Special Rapporteur on minority issues


The Special Rapporteur on minority issues is one of the thematic special procedures overseen by the United Nations Human Rights Council.  The mandate holder promotes minority rights in order to foster an integrated society and greater respect for cultural diversity. The Special Rapporteur promotes the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities by means of consultations with governments, and also identifies best practices with regard to minority rights and works with governments to implement these practices.

Due to the number of issues related to the rights of minorities and the limitations on the work of the Special Rapporteur, the Special Rapporteur gives priority to several strategic objectives. These are: to increase the focus on minority communities in the effort to alleviate poverty, promote development, and achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals; to increase the understanding of minority issues in the context of promoting social inclusion and ensuring stable societies; and giving priority to the consideration of minority issues within the work of the UN and other multilateral forums.

The Special Rapporteur must apply a gender perspective throughout the work of his or her mandate.


The mandate of the Special Rapporteur lasts for a period of three years. The mandate is filled by one highly qualified individual.

The UN Commission on Human Rights established the Special Rapporteurship in 2005 with Resolution 2005/79. The Human Rights Council extended the mandate in 2008 (Resolution 7/6), 2011 (Resolution 16/6), and 2014 (Resolution 25/5).

In fulfilling the mandate, the Special Rapporteur undertakes country visits and submits activity reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council.

Country Visits

One important function of the Special Rapporteur is to conduct country visits, which it does on the basis of an invitation from the country concerned. Country visits provide the Special Rapporteur an opportunity to meet with national authorities, members of the legislative and judicial bodies, civil society and nongovernmental organizations, and the UN and other international agencies.

The Special Rapporteur undertakes an average of two country visits per year, to States that have extended an invitation. View the list of previous country visits and the Special Rapporteur’s subsequent reports here.

More than 100 countries have extended standing invitations to country visits by all thematic special procedures. View the list of countries that have extended standing invitations here.

Reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council

The Special Rapporteur reports annually to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly on all of its activities relating to its mandate. These reports are available on the Special Rapporteur’s Annual Reports webpage.


The Special Rapporteur may be contacted by:

  • Mail:

Special Rapporteur on minority issues
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

  • Telephone: + 41 22 917 9640
  • Fax: + 41 22 917 90 06