Human Rights and Ethics
The UN Human Rights Commission Special Procedures
To respond to the plight of the victims of human rights violations, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) created special mechanisms to deal with specific human rights issues. These mechanisms have become known as the "special procedures".
Although the mandates given to special procedure mechanisms vary, they are usually to examine, monitor, advise and publicly report on human rights situations in specific countries or territories (country mandates), or on major phenomena of human rights violations worldwide (thematic mandates). The mandates are entrusted to individuals who serve as a special rapporteur, representative, independent expert or member of a working group.
To meet the challenges of increasing demand and need for strengthening the special procedures, the Special Procedure Branch (SPB), was established to engage in contributing to the effective coordination of the work of special procedures and to support their collaboration with other relevant human rights mechanisms and United Nations bodies. The main objective of this project is to raise awareness on the special procedures, assess the impact and achievements of the mandate holders and thereby help building constituencies and stressing State accountability. A second objective is to support the SPB's efforts in meeting the demands of the special procedures mandate holders.
This project will concentrate specifically on the institution of the special rapporteur and address fundamental questions such as:
- What are its defining elements and attributes?
- Why, by whom and under what circumstance was this institution initiated?
- What have been its goals?
- What are the failures and successes and how can they be explained?
- What, if any, will be the differences under the new human rights council? and
- What are the recommendations with regard to the challenges today?
Page last modified 2011.06.07.