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Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

Some special procedures mechanisms [such as Special Rapporteurs] intervene directly with Governments on specific allegations of violations of human rights that come within their mandates. The intervention can relate to a human rights violation that has already occurred, is ongoing, or which has a high risk of occurring. The process, in general, involves sending a letter to the concerned Government requesting information and comments on the allegation and, where necessary, asking that preventive or investigatory action be taken.

– from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ‘[Public] Communications [to the Office]

The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief is mandated to:

examine incidents and governmental actions that are incompatible with the provisions of DEIDRB (the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief) and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate…

The role of NGOs
International, regional and national non-governmental organizations provide invaluable support to the special procedures system.
       Human rights NGOs have been at the forefront of the advocacy for the creation of specific mandates. They provide essential analysis and information on the human rights situation in many countries and with regard to many thematic issues. Such information is verified by the experts and often transmitted to Governments for their views. The NGOs disseminate the work of the experts to their local constituencies. The significant contribution that NGOs make to enhancing the system is widely recognized by Governments, the experts and the United Nations.

– from: Seventeen Frequently Asked Questions about United Nations Special Rapporteurs


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