Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring - Chapter XIX: Following-up and Seeking Corrective Action




A. Introduction

B. Preparing for follow-up at local and national levels

C. Initial steps at the local level

D. Taking the problem to a higher level

E. Contacts with the media

F. Longer-term follow-up

G. More long-term follow-up: truth commissions and tribunals

H. Addressing the human rights situation through UN mechanisms


A. Introduction

1. The term "follow-up" is employed here to describe the actions taken by a human rights field operation or its individual officers to address human rights problems identified through the different activities explained under Part Three - The Monitoring Function (Chapters V to XVI). Specifically, follow-up refers to the use that HROs make of the information that they have gathered on violations or other human rights abuses. The most prominent form of follow-up involves seeking corrective action by national and local authorities.

2. Once the HRO has verified the information and, where appropriate, consulted with colleagues, s/he may determine that the case is an urgent matter which may require prompt follow-up. The question of follow-up raises several issues: Who will have the authority to decide whether such interventions should be made? At what level should various kinds of interventions be made? (For example, should a case be raised with a junior judicial official or with the minister of justice?) Should a case be raised by the HRO who began the enquiry, by his/her supervisor, or by the chief of the operation? What are other international, national, and local organizations doing? How can the UN human rights operation coordinate their interventions with other actors in the field? If efforts to persuade the local/national authorities are not initially successful, are there UN and other mechanisms for pursuing the matter?

Errors in judgement at the crucial follow-up stage can have serious consequences. In order to avoid making such mistakes, HROs should always act in close consultation with colleagues. Difficult or especially sensitive situations should be referred to the appropriate level of the operation for advice.


3. As a general rule the first stage of follow-up will be to take information to the relevant authorities. Ultimately, most human rights violations can only be addressed by the authorities themselves. It is, however, important that HROs select the correct authorities to meet. They must also be careful in choosing the information that they give to the authorities -- remembering in particular the basic principle of monitoring: "do no harm".

4. Where the first meetings with the authorities do not lead to any improvement in the human rights situation, it may be necessary to address higher authorities, to make written communications to ministries, or to make use of other United Nations mechanisms. This Chapter addresses each of the above points.

B. Preparing for follow-up at local and national levels

5. At the local level, HROs should prepare for later interventions by developing contacts with local authorities and by identifying the key officials of the civil administration, military administration, police, courts, prosecutors, prisons, and other sectors of the society. Area offices should prepare an organogramme of these key officials, so that it will be possible to determine the appropriate official for particular contacts. Further, the area office should keep a list of authorities with contact information (name, address, telephone number, etc.) It is also useful to develop a file mentioning very briefly each contact made with the most relevant officials. All of this information will be useful as a record and quick reference facility for the staff members of each area office.

6. Similar information -- an organogramme of Government ministries and divisions, and contact details -- should be gathered by the central office at the national level. It is important that the HROs maintain periodic contacts with key authorities at both the local and national levels. HROs should visit these authorities regularly; the visits should be made apart from other visits regarding a specific case or problem. If HROs have developed good relations with the most important and relevant officials, they will find it much easier to address problems when they arise. It is often a good idea to establish regular weekly meetings.

7. As a general principle, the field operation should try to encourage the national and local level authorities to function properly. The operation should avoid displacing or replacing ordinary governmental functions. For example, if there is a functioning criminal justice system, it would be far better for investigations of criminal offences to be pursued by the police and prosecutors than by HROs. Indeed, if the criminal justice system is not functioning properly, the objective of the human rights operation should be to encourage and assist the national system to work rather than replacing it.

C. Initial steps at the local level

1. Selecting the right authority to address

8. If a HRO has received information which would indicate a need to get the reaction of the authorities, the officer should ordinarily consult the files and appropriate colleagues (for example the area coordinator, if any) to get a sense of which local administrator or police official would be most appropriately contacted.

9. Depending upon the relations which have been developed and the procedures which have been followed, it may be easiest to make contact at a relatively low level in the hierarchy. Unless the case is obviously and unusually controversial, the lower level officials may be able to provide routine information which may resolve the matter. It is in the interests of both the local officials and the human rights operation to resolve problems at this early juncture. The contact should not, however, be made with an official who has no power to respond appropriately.

2. Coordinating follow-up with other organizations

10. Some human rights violations might draw the attention of other organizations and UN operations. At a minimum HROs should be aware of what efforts have been made by other international organizations, so that they do not unnecessarily duplicate or conflict with each other. At best human rights operations should coordinate information-gathering and follow-up with other international organizations in the field. With particularly serious cases HROs should coordinate their interventions with partner organizations. Sometimes it can be useful for several different organizations to all approach the same authorities on one specific case of human rights violation. This combined approach can help to place greater pressure on the authorities to correct the abuse. HROs should, however, ensure that the different interventions are co-ordinated and that the requests made of the authorities are consistent with each other. Where there are inconsistencies the authorities may use them to stall and to do only the very minimum to address the problem.

