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Engaging with Human Rights Mechanisms

There are different ways in which you can engage with the work of UN human rights mechanisms and processes.

The work that the human rights mechanisms do is vital, but understanding how they work and being able to navigate them can seem daunting and complex. This toolkit does not assume or require prior knowledge of any of the mechanisms; however, as you familiarize yourself with them, think about the extent to and ways in which you would like to be engaged, taking into consideration your specific situation and available resources. To help you in this effort, the toolkit suggests three different forms or levels of engagement, as follows:


  1. Get informed: develop a basic understanding of how different mechanisms work, access information such as human rights recommendations, and use them to support your advocacy work where relevant.
  2. Follow and spread the word: follow some of the human rights bodies online via social media, share relevant human rights updates and information with your network and keep up to date with the latest activities.
  3. Get involved and participate: develop a good understanding of how the different mechanisms work, assess which mechanisms are most relevant and could be most effective in promoting youth rights in your context. Use the mechanisms to promote youth rights by submitting relevant information and/or advocating for your issues to be addressed.


In depth…

Getting informed and/or following and spreading the word generally require less time and resources, however they do not constitute active involvement or participation through input into and influencing the work of the different mechanisms. Getting involved and participating can entail more meaningful participation, but generally requires more commitment, time and resources.

Information on how to engage with the different bodies and mechanisms is structured around the three forms of engagement mentioned above. You may choose to mix and match, i.e. while you may want to get involved and participate in one mechanism or process, you may be satisfied with getting informed on another.


Things To Keep In Mind

What should I keep in mind if I want to engage with UN human rights mechanisms?