UN mechanisms for protecting human rights

The term “human rights” was mentioned in the founding charter of the United Nations seven times, and various international treaties and covenants were issued for the protection of human rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

The United Nations is making continuous efforts and working devoted to the promotion of human rights, which prompted it to establish a set of mechanisms to protect the human rights movement around the world.

Our experts and the Foundation's work team are interested in supporting communication with the United Nations mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the international level, which vary between contractual mechanisms such as treaty committees and non-contractual mechanisms such as the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review and the Special Procedures.

and that is through :

  • Monitoring and documentation
  • Reports preparation
  • Statements on human rights situation
  • Submit complaints and appeals
  • Helping stakeholders to communicate and network with these mechanisms

Maat interacts and interacts periodically and live with these mechanisms through a mission that includes a number of multinational organizations and human rights experts. 

The Maat mission participated in more than ten successive sessions of the Human Rights Council through written and oral interventions, presentation of reports and attending meetings, and submitted more than one hundred and fifty reports on procedures other than complaints and urgent appeals, in addition to the continuous attendance and immediate follow-up of the comprehensive review mechanism sessions and attendance at closed and private consultative meetings With civil society organizations with contractual committee members.

  • Our Channels for Change and Impact

1- Human Rights Council

It is one of the most prominent mechanisms of the United Nations to promote and protect human rights around the world. It is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations consisting of 47 member states who have been elected by the General Assembly and have the ability to discuss all human rights issues with the UN experts.

The Council holds no less than three regular sessions over the course of the United Nations Office at Geneva, in March (this session lasts for four weeks), and in June and September (each session lasts for three weeks). If a third of the member states so request, the Human Rights Council can decide at any time to hold a special session to address human rights violations and emergencies.

2- The Universal Periodic Review

This mechanism was developed by the Human Rights Council in 2006 and is implemented under its auspices as well. This mechanism aims to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur, by reviewing the human rights records of all UN member states every four and a half years. It also provides an opportunity for each state to announce the measures it has taken to improve human rights conditions in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations.
The mechanism holds three annual periodic meetings in January, May and November each year, one session lasts for 12 days, and a number of countries are reviewed in each session. Groups of three countries are also assisted in each review of countries, known as the "troika" and who act as rapporteurs for the review session Civil society organizations also contribute to the review through previously submitted reports and preparatory meetings

3- Special procedures

The Special Procedures are another mechanism emanating from the Human Rights Council and they are a group of independent human rights experts responsible for 44 thematic mandates and 11 country states, and they are unpaid experts who are elected to a term of 3 years that can be renewed for another three years.
Special mandate holders are individuals concerned with providing reports and advice on human rights through a number of diverse work mechanisms supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, such as conducting country visits, dealing with alleged violations by receiving complaints and intervening by sending messages to countries, conducting thematic studies and holding Expert consultations, contributing to the development of international human rights standards, engaging in advocacy and raising public awareness, and providing advice for technical cooperation

4 - Treaty committees

This mechanism is distinguished from other mechanisms as it is a contractual mechanism based on international treaties signed and ratified by states. There are currently nine international human rights treaties and one optional protocol, in which 10 bodies have been established. The treaty bodies are made up of independent experts with recognized competence in the field of human rights, who are nominated and elected for fixed, renewable terms of four years by the state parties.
These committees hold their annual sessions in which the position of the state party to the treaty and the extent of their commitment to its provisions is reviewed, and on the margins of which they receive reports from the state party, national human rights bodies, civil society organizations and other stakeholders, in addition to preparing a list of issues and holding sessions and preparatory sessions.