11. HROs should ascertain and be aware of the mandates and scope of activities of the other organizations present in the country of operation, so as to be able to assess which kind of assistance, contribution, or coordination may be expected with a view to improving the human rights situation in the country -- particularly as to follow-up. A brief overview of the most common organizations and departments present in the field is provided below. The list does not purport to be exhaustive, but only to provide a general orientation to HROs. Human rights field operations have at times developed memoranda of understanding with several of these organizations to facilitate cooperation. Memoranda of understanding my as well exist between the Headquarters of the human rights field operation (for example the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights or the Department of Peace-Keeping Operations) and other organizations present in the field. HROs should be aware of any such agreement, when they exist.

a. Peace-keeping operations

In coordinating with other international organizations, it is useful to note that human rights field operations are sometimes components of a larger UN presence or peace-keeping operation in which the other components may, depending upon the mandate, be an armed Military Component, Military Observers, Civilian Police, Humanitarian Assistance, Civil Affairs, Civil Administration, and Electoral Monitors. Such a larger UN presence is usually under the direction of a Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General. There are various types of peace-keeping operations, including the maintenance of cease-fires and separation of forces (e.g., in Cyprus and Kashmir), preventive deployment (e.g., in Macedonia), implementation of comprehensive settlements (e.g., Cambodia and El Salvador), and protection of humanitarian operations during continuing conflicts (e.g., former Yugoslavia). The UN Security Council gives different peace-keeping operations their mandate depending upon political exigencies and the needs of the situation. Those mandates often involve observation, reporting, interposition between opposing factions, liaison, negotiation, good offices, maintenance of physical presence in specific sectors or checkpoints, guarding of facilities, and public information.

The United Nations Department of Peace-keeping Operations (DPKO) serves as the operational representative of the UN Secretary-General for the planning and management of peace operations, and as such has been responsible for managing various human rights field operations, for example in Cambodia. The United Nations Department of Political Affairs assists the Secretary-General by providing research, analysis, and policy advice. DPA also includes the Electoral Unit, which has coordinated and provided assistance to election monitoring and elections. Other human rights field operations have been mounted under the auspices of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, such as the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (HRFOR), the Human Rights Field Operation in Burundi (HRFOB), the Cambodia and Colombia Offices of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and other. Still in other more recent cases, such as in Angola or Sierra Leone, human rights components of peace-keeping operations, although administratively managed by DPKO, receive substantive guidance from the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

i. Military Component

12. Under the terms of reference provided by the Security Council, the Military Component usually functions within a Status of Forces Agreement with the country of operations, Standing Operating Procedures (SOP), and Rules of Engagement (RoE). Military components are usually armed though under strict constraints as to the use of arms, normally organized in battalion size units, and directed by a Force Commander; they provide a large number of small armed detachments for observation posts, patrols, escorts, etc. (1) UN Peace-keeping missions are usually staffed by soldiers who carry unloaded weapons, but are prepared to act in self-defence.

Peace-keeping should be achieved without use of military force, except in self-defence, i.e., direct attacks, threats to the lives of UN personnel, jeopardy to UN security in general, forceful entry into UN positions for use as a fire base, or attempts by force to disarm UN troops. UN peace-keepers may only use the minimum of force as last resort, should prevent the use of force by negotiation or persuasion, should give prior warning (e.g., orally, using flares, giving warning shots in the air, firing short) unless to do so would increase the risk of death or grave injury to the peace-keeper or any other person.

ii. Military Observers

13. United Nations Military Observers (UNMOs) normally monitor the performance of the military in the context of demilitarization or a broader peace process. They are generally not armed. Some human rights field operations have developed close working relationships with UN Military Observers and other military components of international peace-keeping operations, for example, to meet regularly -- for example, every morning -- to coordinate their efforts or at least be aware of their respective activities. The establishment of Civil-Military Coordination Centres has become standard practice in countries where multi-component peace-keeping operations are established, or where peace-keeping operations coexist with humanitarian, human rights and other civilian-run operations. Military observers and other military components have been able to provide transportation, communications, information, and/or security for HROs.

iii. Civilian Police

14. Human rights field operations have also worked closely with the United Nations Civilian Police (CIVPOL or UNCIVPOL). CIVPOL components of peace-keeping and other field operations are composed of professional members of police organizations who are provided to the UN by member countries. CIVPOL officers are generally not armed. CIVPOL helps to ensure human rights and criminal justice standards are fully respected, monitor law enforcement activities of local police and judicial investigative authorities, sometimes carry out general police duties (such as investigation of incidents), provide appropriate assistance to the UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies, advise local police on procedures, and assist in (re-) training of local police forces. CIVPOL components are organized in groups or teams under a Police Commissioner. CIVPOL activities are conducted in accordance with the overall mandate of the peace-keeping operation and pursuant to Standard Administrative Procedures (SAP) and Standard Operational Procedures (SOP).

15. CIVPOL officers who come from countries where police are regularly engaged in the investigation of crime may be particularly helpful in encouraging local police to investigate violence and other human rights abuses. If local police are not able to pursue such human rights abuses, HROs may cooperate with CIVPOL in undertaking inquiries to document the facts and thus to encourage more effective response by the local authorities.

