So you have decided that the Special Procedures are the right mechanism for you to support your work. Now what?
This Chapter gives you information on the opportunities that exist for civil society to engage with Special Procedure. It also offers some tools for you to engage effectively and strategically.
You can engage with the Special Procedures in several ways, and the method you choose will be dependent on the outcome you wish to achieve.
You can engage with the Special Procedures without coming to Geneva.
Communications – You can submit information to Special Procedures so that they send a communication to your government or other relevant stakeholders about a particular issue or case
Statements and press releases – You can convince Special Procedures to make public statements to mark an event or highlight a particular issue or case to suit your advocacy needs
Country visits – You can try to ensure that Special Procedures visit your country and make recommendations relevant to the issues you work on
Thematic reports – You can encourage the Special Procedures to use their thematic reports to include or focus on the issues you work on, and you can use their reports in your advocacy
Following up – You can work with the Special Procedures after they have acted to ensure ongoing attention to an issue and push for change on the ground
In 2015, a dam collapsed in Brazil, affecting the lives of 3.2 million people through huge environmental damage. The compensation agreement provided by the government and private sector did not adequately address the needs of local communities and victims.
The victims and civil society engaged the Special Procedures, and in 2015 and 2016, various Special Procedures made country visits, reported (here and here) and issued statements (e.g. here and here) on the human right violations connected to the collapse.
Their actions are believed to have been a key factor in the decision of judicial authorities to annul the compensation agreement.
Statements of Special Procedures:
In the next sections, you'll find information on why these opportunities might be useful to you, as well as tips on how to take advantage of them most effectively.