Submitting information to the Independent Expert

Submission of information to the Special Procedures

Individual Complaints

Special Rapporteur on AlbinismThe Independent Expert can receive information and communications on violations of the rights of persons with albinism from any relevant sources, including persons with albinism and their representative organizations and other civil society organizations. No formal requirements exist for submitting information on alleged violations. It is not necessary to exhaust domestic remedies.

All communications sent, and replies received from Governments (if any), are confidential. They remain confidential until the publication of the joint communications report to the Human Rights Council three times per year.
The objective of the communication sent by the Independent Expert to Governments is to request for clarification on the allegations raised, with a view to establishing a constructive dialogue with Governments to try to ensure enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. It can take two forms:

  • Urgent appeals: Upon receipt of prima facie credible and reliable information requiring an urgent action, the Independent Expert transmits the information to the Government concerned and requests it to provide him with comments and observations.
  • Allegation letters: When the situation does not require urgent action, but relate to violations that already occurred and/or to general patterns of violations, the Independent Expert may send allegation letters requiring Governments to clarify the substance of the allegations received.  

What happens next?

The Human Rights Council requests States “to cooperate with the Independent Expert in the discharge of the mandate, including by providing all information requested”.

In certain cases, the letter can trigger an immediate reaction in the requested State such as investigating the alleged facts, or taking action to prevent or end any violation. However, in other instances, responses are not received or are received several months later.

Special Rapporteur on AlbinismIf the Independent Expert does not receive a rapid response from a Government, additional efforts can be made, according to the resources available, to follow-up with this Government, usually via contact with its representation at the United Nations in Geneva.

Confidentiality

The identity of an alleged victim will be included in the communications sent to the State concerned. The explicit consent of the victim is therefore necessary.

Communications remain however confidential, and in the joint communications report released three times a year, the alleged victim can request for his identity not to be mentioned. If the victim is a child (below 18 years of age), or if there are grounds to believe that revealing the identity of the victim in a public report might put the victim at further risk, the Independent Expert will not include his or her identity in any public report.

The identity of the source of information on the alleged violation is kept confidential, unless the source agrees that it may be revealed. When submitting information you may indicate whether there are any other details which you would like to remain confidential.

Contact details for sending submissions and for further correspondence

E-mail (preferred method): urgent-action@ohchr.org or albinism@ohchr.org. The text of the e-mail should refer to the mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.

Please include “Communication regarding [country]” in the Subject Line

Fax: +41 22 917 9006 (Geneva, Switzerland)

Mail:
Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights of persons with albinism
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Guidelines for submitting allegations of violations

Before sending a complaint, ensure that all the details listed below are included in your submission. In cases of extreme urgency, it may be possible to submit a case without some of these details, but their absence makes examining the case more difficult.

In the event of allegations of reprisals against the victim(s) because s/he cooperated with the United Nations, please state it clearly in the complaint.

A. Essential information

B. Useful information

1. Name of alleged victim/s

First and family names.
Victims can be individuals, groups or organizations.

Contact details

If the victim is an individual or an organization, please provide contact details. Contact details are treated confidentially.
Please provide information on gender, age, nationality and profession of the victim.

2. Alleged violation(s)/abuse(s) committed against the victim

What happened?
Where?
When?
What is the current situation?
Were there any other victims?

Multiple violations

Where an initial violation has led to a series of other acts, please describe them in chronological order

Witnesses and supporting documents

Were there any witnesses to the alleged violation or abuse?
If there are other documents that would be useful to establish the fact (such medical record, compliant filed, etc.), please mention it or provide a copy.

3. Perpetrators

Give any available information on who allegedly committed the violation or abuse.

Authorities

Were authorities involved in any way in the facts?

4. Action by authorities

Note that exhaustion of domestic remedies is not a requirement

Has the matter been reported to the relevant authorities?
What action has been taken?

Action taken by the victim or by human rights organizations

Has the alleged violation/abuse been made public?
Has this information been sent to other human rights groups?

Action taken before international bodies

Has any action been initiated before other international or regional human rights mechanisms?
If so, at what stage are these other international actions?

5. Who is submitting this information?

Give name and contact details. Give also professional role, if relevant.
Submissions may be made by organizations or individuals.

Confidentiality

The identity of the source of information on the alleged violation is always kept confidential, unless the source agrees that it may be revealed.

Updates

Please send any updated information you have as soon as possible. It is especially important to know if there has been any change in the situation of the victim.

Updates might be given where:

  • additional information becomes known (e.g. the identity of the perpetrator of the violation);
  • new events have occurred (e.g. the victim’s release from detention).