iv. Civil Affairs and Electoral Components

16. A peace-keeping operation may also have components for Civil Affairs, Civilian Administration, and Electoral Monitors. Civil Affairs may provide the diplomatic/political component of the operation. Civil Affairs officers may serve as the local eyes and ears of the Special Representative, focusing on human rights as well as other aspects of the UN presence. In the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) there was also a Civilian Administration component to fulfill the administrative responsibilities delegated to UNTAC under the Paris Accords. The Civilian Administration component worked very closely with the human rights component -- often sharing office space and projects in the provinces. Election Monitors have served in UNTAC, Namibia, Bosnia, and elsewhere, often in parallel with human rights field operations and/or components. In these cases, electoral monitors have focused on the technical aspects of preparation and monitoring of elections, while HROs have focused on monitoring respect for the human rights related to the electoral process (see Chapter XIII -- Election Observation)

v. Humanitarian component

17. The Humanitarian Aid component of peacekeeping or other UN field operations may include UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP, and non-governmental organizations to help distribute food, supply medical aid, and shelter; provide other necessities for living; and work on development projects. The United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been responsible for coordinating the efforts of UN relief agencies in the context of complex emergencies and natural or technological disasters, including armed conflicts, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.. OCHA operations may be present also independently of peace-keeping operations. A very brief descriptions of several of the international humanitarian organizations which human rights offices may encounter in the field is provided below.

b. UN Resident Coordinator

The UN resident Coordinator is designated by and responsible to the UN Secretary-General and has overall responsibility for, and coordination of, the UN system operational activities for development carried out at the country level. This coordination function is to be pursed in conformity with the objectives and priorities of the Government. The main concern of the RC is to support effective dialogue and interaction in the UN system with the Government's policy-making and coordinating mechanism, to develop a coherent frame of reference for cooperation and assistance by the system, and to promote effective division of labour and joint reviews of major programmes and projects.



Appendix 1 to Chapter X contains an introduction to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR).


18. UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) has established a defined role for itself in the sorts of emergency situations in which human rights field operations often are conducted. UNICEF's principal focus is on protection and advocacy for children. UNICEF brings both a developmental and a human rights perspective to its emergency action, which has four primary elements: advocacy, assessment, care (including the provision of essential services), and protection of vulnerable children and women from intentional harm. (2) The basic framework within which UNICEF operates is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF is centred in New York, but has programmes in over 130 countries principally working on child survival, care and protection of vulnerable children from harm, development, capacity-building, strengthening civil society, re-establishment (and improvement) of basic social services, education, health care for children and women, demobilization of child soldiers, family reunification of unaccompanied children, work with internally displaced children, employment, physical and psychological recovery and social integration of child victims of neglect and abuse, etc.


19. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the largest provider of economic and social development assistance to countries throughout the world. The UNDP Resident Representative in many countries not only directs UNDP assistance, but also serves as the Resident Coordinator of the UN. Through a network of 134 country offices, UNDP works in 174 countries and territories to support development, focusing on poverty elimination, environmental regeneration, job creation, the advancement of women, and increasingly, and in close cooperation with OHCHR, human rights institution building. UNDP is frequently involved in promoting "good governance", and support for rebuilding societies in the aftermath of war and humanitarian emergencies. Its principal mission is to help countries build national capacity to achieve sustainable human development, as the largest member of the UN development family. UNDP works closely with OHCHR, in a relationship governed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1998, pledging the two offices to collaborate in advancing the right to development, staff human rights training, programming, and policy development.

f. IOM

20. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an intergovernmental organization which assists in meeting the operational challenges of migration, advances understanding of migration issues, encourages development through migration, and works towards the effective respect of migrants' rights. Founded in 1951 as a response to the problem of displaced persons and refugees in Europe after World war II, today, IOM is operational in over 70 countries in the world. IOM is also concerned with issues relating to trafficking in persons -- particularly women. The IOM is centred in Geneva.

g. WFP

21. The World Food Programme (WFP) provides food aid to low-income countries to combat hunger, promote economic and social development, and respond to relief needs of victims of natural or other disasters. The WFP operates in more than 90 countries and is the largest multilateral food aid organization in the world. The WFP administers the International Emergency Food Reserve and is providing humanitarian assistance in some areas of conflict. The World Food Programme is centred in Rome.

h. WHO

22. The World Health Organization (WHO) works with national health administrations, professional organizations, and others to achieve the highest possible level of health throughout the world. It provides and coordinates technical assistance, expert advice, emergency relief, and prevention/control of diseases through its Division of Emergency and Humanitarian Action. The WHO is centred in Geneva.

i. ILO

The ILO is the United Nations specialized agency which seeks to promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. Its Headquarters are in Geneva, but it has offices in various countries. The ILO main activities include:

-- the formulation of international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues;

-- to provide technical assistance primarily in the fields of vocational training and vocational rehabilitation; employment policy; labour administration; labour law and industrial relations; working conditions; management development; cooperatives; social security; labour statistics and occupational safety and health;

-- to promote the development of independent employers' and workers' organizations and provide training and advisory services to those organizations;

-- to promote the rights of migrant workers.

j. Regional organizations

23. In some parts of the world, human rights operations may work in cooperation with regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States. Indeed, the human rights operation in Haiti has been conducted jointly by both the OAS and the UN (through the Department of Political Affairs). The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has had responsibility for monitoring the human right situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in cooperating with the UN human rights field operation there. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) arose from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. For its first 15 years the CSCE met periodically to discuss reducing tensions between Eastern and Western Europe and developing cooperation in such fields as democracy, economics, environment, family reunification, human rights, rule of law, science, and technology. Several of the CSCE meetings resulted in final standard-setting statements. Under the CSCE Governments were entitled to express concerns and initiate dialogue with countries in which human rights problems were arising. In the 1990's the CSCE became the OSCE with its central office in Vienna and an Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw, the Conflict Prevention Centre in Vienna, and the High Commissioner for National Minorities in the Hague. The OSCE has sent conflict prevention, crisis management, election, and human rights monitoring missions to a number of countries including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Kosovo. The Council of Europe - although not directly responsible for managing field operations as defined in this Manual, has a number of institution building projects on human rights, often involving the presence of experts in the field, in countries where UN field operations have been or are operating.

