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About the mandate

Special Rapporteur on minority issues

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues was established in resolution 2005/79 by the Commission on Human Rights on 21 April 2005. The mandate was subsequently renewed by the Human Rights Council in its resolutions 7/6 of 27 March 2008, 16/6 of 24 March 2011, 25/5 of 28 March 2014, 34/6 of 23 March 2017 and again in 2023 by resolution 52/5.

The Human Rights Council requests the mandate holder:

(a) To promote the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, including through consultations with Governments, taking into account existing international standards and national legislation concerning minorities;

(b) To examine ways and means of overcoming existing obstacles to the full and effective realization of the rights of persons belonging to minorities;

(c) To identify best practices and possibilities for technical cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner, at the request of Governments;

(d) To apply a gender perspective in her/his work;

(e) To cooperate and coordinate closely, while avoiding duplication, with existing relevant United Nations bodies, mandates and mechanisms and with regional organizations;

(f) To take into account the views of and cooperate closely with nongovernmental organizations on matters pertaining to her/his mandate;

(g) To guide the work of the Forum on Minority Issues, prepare its annual meetings, to report on its thematic recommendations and to make recommendations for future thematic subjects, as decided by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 19/23;

(h) To submit an annual report on her/his activities to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly, including recommendations for effective strategies for the better implementation of the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities;

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur complements and enhances the work of other UN bodies and mechanisms that address minority rights and minority issues, including the Forum on Minority Issues.

Methods of work

In carrying out this mandate, the Special Rapporteur:

  • receives information from diverse sources including States, expert bodies, United Nations agencies, regional and other inter-governmental organizations, NGOs and other civil society organizations. Based on such information, they will issue communications to States concerning implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Minorities, where appropriate;
  • submits annual reports on the activities undertaken by the mandate to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly, including thematic studies on key minority rights issues;
  • undertakes, at the invitation of Governments, country visits to further constructive consultation with States on minority rights, observe relevant programmes and policies for minorities, register concerns, and identify areas for cooperation. During these visits, the Special Rapporteur will study and provide recommendations on national legislation, policies, regulatory frameworks and institutions and practices related to minorities, in order to promote the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Minorities.