International Commissions of Inquiry, Commissions on Human Rights, Fact-Finding missions and other Investigations

 

Introduction

United Nations mandated commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions and investigations are increasingly being used to respond to situations of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, whether protracted or resulting from sudden events, and to promote accountability for such violations and counter impunity. These international investigative bodies have been established by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

As part of its core work, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides expertise and support to commissions and missions established by UN bodies, and carries out missions under the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights or at the request of other bodies. OHCHR work includes developing guidance and tools for the operation of commissions and missions, advising on mandate development, investigation methodology and applicable international law, setting up secretariats with specialist staff, providing administrative, logistical and security support, providing briefing and training to members and staff, undertaking reviews and lessons learned exercises. Since 1992, OHCHR has provided support to and deployed close to 50 commissions and missions.

The Research Guide accessible on the left-hand side provides key information on international commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions and other investigations established by the United Nations to gather information, analyze and report on violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including: mandating authority, mandate, members, key dates and links to related resolutions and reports.


LATEST REPORTS


Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic "Special inquiry into the events in Aleppo" (A/HRC/34/64), 2 February 2017
EFSACR

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/33/55), 11 August 2016
English

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic: “They came to destroy”: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis (A/HRC/32/CRP.2)
English (Advance version)

Report of the commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea, 9 May 2016 (A/HRC/32/47)
English

Detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea, 8 June 2016 (A/HRC/32/CRP.1)
English

Assessment mission by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to improve human rights, accountability, reconciliation and capacity in South Sudan (A/HRC/31/49)
English

Assessment mission by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to improve human rights, accountability, reconciliation and capacity in South Sudan: detailed findings (A/HRC/31/CRP.6)
English

Report of the OHCHR Investigation mission to Libya
English

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (Advance Edited Version)
English 

Thematic Report: "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Deaths in Detention in the Syrian Arab Republic"
English and Arabic

Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea 

10th Report of Commission of Inquiry on Syria

Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict

Report of OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka 



FEATURE STORIES


Investigation of alleged human rights violations and abuses against the Rohingya
An independent fact-finding mission begins an inquiry into alleged human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar.
26-09-2017
Burundi - A knife or a steel bar? How would you prefer to be killed?
In 2015, President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to stand for another term as head of state of Burundi. Since then, real or suspected government opponents have been hunted down, tortured or killed. The Commission of Inquiry on Burundi talks of crimes against humanity.
04-09-2017
Research Guide

Research Guide on CoIs, FFMs and Investigations (1963 to present)
Mandates, composition, reports of UN investigations on violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law

See also

Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-finding Missions on International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Guidance and Practice
English | French | Spanish

Follow us