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.
Burundi: New Government, but no progress in sight on the human rights front
17 September 2020
Venezuela: UN report urges accountability for crimes against humanity
16 September 2020
UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: No clean hands – behind the frontlines and the headlines, armed actors continue to subject civilians to horrific and increasingly targeted abuse
15 September 2020
UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen releases their third report
Yemen: A Pandemic of Impunity in a Tortured Land
09 September 2020
Libya: Bachelet appoints Independent Fact-Finding Mission experts
19 August 2020
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