UN Special Rapporteurs Brochure: English

"Special procedures" is the general name given to the mechanisms established by the Commission on Human Rights and assumed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special procedures are either an individual (called "Special Rapporteur," "Special Representative" or "Independent Expert") or a working group.

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Secretary General, and have a specific mandate to investigate, monitor and recommend solutions to human rights problems. Special Rapporteurs receive personnel and logistical support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Special Rapporteurs often conduct fact-finding missions to countries to investigate allegations of human rights violations. They can only visit countries that have agreed to invite them. IN addition to fact-finding missions, Rapporteurs regularly assess and verify complaints from alleged victims of human rights violations. Once a complaint is verified as legitimate, an urgent letter of appeal is sent to the government that has allegedly committed the violation.

Here is a list of the Special Procedures that may be useful in protection the rights of indigenous peoples: