Thematic priorities of the Special Rapporteur

As announced in his inaugural speech to the General Assembly in October 2017, the Special Rapporteur’s four thematic priorities will focus on addressing issues involving:

  • Statelessness and the denial of the rights of minorities in citizenship matters;
  • The interrelationship between conflicts; minority rights and the promotion of inclusiveness and stability, which are central to the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Minorities;
  • The critical challenges of tackling hate speech, xenophobic rhetoric and incitement to hatred against minorities;
  • and the sometimes misunderstood human rights dimensions of education and the rights of minorities.

Furthermore, as outlined in his first report to the Human Rights Council the Special Rapporteur emphasized his concern about the lack of clarity and the recurrent misunderstandings relating to several fundamental issues surrounding the rights of minorities. He indicated that ambiguities and uncertainties as to the status of minorities, in some cases, may impact negatively on the implementation of the Declaration and other human rights instruments affecting them. Accordingly, in order to effectively implement the thematic priorities of the mandate, the Special Rapporteur seeks during his mandate to explore the following:

The scope and meaning of the term “minority” as contained in the Declaration on the Rights of Minorities and article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
Renewing the commitments made by States in the light of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Minorities, and improving the reach and effectiveness of the Forum on Minority Issues, especially as it celebrates its tenth anniversary; The economic benefits and advantages of protecting the rights of minorities.

  • In conformity with Human Rights Council resolution 25/5, in which the Council requested the mandate holder to apply a gender perspective in his or her work, the Special Rapporteur will continue to place a high priority on minority women Cross-cutting issues - Minority Women and Minority Children , as did his predecessors. He will continue to address the challenges that minority women face, particularly in relation to marginalization, statelessness, denial of citizenship and the right to education, where they may find themselves doubly impacted because of their gender and minority status.

The Special Rapporteur will also build on the groundbreaking work carried out by his predecessors on the importance of addressing discrimination, exclusion and other violations of human rights involving caste-based and analogous systems of inherited status, particularly affecting the Dalit, Burakumin and other particularly vulnerable minorities such as Roma.

He will also address issues pertaining to deaf and hearing impaired persons as members of linguistic minorities.

During his country visits, the Special Rapporteur will reinforce the practice of holding consultations with members of those marginalized groups and communities so as to better address their needs.