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Special Procedures

The Human Rights Council's Special Procedures mandate holders are made up of special rapporteurs, independent experts or working groups composed of five members who are appointed by the Council and who serve in their personal capacity. Special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and other actors bringing alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations; contribute to the development of international human rights standards; engage in advocacy; raise public awareness; and provide advice for technical cooperation.

These independent experts report at least once a year to the Council on their findings and recommendations, as well as to the UN General Assembly. At times they are the only mechanism alerting the international community to certain human rights issues.  

There are two types of Special Procedures mandates: the thematic mandates, such as water and sanitation, arbitrary detention, the rights of migrants, violence against women, torture and human trafficking, and the country-specific mandates.

More on the Special Procedures' Homepage