Vacancies for independent United Nations experts of the Human Rights Council, with extensive professional experience in human rights

by | Oct 15, 2019

Vacancies to be filled from June 2019 to March 2020

The “special procedures” of the Human Rights Council (HRC) are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. Their specific functions are defined in the HRC resolutions creating or extending their mandate.

Mandates can either be exercised by a “special rapporteur” or “independent expert” or a “working group” composed of five members, one from each of the five United Nations regional groups (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe and others). Only nationals of States belonging to the specific regional groups are eligible for the working group appointments. For example, for the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances – member from Asia-Pacific States, only nationals of Asia-Pacific countries may apply. Please refer to the list of United Nations regional groups of Member States. For vacancies in the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), candidates apply for one of the seven indigenous sociocultural regions (see Council resolution 33/25).

The position of a special procedure mandate holder involves substantial time commitment, approximately three months per year, and includes examining, monitoring, advising and publicly reporting on either specific country situations (country mandates), or on thematic issues in all parts of the world (thematic mandates). Activities of special procedures also include undertaking country visits, acting on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature, conducting studies and engaging in general advocacy activities. All special procedures report annually to the HRC. Most mandate holders also report to the General Assembly. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provides support to special procedure mandate holders.

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Note: The below list is indicative and the mandates for each session are listed alphabetically. Additional appointments may need to be added during the cycle in case of unforeseen resignations of current mandate holders or if the Human Rights Council were to create new special procedure mandates.

Appointments at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council (24 June – 12 July 2019)

 No appointments are foreseen for this session.

Appointments at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council (9 – 27 September 2019)

  1. Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic
    [HRC res. 42/36][1]

Appointments at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council (24 February – 20 March 2020)

  1. Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), member from the Arctic [HRC res. 33/25]
  2. Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), member from Asia
    [HRC res. 33/25]
  3. Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights [HRC res. 34/3][2]
  4. Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
    [HRC res. 42/12]1
  5. Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia [HRC res. 42/33]1
  6. Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context [HRC res. 34/9]2
  7. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences [HRC res. 42/10]1
  8. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights [HRC res. 35/19]
  9. Special Rapporteur on the right to food [HRC res. 40/7]
  10. Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples [HRC res. 42/20]1
  11. Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material [HRC res. 34/16]2
  12. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders [HRC res. 34/5]2
  13. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar [HRC res. 40/29]2


[1] Resolutions adopted by the Human Rights Council at its 42nd session in September 2019 are in processing and will be issued in due course.

[2] The appointment of these mandate holders will be made provided the mandates themselves are extended by the Human Rights Council.

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