k. Non-governmental organizations

24. In addition to the international and regional organizations, there are also a large number of international nongovernmental -- humanitarian assistance, relief, and advocacy -- organizations, which should be very helpful to the human rights field operation. Among the most prominent is the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is discussed in Chapter IX-E "Coordination with ICRC". Other international organizations the UN human rights operation may encounter in the field are Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Action Internationale Contre la Faim, Amnesty International, American Refugee Committee, Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE), CARITAS, CONCERN, Catholic Relief Services, Church World Service, Danish Refugee Council, Diakonisches Werk, Equilibre, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, International Catholic Migration Commission, International Commission of Jurists, International Federation for Human Rights, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Islamic Relief Organizations, International Rescue Committee, Jesuit Refugee Service, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Lutheran World Relief, Médecins du Monde, Médecins sans Frontières, Mercy Corps International, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Movimondo, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxford Committee Famine Relief (OXFAM), Pharmaciens sans Frontières, Rädda Barnen (Save the Children Fund), Refugees International, Reporters sans Frontières, Save the Children, Trocaire - Catholic Agency for World Development, World University Service, World Vision, and many others. To the extent these organizations are active in the country, they may be able to assist the human rights field operation in gathering information, follow-up, dealing with requests for assistance (education, emergency aid, food aid, food production, health care, legal assistance, logistics, medical supplies, shelter, transport, sanitation, water, etc.), and in other ways.

25. There may also be local human rights organizations with which the human rights operation will want to cooperate as discussed in Chapter VII-B "Developing contacts and establishing a presence in the community".

3. Deciding what information may be given to the authorities

26. Before contacting the authorities, the HRO should be careful to determine precisely what information should be given to the authorities in raising a case. Has the complainant or witness given permission to use his/her name or even to raise the matter at all? What risks might mature in harm if the authorities are contacted? Are those risks worth taking in the light of the information or response which is expected?

4. Planning the meeting with a particular authority

27. It is very important to note that when visiting authorities, especially the military and law enforcement officials, two HROs should always be present. HROs should plan their intervention with the authorities carefully. Where there are two or more officers it should be clear as to which roles each person will play. It is usually easier if one person "leads" the meeting and the other supports.

28. In preparing for the meeting, the HROs should identify which issues they wish to raise, and in which order. Should they take notes, and if so which HRO will do so? What is the precise objective of the visit? What information or undertaking would the HROs like to obtain from the authority? What objections are expected? How should the HROs overcome those objections? For example, objections may be countered: by reference to the terms of reference; by showing that it would be in the interests of the Government official to cooperate; by politely giving responsive arguments; by simply repeating the question or the point to show that the HROs can not be diverted from their objective; or by indicating that it may be necessary to raise the issue at higher levels, etc.

29. Thought should be given as to what language the meeting will use. In general, it is best to use a language in which the HROs can communicate easily -- and without having to use an interpreter -- but in which the Government officials can also converse comfortably. There is some advantage in selecting a language in which the HRO will be able to communicate confortably, but the Government official must be able to understand and respond. HROs should use interpreters only where there is no other alternative.

30. In setting the visit or interview with the Government official, it is useful to determine how long the Government official will have for the discussion. The strategy for the interview will be different depending upon the amount of time which is expected.

5. Conducting the meeting itself

a. Introductions

31. The meeting will usually begin with introductions. If this is the first contact between any member of the field operation and this particular authority, the HROs should briefly explain the mandate of the operation and their own specific tasks. They may also refer to any relevant agreements with the national authorities and should be prepared to present a copy of the relevant terms of reference or governmental authorization for the operation.

32. In order to be taken seriously the HROs should be clear, impartial, and professional in presenting themselves and the reason for their visit. HROs should carry and present official visiting cards which will simplify spelling of names and giving addresses. The presentation of a card will also encourage the official to present his/her card with useful information as to full name, official title, and address. They should be careful to observe customary rules of courtesy and dress and should use the correct title of the official -- Captain, Colonel, Justice, Doctor, Mr, Cheik, etc. The HROs' demeanor towards the authorities should be firm and polite. In addition, the HRO should avoid an arrogant or provocative attitude towards the authorities.

b. Addressing the main reason for the visit

33. The leading HRO should then explain the reason for the visit. There may be different strategies for reaching the purpose of the visit. If there is adequate time to handle the significant issue, it might be useful to begin with a less important and less controversial question, so that a tone of cooperation can be developed. The HROs should, however, try to avoid being side-tracked or lectured, so that all the time of the visit is consumed with inconsequential matters. In this case, it may be necessary to immediately raise the major reason for the visit.

34. The HROs should listen carefully to the response of the official. Has the official given any useful information or response? The HROs should try to pursue their objective with firmness and clarity, but they should not try to push the Government official into a negative or defensive attitude. Whatever occurs in regard to the principal issue or issues, it may be useful to raise another more easily resolved issue towards the end of the interview, which will allow more easy agreement. Such a tactic should, however, be avoided, if it would distract from the major thrust of the interview and would not significantly improve the atmosphere. In any case, at the end of the meeting the leading HRO should outline the results of the meeting and the next steps which will be taken based on the discussion. Where possible the HROs should try to fix with the authorities a date and time for a second meeting, and to define the steps that the authority will take in addressing the problem. In any event the tone at the conclusion of the meeting should leave the door open for further contact.

