Guidelines on the right to participate in public affairs

Guidelines on the right to participate in public affairs - © UN Photo© UN Photo

The Guidelines on the effective implementation on the right to participate in public affairs provide directions for States on how to ensure participation. The Guidelines include recommendations on different  dimensions of the right to participate, for example on participation in electoral processes, on direct participation in non-electoral contexts and on participation at the international level.  

OHCHR prepared the Guidelines as requested by resolution 33/22 of the Human Rights Council. The Council, in resolution 39/11 adopted by consensus, took note with interest of the Guidelines and presented them as a set of orientations for States and others.



Guidelines on the right to participate in public affairs



Briefer on the Guidelines

French and Spanish versions coming soon.

Please see document A/HRC/39/28 for text in all UN languages.

Consultative drafting process

The Human Rights Council, requested OHCHR to ensure the elaboration of the Guidelines was open, transparent and inclusive and to widely consult with all relevant stakeholders.

OHCHR organized five regional consultations for two days in each of the following regions:

i. The Americas
ii. Africa
iii. Asia Pacific
iv. Middle East and North Africa
v. Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Others


Regional consultation for the Americas, Santiago, Chile, 13-14 June 2017


Regional consultation for Sub-Saharan Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 6- 7 September 2017


Regional consultation for the Asia and Pacific region, Bangkok, Thailand, 2-3 October 2017


Regional consultation for the Middle East and North Africa region, Beirut, Lebanon, 21-22 December 2017

  • Concept note [English] [Arabic]
  • Background paper by Mr Fateh Azzam, Human Rights consultant [English] Annexe: Compilation of jurisprudence from United Nations human rights mechanisms [English]
  • Registration form [English] [Arabic]
  • Logistics note for participants [English]
  • Provisional Agenda [English]
  • Final list of participants [English]
  • Summary of the discussions [English]


Regional consultation for Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Others, Geneva, Switzerland, 9-10 April 2018.


OHCHR also invited written submissions. All submission received are available below.

Written Submissions

Member States

Intergovernmental organizations

Regional human rights mechanisms

United Nations mechanisms, bodies and specialized agencies, funds and programmes

National Human Rights Institutions


Academics and experts