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Engaging With The Special Procedures

How can I engage with the Special Procedures?

Get informed

  • Familiarize yourself with the work of the Special Procedures via ohchr.org/special-procedures-human-rights-council. Check to see whether any of the Special Procedures have issued reports for your country following a visit, or thematic reports on topics of interest. You may use any relevant recommendations for your
    advocacy efforts.


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Get involved and participate

  • Explore civil society resources on the Special Procedures, how they work and how you can engage. The International Service for Human Rights’s online academy has includes a section on the Special Procedures (available in English, French and Spanish):
  • Submit information to a call for inputs: Special Procedures issue calls for inputs requesting information ahead of a country visit or when drafting a thematic study. You can provide information to each of these processes. Sometimes, you may be able to meet with mandate-holders when they conduct country visits and they will also invite experts in specific areas to expert meetings when conducting work on a particular
    thematic area.
    ○ Note: during country visits, mandate holders usually have very tightly packed agendas; you may want to inquire with your civil society networks and partners about the possibility of joining a meeting with several organizations.
  • Call for inputs are often published on the webpage of each individual Special Procedure, so keep an eye out by checking the webpage of mandate-holders whose thematic or country-specific work may be of interest to you, as well as by monitoring the UN Human Rights main call for inputs page at: ohchr.org/calls-for-input-listing
  • Submit a complaint: Individuals, groups of individuals, civil society, national human rights bodies, and inter-governmental entities can submit complaints to Special Procedures concerning individuals or a group of people. Complaints can be considered irrespective of whether a State has ratified a specific human rights treaty or has a reservation. When submitting a complaint, make sure that it is clear, comprehensive, detail-oriented and
    ○ Check out the leaflet on Special Procedures Communications
    ○ Find out how to submit a complaint to Special Procedures at:
    spsubmission.ohchr.org/ (available in English, French and Spanish). Note that the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances have different procedures.
    ○ If there is a situation of concern that may not yet amount to the threshold required for submitting a complaint or as a preventive step, you can communicate your concerns setting out the human rights problem to the office of the

The Universal Periodic Review

What is the Universal Periodic Review?