Human Rights Mechanisms


Treaty bodies

All human rights treaties are applicable to women’s rights. Bodies of experts (committees) have been established to monitor the implementation of such treaties:

Human Rights Council and its Mechanisms

The Human Rights Council regularly holds special panels relating to women’s rights and integration of a gender perspective. There is also a vast array of resolutions from the Council which call on States to implement their obligations relating to women’s rights. The Human Rights Council also has the power to call special sessions where it perceives serious human rights violations taking place.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) also presents important opportunities to assess State compliance with its international obligations related to the human rights of women. Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every 4,5 years. One preliminary analysis of UPR recommendations revealed that women’s rights are among the most frequently raised issues in the context of UPR dialogues.

Special Procedures mandates are established by the Human Rights Council to examine particular thematic issues, or the human rights situation in a certain country. Certain special procedures mandates are specifically concerned with women’s rights, such as the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Working Group on Discrimination against Women in law and practice, and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. Other mandates have devoted specific attention to women’s rights and gender in their work, particularly in undertaking thematic research on women and specific human rights, ensuring attention to women’s rights in their country visits, and communicating with Governments on specific cases of alleged violations of women’s human rights.