The protection roles of UN human rights special procedures


The protection roles of UN human rights special procedures

by Bertrand G. Ramcharan

(Nijhoff law specials, v. 74)

M. Nijhoff, 2009

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Includes bibliographical references and index



As the system of human rights special procedures goes forward to deal with the continuing and new challenges of human rights protection it is of great value to record and recall the considerable body of practice and precedents they have developed for the protection of human rights since the first special procedure was established in the mid 1960s. That is the particular merit of this path-breaking book. The author, who was one of the pioneers in the establishment and operation of the system of special procedures, tells in this book the story of the establishment, history, operations, successes and challenges of the special procedures through the lens of efforts for international protection. In the introduction he summarises their protection roles, which he sets out further in the substantive chapters. In the conclusion he provides an assessment of their protection roles. He notes that while they contribute greatly, the challenges of international protection are still many, and the author invites the international community to a higher level of protection.


  • Foreword
  • Ambassador Peter Maurer
  • Introduction
  • Chapter
  • I. Contemporary Challenges of International Protection
  • II. Origins, Essence and Foundations of Special Procedures
  • III. The Protection Roles of Country Mandates
  • IV. The Protection Roles of Thematic Mandates
  • V. State, Individual, Corporate and International Responsibility
  • VI. Prevention, Urgent Action and Appeals
  • VII. Containment and Mitigation: The Transmittal of Complaints to Governments and Visits on the Spot
  • VIII. Fact-Finding, Recommendations, and Follow Up
  • IX. Remedies
  • X. Advocacy for Protection
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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