On 18 June 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 5/1 entitled “Institution-Building of the United Nations Human Rights Council” by which a new complaint procedure was established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances.
The complaint procedure addresses communications submitted by individuals, groups, or non-governmental organizations that claim to be victims of human rights violations or that have direct, reliable knowledge of such violations.
Like the former 1503 procedure, it is confidential, with a view to enhance cooperation with the State concerned. The new complaint procedure has been improved, where necessary, to ensure that the procedure be impartial, objective, efficient, victims-oriented and conducted in a timely manner.
History of situations considered since the establishment of the complaint procedure
Pursuant to paragraph 94 of resolution 5/1, the Chairperson of the Working Group on Communications, together with the Secretariat, undertake an initial screening of communications based on the admissibility criteria set in paragraphs 85 to 88 of resolution 5/1. Manifestly ill-founded and anonymous communications are screened out. Communications not rejected in the initial screening are transmitted to the State concerned to obtain its views on the allegations of violations. Both the author of a communication and the State concerned are informed of the proceedings at each stage.
Two distinct working groups - the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations – are responsible, respectively, for examining written communications and bringing consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms to the attention of the Council. (Click in the “in this section” for more information on both Working Groups and the closed meetings of the Council).
A communication related to a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms is admissible, provided that:
National human rights institutions, established and operating under the Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles), in particular in regard to quasi-judicial competence, may serve as effective means of addressing individual human rights violations.
Please fill out the complaint procedure form if you consider that your communication meets the abovementioned criteria.
Communications intended for handling under the Human Rights Council complaint procedure may be addressed to:
Complaint Procedure UnitHuman Rights Council Branch Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human RightsUnited Nations Office at Geneva CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Fax: (41 22) 917 90 11 E-mail: CP@ohchr.org
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