Skip to main content

Countdown to Human Rights Day

Women played a large part in drafting the UDHR

Learn more

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Purpose of mandate

The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. The mandate holder has been invited to identify existing and emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief and present recommendations on ways and means to overcome such obstacles.

About the mandate

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights appointed further to resolution 1986/20 a “Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance”. In 2000, the Commission on Human Rights decided to change the mandate title to “Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief”, which was subsequently endorsed by ECOSOC decision 2000/261 and welcomed by General Assembly resolution 55/97. On 31 March 2022, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution A/HRC/RES/49/5, which included an extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of three years.

Learn more about the mandate

Current mandate holder

Ms. Nazila Ghanea

On 1 August 2022, Ms. Nazila Ghanea assumed her mandate as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. She is Professor of International Human Rights Law and Director of the MSc in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. Her academic work has often connected with multilateral practice in international human rights law. She has contributed actively to networks interested in freedom of religion or belief and its interrelationship with other human rights and has advised states and other stakeholders. She has researched and published widely in international human rights law and served as consultant to numerous agencies.

Read Ms. Nazila Ghanea’s full biography and CV

Key documents

Rapporteur's Digest on freedom of religion or belief

This document compiles excerpts of the reports from 1986 to 2022 arranged by topics of the Special Rapporteur's framework for communications

Contact Information

Ms. Nazila Ghanea
Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations at Geneva
8-14 avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: (+41) 22 917 90 06
E-mail: [email protected] 

Official Twitter page of Special Procedures

Former mandate holders

Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (Maldives),
November 2016 - July 2022

Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt (Germany),
August 2010 - October 2016

Ms. Asma Jahangir (Pakistan),
August 2004 - July 2010

Mr. Abdelfattah Amor (Tunisia),
April 1993 - July 2004

Mr. Angelo d'Almeida Ribeiro (Portugal),
March 1986 - March 1993