6. Addressing the problem through a written communication

35. As the level of the intervention rises, the area coordinator may consider whether an intervention should be made on the basis of an oral and/or written presentation. Correspondence with the authorities on human rights violations should be approved by the head of the operation or a person by him/her delegated for this purpose.


36. Unnecessary correspondence with the authorities should be avoided. The operation should only resort to writing a letter in serious cases, when oral communication is impossible, or when oral communication has not produced the expected results. The same rules regarding demeanor to be observed vis-a-vis the authorities apply here with regard to a written communication. When a written communication is to be sent to the authorities, the operation must devote special attention: to remaining within the mandate; to being extremely accurate in their reference to facts, cases and legal aspects; to using formally correct written expression (these letters should be written or at least carefully reviewed by a HRO whose mother tongue is the language used); and to using the customary polite terminology.

D. Taking the problem to a higher level

37. If the HRO does not receive an adequate response, the next step may be to pursue further inquiries outside of the authorities before raising the issue at a higher level in the local governmental structure. The objective at this stage is usually to encourage the authorities to provide information and possibly to initiate their own investigation about the case.

38. As the level of the concern and/or the Government official rises, however, it becomes more necessary to involve staff of the field operation with corresponding levels of responsibility, up to, in some cases, the chief of the operation. The initial HRO who did the inquiry and who knows the case should obviously continue to be involved..

39. The intervention of the head of the operation or the central office may be required when the human rights violations are particularly bad, and/or when the violations may have been committed or at least sanctioned by a high level member of the local authorities. In these situations it may be easier to address the problem through the national authorities.

40. HROs may also wish to refer a case to the central office and the leadership of the operation when they feel that it may be dangerous for them to pursue the case locally. If, for example, the perpetrators of a particular violation are local soldiers, it may be very risky for the human rights staff to continue an enquiry that may threaten those soldiers. The operation's staff in the capital will be better able to address the problem.

41. In some situations the field operation may find that it is unable to provide the necessary follow-up on a situation of human rights violations. A number of different methods can then be used, including the publication of information in the national and international press and discussions with concerned governments through their ambassadors in the country of operations. Decisions of this kind rest with the leadership of the operation. Consultation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, or with the Special Representative of the Secretary General, or both, may be needed, depending on the institutional arrangements relevant to each human rights field operation. The following section of this Chapter provides some guidelines on the use of the media and different possibilities offered by other UN mechanisms.

E. Contacts with the media

42. With regard to contacts with the media, each staff member of the United Nations is bound by Staff Rule 101.2, stating that "staff members shall not, except in the normal course of official duties or with the prior approval of the Secretary-General, engage in any of the following acts, if such acts relates to the purpose, activities or interests of the United Nations: (I) issue statements to the press, radio, or other agencies of public information; (ii) accept speaking engagements; (iii) take part in film, theatre, radio or television productions; (iv) submit articles, books or other material for publication.

In addition, guidelines on "United Nations Secretariat Relations with the Media" have been issued by the Secretary-General in April 1999. These provide, inter alia, that, as a matter of principle, every member of the Secretariat may speak to the press, within the following limits:

The officials authorized to speak on sensitive issues are: the United Nations Spokesperson, on the basis of guidance; designated members of the Secretary-General's staff and Heads of Departments, within their area of competence; staff authorized by their Heads of Department, on the basis of guidance; and Directors of United Nations Information Centres, on the basis of guidance from Headquarters.

Within this rules, guidelines concerning contacts with the media may be issued for each specific human rights field operation, and may differ depending on whether the operation is part of a larger peace-keeping presence administered by DPKO, or part of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In general, however, the chief of the human rights operation has delegated authority to decide how the operation and its results are presented to the media. For particularly sensitive issues, he/she may need to consult UN Headquarters in Geneva or New York, or the Special Representative of the Secretary-General leading the peace-keeping operation, prior to taking part in interviews, making statements to the press and issuing media releases. Careful consultation will help to avoid errors and will help prepare officials at each level for further questions from the media. Other staff of the field operation should have specific authorization from the chief of the operation before providing information on the operation to the media. It is important for HROs to be aware that while deployed in a field operation there is no such thing as "speaking in my personal capacity" about an operation. Any staff member talking to the press about an operation -- on or off the record -- while deployed in that field operation is, for all intents and purposes, speaking in an official capacity. It is therefore important that all staff abide by the relevant staff rules and the specific guidelines for contacts with the media relevant to each organization and/or operation.

When the chief does need to make statements for media use, those statements should be broadly disseminated through UN Headquarters, to relevant UN agencies, to non-governmental organizations, and to international and local media. In general, in so far as consistent with security concerns, its mandate, and the effectiveness of its protection efforts, the human rights operation should make available its general findings and achievements on a regular basis. Details of specific cases under investigation by the operation should, however, never be made public while the investigation is going on. The chief of operation may also wish to consider appeals to the general population, contending parties, moderates, influential groups, or other targeted groups as techniques for dealing with grave problems.

