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Special Rapporteur on minority issues

Purpose of the mandate

Minorities in all regions of the world face serious threats, discrimination and racism. They are frequently excluded from taking part fully in the economic, political and social life of their countries. Today, minority communities face new challenges, including legislation, policies and practices that may unjustly impede or even violate minority rights.

Learn more about human rights and minorities.

About the mandate

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues was established by the Commission on Human Rights in its resolution 2005/79 of 21 April 2005. It was extended by subsequent resolutions for periods of three years, most recently in 2023 in resolution 52/5.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur works to increase the visibility and raise awareness of minority issues among UN institutions and Member States, other regional and international organizations, and the general public. The mandate also enhances the work of other UN bodies and mechanisms that address minority rights and minority issues, including the Forum on Minority Issues.

Learn more about the mandate, methods of work and thematic priorities of the current mandate holder.

Current mandate holder

Prof. Nicolas Levrat (Switzerland)

Prof. Nicolas Levrat (Switzerland) has been a Professor of International and European Law at the University of Geneva since 2001 and Director of the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva. He was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues by the Human Rights Council and assumed his functions on 1 November 2023.

Read Prof. Levrat's full biography

Previous mandate holders

Mr. Fernand de Varennes (Canada)
1st August 2017 – 31 October 2023

Ms. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye (Hungary)
1st August 2011-31 July 2017

Ms. Gay McDougall (2005-2011)

Contact Information

Prof. Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

Fax: + 41 22 917 9006
E-mail: [email protected]