HRC/24/29/Corr.1)
2012 report (A/HRC/21/18)
2011 report (A/HRC/18/19)
2010 report (A/HRC/14/19)