Country-Specific Special Procedures

The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent experts responsible for reporting and providing recommendations on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. Learn more about the 37 thematic special procedures here. The 14 country mandates are described below.

Each special procedure’s responsibilities are defined in the Human Rights Council resolution(s) that create or extend its mandate, usually on an annual or biennial basis. The special procedures submit annual reports to the Human Rights Council and, in many cases, also report to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.

Their work is supported by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus was created by Human Rights Council Resolution 20/13, Situation of human rights in Belarus, 5 July 2012. The Council decides whether to extend the Special Rapporteur’s mandate on an annual basis.

The Special Rapporteur monitors the situation of human rights in Belarus and makes recommendations for its improvement; helps to implement the recommendations contained in the report of the High Commissioner (A/HRC/20/8) to the Human Rights Council in June 2012; assists the government in fulfilling its human rights obligations; offers support and advice to civil society; and seeks, receives, examines and acts upon information from all relevant stakeholders pertaining to the situation of human rights in Belarus.

The Special Rapporteur submits an annual report to the Human Rights Council. Previous annual reports to the Human Rights Council are found on the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights’ webpage for Belarus.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia’s mandate was first created as a special representative by the former Commission on Human Rights in Resolution 1993/6, Situation of human rights in Cambodia, 19 February 1993. In 2013, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate for another two years. Human Rights Council Resolution 24/29, Advisory services and technical assistance for Cambodia, 27 September 2013.

The Special Rapporteur is responsible for coordinating the UN’s human rights activities in Cambodia and providing technical assistance to the Cambodian government in the promotion and protection of human rights.

The Special Rapporteur submits an annual report to the Human Rights Council. Previous annual reports to the Human Rights Council are found on the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia’s webpage under “Documents.”

Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Central African Republic

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Central African Republic was appointed in 2013 for an initial one-year period. The Independent Expert’s specific mandate is provided in Human Rights Council Resolution 24/34, Technical assistance to the Central African Republic in the field of human rights, A/HRC/RES/23/34, 27 September 2013.

The mandate holder is tasked with monitoring the human rights situation in the country and making recommendations on the necessary technical assistance and capacity building.

The Special Rapporteur must submit an annual report to the Human Rights Council. See the OHCHR’s webpage on the Central African Republic for additional information.

Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Côte d’Ivoire

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire was first established in Human Rights Council Resolution Resolution 17/21, Assistance to Côte d’Ivoire in the field of human rights, 19 July 2011. The Council decides whether to extend the mandate on an annual basis.

The Independent Expert is charged with helping the government implement the commission of inquiry‘s recommendations and Human Rights Council’s resolutions, including through coordination with national, regional and international governmental bodies. The Independent Expert prepares reports and organizes conferences concerning specific challenges, such as restoring security along Côte d’Ivoire’s borders, combating impunity, remedying violations of the right to life, preventing acts of torture, and addressing violations of the rights to freedom of expression, education, health, and food. See Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Côte d’Ivoire, Doudou Diène, A/HRC/19/72, 9 January 2012, Summary.

See the Independent Expert’s annual reports to the Human Rights Council on the OHCHR’s webpage for Côte d’Ivoire.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Special Rapporteur was first created by the former Commission on Human Rights through Resolution 2004/13, Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 15 April 2004.

As part of his or her mandate, the Special Rapporteur is strive to establish direct contact with the Government, including through country visits, for the purpose of investigating and reporting on the situation of human rights within the State. The Special Rapporteur is instructed to receive credible and reliable information from all relevant actors who may have knowledge about alleged violations of human rights. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur serves on a special three-member commission of inquiry to investigate the widespread and systematic human rights violations, and to ensure full accountability of the Government to its people.

The Special Rapporteur submits an annual report to both the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. Previous annual reports are available on the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s webpage under “Documents.” See the OHCHR’s webpage on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for additional information.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea‘s mandate was first provided for in Human Rights Council Resolution 20/20, Situation of human rights in Eritrea, 17 July 2012, and may be extended on an annual basis.

As part of his or her mandate, the Special Rapporteur is to gather first-hand information about allegations of widespread and systematic human rights abuses perpetrated by Eritrean authorities against their own population and to help address the root causes of the current refugee situation. See, e.g., Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, after her visit to Tunisia and Malta (11 – 20 November 2013). The Special Rapporteur is also authorized to conduct country visits with the cooperation of Eritrean authorities and to make recommendations towards improving human rights conditions for the Eritrean people. The Special Rapporteur has provided a questionnaire to help assist in the submission of relevant information about alleged human rights violations.

The Special Rapporteur submits an annual report to the Human Rights Council. Previous annual reports to the Human Rights Council are found on the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea’s webpage under “Documents.” See the OHCHR’s webpage on Eritrea for additional information and documents.

Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti‘s mandate was first established by the former Commission on Human Rights in Resolution 1995/70, Situation of human rights in Haiti, 8 March 1995. Every year, the Human Rights Council decides whether to extend the mandate.

