Special Procedures

“The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social.” (From OHCHR | Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council)

When significant human rights concerns arise in a country or in relation to a specific issue, the Human Rights Council the power to create a ‘Special Procedure’, with the aim of monitoring the implementation of human rights in relation to this specific country or issue. A Special Procedure can either be formed as a Working Group, or as an individual (ie, Special Rapporteur or Independent Expert). The mandate of any Special Procedure is threefold:

Annual thematic reports: They assess important and topical questions within the scope of their mandate and publish annual thematic reports containing recommendations to states. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council. The majority of the mandates also report to the General Assembly.

Individual complaints and communications: They are competent to receive individual complaints and issue communications in order to ‘inquire into any substantial allegations transmitted to him or her and report his or her conclusions thereon’.

Country visits: They assess the implementation of human rights within the scope of their mandate.

Communications on Tibet

OHCHR Statements on Tibet

Statements by the High Commissioner

UN office of the High Commissioner
37th session of the Human Rights CouncilItem 2: Annual Report and Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN office of the High Commissioner
GENEVA, 11 September 2017 Distinguished President of the Council,Excellencies, Colleagues,Friends, As I enter the final year of my current mandate –
UN office of the High Commissioner
Item 2: Annual Report and Oral Update to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council 8 March 2017 Distinguished
UN office of the High Commissioner
13 September 2016 Mr President,Director-General,Excellencies,Colleagues and Friends, I am honoured to address this first session of the Council's second decade.

Statements by UN experts

UN Human Rights experts
GENEVA (26 June 2020) – UN independent experts have repeatedly communicated with the Government of the People’s Republic of China
UN Human Rights experts
GENEVA (19 May 2020) – UN human rights experts* have called on China to lift charges against a Tibetan minority
UN Human Rights experts
GENEVA (13 August 2018) - The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today concluded its consideration of the combined
UN Human Rights experts
GENEVA (7 August 2018) - The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this morning held an informal meeting with
UN Human Rights experts
GENEVA (6 June 2018) – UN human rights experts have condemned a five-year jail sentence handed to Mr. Tashi Wangchuk
UN Human Rights experts
GENEVA (21 February 2018) – UN human rights experts* expressed serious concern over the ruling by a Chinese court to