This guide is designed as a practical aid to working with the United Nation’s system of independent human rights experts, known as the Special Procedures, for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and advocates working on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Special Procedures system is made up of experts, usually titled Special Rapporteurs, assigned to investigate and report on the realization of certain rights around the world, or in specific countries. Over the past decade they have become one of the most effective international instruments for confronting violations of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) people.
Amongst other examples they have taken action against killings, violence, deprivation of liberty, denials of the rights of freedom of expression and association, as well as discrimination in access to public services. Often their independence allows them to shine a light on issues that are otherwise deemed too politically ‘sensitive’ for discussion at the international level.
The Special Procedures have therefore proved themselves to be of considerable value to the community of LGBTI activists.
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