F. Longer-term follow-up

43. Through monitoring human rights field operations collect a considerable quantity of information. Some of that information needs to be communicated through appropriate channels and at the appropriate levels to Government officials so that they may deal with particular problems. If the Government fails adequately to respond, the information may need to be disseminated further through the UN mechanisms discussed below. The human rights information gathered by the field operation, however, may also be useful in developing medium term promotion and technical assistance within the context of the field operation or longer-term capacity-building efforts.

44. In fact, monitoring, protection, promotion, and technical assistance are usually inter-connected and complementary tasks. For example, if a prison is not handling its inmates properly under international standards, the best way of handling the problem may be to discuss the problem with the responsible Government officials. If they do not respond adequately, the field operation may prepare a critical report. At the same time, if the analysis of the causes of this specific human rights problem suggests that the lack of preparation of the prison staff is the main cause of the violations, the operation may offer training or technical assistance in prison management and techniques for achieving international norms for the protection of detainees.

45. Another example of the relatedness of monitoring and promotion arises in the context of nearly every contact between HROs and Government officials. If HROs realizes that there are repeated human rights violations in the area where they work, the HROs are encouraged to meet with the local administration responsible for that area. The HRO may devote an hour explaining to the official the mandate of the operation, explaining the role that the field operation can play in the region, and perhaps providing examples of the way that human rights operations have contributed to improving human rights in other countries. If at the end of the conversation the official has a better understanding of the operation and is receptive to future contacts with the HRO, human rights will have been promoted.

46. Information developed through monitoring can be used in encouraging the Government to develop a needs assessment and to select priorities for building its capacity for the sustainable protection of human rights. The needs assessment can identify a relationship between a situation of human rights abuse and an institutional weakness/absence. In the short and medium term, the needs assessment/priorities might identify promotion and technical assistance with which the human rights field operation might help in partnership with the Government, local NGOs, other intergovernmental organizations (such as UNDP, UNHCR, or UNICEF), etc. In the longer term, the needs assessment might identify the programmes which the Government should pursue and the capacity-building assistance which the UN might provide. Capacity-building involves the development and strengthening of structures that contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights. Capacity-building can refer to governmental structures, such as courts or legislative committees, but they can also concern neighbourhood human rights committees or NGOs which will help to protect human rights. The objective is to foster and develop sustainable local institutions and not to substitute HROs for the people and Government of the country of operations.

47. Depending upon the presence or absence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country of operation, it may be necessary for the human rights field operation to encourage the formation and/or strengthening of NGOs, provide financial support to fledgling NGOs, and train them in how NGOs are organized and function in regard to promotion, assistance, and ultimately monitoring. NGOs are critical -- not only because they may assist the operation in achieving their objectives -- but also because they should continue serving those functions after the operation departs.

48. Since most human rights field operations are not themselves funders of promotion and technical-assistance activities, field operations may assist institutions, such as the Ministry of Justice or NGOs, in developing proposals for funding by interested agencies, governments, and foundations. They may assist in identifying the potential funders, clarifying the intersection between the interests of the funders and the needs of the institutions, determining the range of funds available from each potential funder, reviewing proposals, making sure that initial contacts are made with the funders before submission of proposals, assuring that the funders actually receive the applications, assuring that institutions keep in touch with the funders, monitoring supported activities, encouraging that an evaluation is prepared as to whether objectives were achieved, making sure that adequate reports are prepared on the work accomplished, etc.

49. Protection and reporting activities cannot be effective without promotion and capacity-building as possible remedies, but similarly, promotional activities must be based on an accurate analysis of the human rights problem. Hence, there must be a cooperative approach between the monitoring tasks, on the one hand, and promotion and technical assistance within the context of the field operation, as well as longer-term capacity building efforts, on the other.


G. More long-term follow-up: truth commissions and tribunals

1. International tribunals

50. As discussed in Chapter VII-I "Evidence for criminal prosecutions", human rights field operations must develop policies as how to handle information which might be relevant to criminal prosecutions -- either in international criminal tribunals for such places as the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, or in any future situation that may be dealt with by the International criminal Court -- or by national courts. (3) In general, the lawyers and investigators for such tribunals prefer to do their own investigations and have difficulty relying upon information collected by others. Indeed, in some cases action by HROs and other organizations, if not professionally conducted, may even tamper criminal investigations conducted by international tribunals and therefore be detrimental to the effective prosecution of perpetrators of human rights violations. As indicated above, HROs should avoid disrupting criminal justice investigations and should generally avoid gathering physical evidence. Hence, if personnel from a relevant tribunal or court is available and/or present in the country of operation, specific arrangements need to be established for coordination and exchange of relevant information between the human rights field operation and the tribunal's staff. The issue of coordination with international tribunals raises various important questions including for example how to balance the need to preserve the confidentiality of the sources of the information gathered by the HROs and to not endanger witnesses and victims, the need to preserve the ability of the human rights field operation to independently carry out its mandate, and the need to assist international tribunals to enhance human rights protection. These issues raise significant policy decisions which can only be determined by the leadership of the human rights operation or its Headquarters, and not by individual HROs. Such policy decisions may wish to distinguish between the needs of (1) national or local criminal justice procedures, (2) reporting by truth and justice commissions, and (3) investigations for international criminal tribunals. In any case, HROs should strictly follow the guidelines issued by the leadership of the operation or its headquarters on this matter (4).

