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Special Procedures


Coordination Committee of Special Procedures



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Seminar on "Enhancing the effectiveness of special procedures of the CHR" 12-13 October 2005

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Human rights are key in relief efforts

Protection of journalists in armed conflicts


Manual of the United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures

This Manual aims to provide guidance to special procedures mandate-holders, whose mandates were established by the Commission on Human Rights and assumed by the Human Rights Council. It also seeks to facilitate a better understanding of their work by all other stakeholders. The Manual endeavours to reflect good practices and to assist the mandate-holders in their efforts to promote and protect human rights. It does so in light of the relevant mandates by which the various Special Procedures have been established and of the overall mandate given to the Human Rights Council in General Assembly resolution 60/251.

This Manual was originally adopted at the 6th Annual Meeting of Special Procedures mandate-holders in 1999. Since that time it has been revised to reflect the changing structure of the United Nations human rights machinery, new developments in relation to mandates, and the evolving working methods of the mandate-holders. It is subject to periodic review and updating by the mandate-holders who are responsible for its content and for its revision.

At their 13th Annual Meeting, in June 2006, the mandate-holders reaffirmed the importance of working in a consultative and transparent way and agreed to invite comments on the draft from Governments, civil society organizations, independent experts and all other stake holders. Comments from all stakeholders were collected and considered at the 14th Annual meeting in June 2007. All comments have been posted on the special procedures extranet site, and a summary of comments was made available at the Annual meeting.

At the 14th Annual meeting, mandate holders decided to appoint a task force to revise the Manual in light of all comments received and taking into account the provisions of the Code of Conduct adopted at the fifth session of the Human Rights Council.

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