The Independent Expert’s mandate now includes a focus on technical assistance and capacity-building, and encourages the mandate holder to work with international institutions as well as Haitian non-governmental organizations to contribute recommendations for the improvement of human rights, especially with regard to economic, social, and cultural rights. As part of his or her work, the Independent Expert monitors and investigates Haiti’s human rights situation and transmits urgent appeals and letters to the Haitian government, writes press releases, and may conduct country visits.

The Independent Expert submits annual reports to the Human Rights Council. See previous annual reports on on the Independent Expert‘s webpage, under “Documents,” or on the OHCHR’s webpage for Haiti.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s mandate was first provided in Human Rights Council Resolution 16/9, Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 8 April 2011. The Council decides whether to extend the mandate on an annual basis.

The Special Rapporteur monitors and investigates human rights violations, transmits urgent appeals and letters to the government concerning alleged violations, may conduct country visits with the government’s authorization, and engages with the public on issues of concern through press releases and other means.

The Special Rapporteur submits an annual report to both the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. Previous annual reports are available on the OHCHR webpage for the the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali was created in Human Rights Council Resolution 22/18, Assistance to the Republic of Mali in the field of human rights, 10 April 2013. The Council decides whether to renew the mandate on an annual basis.

The Independent Expert is responsible for assisting the government in promoting and protecting human rights, including by working closely with regional and international organizations and civil society.

The Independent Expert must submit an annual report to the Human Rights Council. See the “Documents” section of the Independent Expert’s webpage or the OHCHR webpage on Mali for reports and other documents.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar’s mandate was first created by the Commission on Human Rights in Resolution 1992/58, Situation of human rights in Myanmar, 3 March 1992. The Human Rights Council has decided whether to extend the Special Rapporteur’s mandate on an annual basis.

The Special Rapporteur is instructed to continue engaging with Myanmar’s government, conduct country visits, and make further recommendations on Myanmar’s needs with respect to technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights.

The Special Rapporteur submits an annual report to both the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. Previous annual reports are available on the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar’s webpage under “Documents,” or on the OHCHR’s webpage on Myanmar.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 was first created by the former Commission on Human Rights in Resolution 1993/2Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine, 19 February 1993. The duration of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate is provided as “until the end of Israeli occupation.”

The Special Rapporteur is instructed to conduct country visits, investigate Israel’s violations of the principles of international law and international humanitarian law, and receive communications from witnesses who have reliable and credible information.

Special Rapporteur will also issue an annual report containing conclusions and recommendations to both the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. Previous annual reports are available in the “Documents” section of the Special Rapporteur’s webpage, or on the OHCHR webpage for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia

The Independent Expert on the situation of Human Rights in Somalia’s mandate was first created by the former Commission on Human Rights in Resolution 1993/86Assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, 10 March 1993. The mandate has most recently been extended for a two-year period.

The Independent Expert was initially directed to provide assistance to the Special-Representative of of the UN Secretary General for Somalia by developing a long-term program for the re-establishment of human rights and the creation of a democratic constitution. Currently, the Independent Expert is to continue his or her engagement with Somalia’s government in order to help with implementation of Somalia’s human rights obligations, Human Rights Council resolutions, accepted Universal Periodic Review recommendations, and other human rights commitments.

The Independent Expert submits an annual report to the Human Rights Council. These reports, other documents and press releases concerning Somalia’s human rights situation can be found on the Independent Expert’s webpage and on the OHCHR webpage on Somalia.

Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan‘s mandate was first created by Human Rights Council Resolution 11/10Situation of human rights in the Sudan, 18 June 2009.

The Independent Expert is to engage with Sudan’s government in order to assist in the implementation of Sudan’s human rights obligations and accepted Universal Periodic Review recommendations.

The Independent Expert submits an annual report to the Human Rights Council. These reports, other documents and press releases concerning Somalia’s human rights situation can be found on the Independent Expert’s webpage or on the OHCHR webpage on Sudan.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic was established in Human Rights Council Resolution S-18/1,  adopted by the Human Rights Council at the 18th Special Session on the human rights situation in the Syrian African Republic, held on December 2, 2011.

The Special Rapporteur’s mandate will begin once the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic concludes its mandate. The Special Rapporteur is tasked with monitoring the human rights situation in Syria and the government’s implementation of recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry and resolutions adopted by the Human Rights Council.

The Special Rapporteur will then submit an annual report to both the Human Rights Council and General Assembly. Visit the OHCHR webpage on Syria for additional information.

Additional Resources

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s webpage lists all of the country-specific special procedures in a table that includes the independent expert’s title, when the mandate was established, when the mandate was extended, the name and country of origin of the mandate-holder, and contact information.

The OHCHR’s publications on special procedures include a quarterly bulletin and directory of special mandate holders. For quick reference, see the OHCHR webpage listing all current and former special mandate holders.