Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council - Ms. Mary Lawlor

Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts, appointed to monitor and report on human rights violations and to advise and assist in promoting and protecting rights.

ISHR works closely with a wide range of Special Procedures experts whose mandates are directly related to the creation of an enabling environment for the defence of rights – such as those focused on human rights defenders, freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of assembly and association – as well as with mandate holders whose work is seen by our human rights defender partners as critical at key moments in their own context.

ISHR also works to safeguard the independent and effective functioning of the Special Procedures mechanism as a whole, including by advocating for the appointment of highly qualified, independent experts; closely monitoring efforts to hamper these experts’ independence or limit their methods of work; and by working with human rights defenders and civil society groups to encourage States to implement the recommendations of Special Procedures.

Latest Updates

HRC54: Key issues on agenda of September 2023 session

The 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council (11 Sep - 13 Oct) will consider issues including reprisals, arbitrary detention, systemic racism, enforced disappearances, water and sanitation, and the rights of Indigenous peoples and people of African descent. It will also present an opportunity to address grave situations in over a dozen States. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.

Special Procedures

Special Procedures

Explore the purpose and mandates of the Special Procedures and how you can work with them to strengthen your advocacy

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Reprisals: ISHR's submission on trends and recent cases in China

Following an earlier version of this submission of the same title in May 2022, this new ISHR report continues to document trends of reprisals in China in 2022-2023 with an analysis of extant cases, and further summarises the way in which it has portrayed civil society’s cooperation with the UN as a ‘criminal act’.

China and the UN Treaty Body System

In this briefing paper, ISHR looks at the powerful role of China over the UN human rights treaty bodies (UNTBs), identifying the ways in which China deploys influence, from an official discourse that consistently focuses on restricting their scope of work to direct threats to independent NGOs who wish to engage with the UN experts.