2. Truth commissions


51. Similarly, human rights field operations may also collect information relevant to truth and justice commissions which have been established to provide an authoritative historical record of past abuses; to permit the Government to acknowledge past violations and thus provide some closure for suffering; and to recommend prosecution, compensation, and/or other redress. For example, in Haiti the International Civilian Mission received information about abuses which had occurred during the Duvalier period. That information was outside the mandate of Mission but it was relevant to a national truth and reconciliation commission later established by the Government of President Aristide. In the case of El Salvador a United Nations Truth Commission was established in 1992 as a result of the Peace Accords to investigate the "serious acts of violence" that occurred in El Salvador between 1980 and 1991. The three commissioners came from Colombia, the United States, and Venezuela. The leadership of human rights field operations need to develop policies about what information to share with such truth and reconciliation commissions at the national or international levels. Indeed, human rights operations may need to consider what information to collect in the expectation that a later truth commission may be established.

H. Addressing the human rights situation through UN mechanisms

52. As will be discussed in the following Chapter, the chief of the human rights operation is responsible for reporting to the head of the UN presence in the country, for example, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, or the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. There are various kinds of reports which may be produced by a human rights field operation, including: (1) reports on individual cases as indicated in the interview form, (2) periodic (weekly, monthly, etc.) situation reports which state the present conditions relating to matters within the mandate (including specialized activity reports) and indications of trends, (3) emergency reports of situations which require particular attention (e.g., attacks on human rights personnel, imminent risks of grave injury to individuals within the operation's terms of reference, etc.), and (4) incident reports. Samples of forms for preparing such reports are found in Appendices 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Chapter XIX "Human Rights Reporting". See the same chapter for more detailed discussion.

53. There are also various UN human rights bodies and mechanisms - especially thematic or country mechanisms of the UN Commission on Human Rights - which can be used to maximize the impact of the UN work in the country of operation, by making available to them the information gathered and analysed by the field operation. The chief of the operation and all HROs should be aware of the existence of these mechanisms and how they can be used in relation to a specific country or problem. Depending as to whether the field operation is part of a peace-keeping presence, or directly managed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, there will be specific guidelines as to the channels for the transmission of the field operations' reports to other relevant UN mechanisms. In any case, however, the chief of the operation should, in consultation with OHCHR, assess to which office/official/body within the UN or elsewhere information should be provided so as to contribute to human rights protection and the achievement of the operation's overall mandate.

54. The material produced by human rights field operations may be used in several UN procedures within the United Nations system. These procedures can produce a public report, or raise individual cases with the Government, and - by making the information more visible - can help increase the pressure on Governments to improve their conduct. Since it often takes considerable international attention to mount a UN human rights operation, it is likely that some of these UN procedures will already have been invoked by the time the operation has been established. For example, the UN Commission on Human Rights may well have already established a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the country where the operation is located.

55. There are quite a large number of UN organs and procedures relevant to human rights. Those organs include the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Human Rights, the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and the Commission on the Status of Women, which all derive their authority from the UN Charter. There are also a number of treaty bodies established under human rights treaties. A quick sketch of those bodies may help to place the human rights operation into the context of the UN system and to identify some of the organs and procedures in which the reports of the human rights operation may be relevant.

56. From the perspective of the human rights field operation the various UN bodies indicated below may have quite different accessibility and relevance to their mandate. While all of these organs may find information from the human rights operation to be useful in considering an issue arising in the country of operation or if the country is on their agenda, the most likely recipients of reports from the operation are (1) any relevant country rapporteur or representative of the UN Commission on Human Rights, (2) relevant thematic procedures of the Commission and General Assembly, (3) the Commission on Human Rights, (4) treaty bodies, (5) the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

1. The Security Council

57. The Security Council is the principal organ of the UN, on which the Charter confers primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council is composed of fifteen members, including five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly. Under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Security Council makes recommendations or decides what measures should be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security. Council measures may include humanitarian aid, economic sanctions, and military intervention. With the end of the Cold War, the Security Council's role has become more visible as the permanent members have more frequently agreed on action.

58. The Security Council's activism becomes apparent when contrasting the number of actions taken during and after the Cold War. During the Cold War, the Security Council considered on five occasions whether human rights violations qualified as threats to the peace so as to justify measures under Chapter VII. Furthermore, from 1945 to 1987, the Security Council established only 13 peacekeeping operations. The Council established more than twice that number of operations between 1987 and 1997. In addition, based principally upon Security Council decisions, UN operations with a significant human rights dimension have taken place in more than a dozen countries since 1989, including Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, the former Yugoslavia, and others. Information from the human rights field operation can be transmitted to the security council if the human rights operation is part of a broader peace-keeping operation authorized by the Council, and in this case the periodic reports by the peace-keeping operation will contain a section on human rights developments. In other cases, reports by human rights field operations established directly under the authority of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have been transmitted by the Council as part of reports of the Secretary-General.

59. In 1993, the Security Council further contributed to the development of human rights law when it authorized an international tribunal to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the former Yugoslavia. Security Council resolution 827 of 25 May 1993. In addition, following widespread killings in Rwanda during April 1994, the Security Council established a second tribunal using the same basic approach as in the former Yugoslavia. (5) The Yugoslav Tribunal is located in The Hague, Netherlands, and the Rwanda Tribunal is in Arusha, Tanzania.

