Countdown to Human Rights Day
UN Voluntary Fund helps those on the road to recovery from slavery
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
During its tenth session in Geneva, from 10 to 14 July 2017, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted its methods of work on country engagement.
These methods of work seek to operationalize the Expert Mechanism’s new mandate under resolution 33/25, adopted by the Human Rights Council in September 2016.
Pursuant to paragraph 2 of Human Rights Council resolution 33/25, the Expert Mechanism should:
In its country engagement, the Expert Mechanism will uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, meaning in particular, though not exclusively, the observance of probity, impartiality, equity, honesty and good faith. The Expert Mechanism will neither seek nor accept instructions from any government, individual, governmental or non-governmental organization or pressure group whatsoever.
The purposes of country engagement by the Expert Mechanism may include:
The Expert Mechanism can work to bring stakeholders together to describe their activities and understanding and to share good practices and standards from around the world, particularly in relation to relevant rights enshrined in the Declaration. The dialogue may concern broad country-level engagement or local issues, depending on the specific situation. In some cases, working in a closed session may be particularly valuable. Dialogue with national human rights institutions is also a positive area on which the Expert Mechanism can focus.
The Expert Mechanism may also support States in the implementation of recommendations made by other human rights mechanisms in relation to the human rights of indigenous peoples and may provide a deeper analysis of these recommendations. This work may be research-based and/or policy-oriented.
Depending on the nature of the request, the modalities for country engagement may include, inter alia: country missions; training activities for State institutions, indigenous peoples’ organizations, national human rights institutions and other stakeholders; video or audio calls; in-person meetings in Geneva or in other locations; email exchanges; formal communication through diplomatic channels.
Requests from States should be received through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which provides secretariat support to the Expert Mechanism, via diplomatic channels.
Requests from indigenous peoples should be submitted to the secretariat of the Expert Mechanism in OHCHR via e-mail to [email protected].
Requests should provide at least the following information:
The Expert Mechanism will acknowledge receipt of all requests, and may accept or decline requests as necessary or desired, taking into account existing capacity and resources as well as geographical balance. The Expert Mechanism will also give due attention to issues of current interest, bearing in mind the overall implementation of its mandate (including other elements, such as reports and studies), in order to prioritize requests. Requests that cannot be accepted immediately may be kept in a waiting list and addressed at a later stage.
The members of the Expert Mechanism will decide internally which specific members will be assigned to engage with each request, including potential country visits. The decision will be made in accordance with the expertise and portfolio of each expert. Regional expertise and knowledge of local languages should also be taken into account.
Terms of reference should be agreed for every country engagement activity in the light of the mandate of the Expert Mechanism. Modalities of engagement, timelines and the types of activity envisioned, as well as the expected final product, should be prepared by the Expert Mechanism in consultation with the requester(s) and other relevant stakeholders. The terms of reference should also include modalities for the disclosure of information, in agreement with the requester and other stakeholders.
Country engagement may include country missions by Expert Mechanism members at the request of States and/or indigenous peoples. The approval and cooperation of all parties should be sought. If the proposed country mission is triggered by a request from indigenous peoples, the Expert Mechanism should duly inform the Member State concerned to make sure that the Government agrees to the proposed visit.
Country missions may be undertaken for the purposes set out above. Specific activities may include:
The actual agenda for the country mission is a matter to be determined by the Expert Mechanism, in consultation with the requester(s).
Secretariat of the Expert Mechanism on the rights of Indigenous Peoples,
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section,
Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Email: [email protected]