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3. Your opportunities to engage

3.6 Pushing for statements and press releases

This section provides information on how you can push for a statement or press release, and how you can use these public statements of a Special Procedure for greater impact.

It follows from the last section on Statements and press releases – Why are they useful?

Statements and press releases

There are a number of ways in which you can engage with Special Procedures to encourage them to make statements and press releases that support your advocacy. Most often you will push for Special Procedures to:

  • Issue a press release related to a communication that they’ve sent
  • Deliver a statement to mark a particular event
  • Speak out in other ways

Issue a press release related to a communication

Sometimes a press release is crucial for a communication to have the greatest impact and for you to be able to get the most media attention. However, because of the limited resources of the Special Procedures, they do not issue a press release connected to every communication that they send.

If you are seeking a press release, when you submit the information for a communication, you should also explain to the Special Procedures why a public statement is so important – why it would make a difference. The more concrete the reasons, the more convincing it will be.

Deliver a statement to mark a particular event

You can also engage with the Special Procedures to encourage them to make a statement to mark a particular event or anniversary, or to make a particular reference in a statement that they are already planning.

There are often international ‘days’ that connect with the issues covered by a particular Special Procedure that you can use as a ‘hook’ (for example International Human Rights Day is a day when the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders is very likely to make a statement).

This will be most effective if you have built up a relationship with a mandate holder over time, they are familiar with the issue and its importance, and if you have contacted them well in advance of the event.

Speaking out in other ways

Finally, Special Procedures are increasingly innovative in their public statements and if you have a good idea of how to use their support to further your advocacy, you should contact them!

Some ways that defenders have involved the Special Procedures in the past are:

By tweeting or retweeting articles, images / photos to support a campaign or mark an event


Appearing in videos, giving interviews or writing Op Eds


By encouraging them to run their own campaigns that national human rights defenders can also use


See the next sections on how you can engage in other actions of Special Procedures, including Country Visits, Thematic Reports, and Follow up Activities.

Learn more

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