2. The General Assembly

60. The General Assembly is the most authoritative source of international declarations and conventions. Human rights issues are generally discussed in the Assembly's Third Committee. The General Assembly is also the most representative decision-making organ of the UN, where all members of the UN are entitled to vote. Furthermore, the General Assembly elects the ten nonpermanent members of the Security Council, elects the members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), regularly reviews ECOSOC recommendations, and receives reports from several of the human rights treaty bodies. The General Assembly usually meets from September through December and considers resolutions on several hundred matters.

61. Despite a longstanding tension between Charter Article 2(7)'s prohibition against invading states' domestic jurisdiction and human rights protections in Charter Articles 1, 55, and 56, the General Assembly has increasingly drawn attention to the situation of human rights in several countries. Since the mid-1970s the General Assembly and other UN organs have more regularly expressed concern and taken other actions with regard to country situations. Information from the human rights operation can be transmitted to the General Assembly if authorized by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, or the Commission on Human Rights. Annual reports on the activities of the Cambodia Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, for example, are submitted to the General Assembly.

62. In 1993 the General Assembly voted to create the post of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is described more in detail below. (6) In 1996 the General Assembly authorized a Special Rapporteur on Children in Armed Conflicts which will receive information on this subject from all over the world, have an operational capacity through UNICEF, and report annually to the General Assembly. (7) See the discussion below on the thematic procedures of the Commission.

3. The Economic and Social Council

63. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) oversees the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women. The Council is also responsible for monitoring compliance with the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights through the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In addition, it has issued such human rights standards as the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Principles on the Effective Prevention of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.

4. The Commission on Human Rights

64. The Commission on Human Rights, composed of 53 member-states elected by the Economic and Social Council for three-year terms, meets annually in Geneva for six weeks in the spring. In urgent situations the Commission can convene for extraordinary sessions. As its name suggests, the Commission is the most important UN body concerned with human rights. It may initiate studies and fact-finding inquiries, draft conventions and declarations for approval by higher bodies, discuss specific human rights violations in public or private sessions, and initiate suggestions for improving the UN's human rights procedures. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are allowed to express their concerns to the Commission during the six-week session.

Reports from some human rights field operations are submitted to the Commission, either in the name of the Secretary-General - as for Cambodia - or in the name of the High Commissioner - as is the case of Colombia.

The Commission has established three principal approaches to serious and widespread violations of human rights: establishment of country rapporteurs and working groups under the authority of ECOSOC resolution 1235; consideration of country situations under the confidential procedure of ECOSOC resolution 1503; and review through 18 thematic procedures.

a. Country rapporteurs

65. The most visible action the Commission can take in regard to a serious human rights situation is the appointment of special rapporteurs, special representatives, experts, working groups, and other envoys to monitor human rights violations in particular countries. The countries have included Afghanistan, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Somalia, Southern Africa, Sudan, Togo, former Yugoslavia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The special rapporteurs, representatives, and others collect information on human rights violations and prepare annual reports to the Commission, and if requested, to the General Assembly. Information can be gathered from individuals, groups, organizations, and governments. The experts or rapporteurs often attempt to obtain the relevant information by visiting the countries. Difficulties arise, however, when governments refuse to grant permission for these visits. In some cases, human rights field operations have been present in countries on which the Commission on Human Rights had appointed a Special Rapporteur or Representative -- such as in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia -- or have been established to support the work of country Special Rapporteurs -- such as in the case of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Former Yugoslavia. It should be noted that reports by Special Rapporteurs are public, while reports by human rights field operations are not always made public in their entirety. In this respect, Special Rapporteurs may therefore have a complementary role with respect to field operations.

b. Thematic procedures

66. The Commission has also established thematic procedures on the issues of forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, summary or arbitrary executions, torture, religious intolerance, independence of the judiciary, racism, arbitrary detention, internally displaced persons, violence against women, freedom of opinion, sale of children, mercenaries, development, migrant workers, and human rights and toxic waste, effects of foreign debt, human rights and extreme poverty, education, compensation of victims of human rights violations, right to development, etc. In general, the thematic working groups, rapporteurs, and representative of the Commission receive information with respect to their subjects of concern and prepare annual reports to the Commission summarizing the information they receive. If the information relates to an urgent matter, most of the thematic procedures are entitled to make urgent appeals to the governments concerned. Most of the working groups, rapporteurs, and representative have also been invited to visit specific countries and to prepare reports for the Commission on their visits. Complementary action by thematic procedures - through both reports and urgent appeals - and human rights field operations through all the means highlighted in this Manual, can be usefully considered to address specific human rights problems and cases faced by the operation.

5. The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities

67. The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities is composed of 26 persons elected by the Commission, for four-year terms, in their individual capacities rather than as governmental representatives. The Sub-Commission plays an important role in selecting countries for consideration under the confidential procedure established by ECOSOC resolution 1503, reviews other information regarding human rights violations, and reports its findings to the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Sub-Commission often is the source of resolutions and ideas that are considered and adopted by the Commission. With the assistance of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, members of the Sub-Commission also prepare studies on human rights problems. Representatives of NGOs actively participate in the Sub-Commission's sessions.

6. The Commission on the Status of Women

68. The Commission on the Status of Women was established by the Economic and Social Council in 1946. The Commission is composed of representatives from 45 United Nations member states, elected by the Council for four-year terms. Its functions are to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women's rights in political, economic, civil, social, and educational fields. The Commission may also make recommendations to the Council on problems in the field of women's rights that require immediate attention. The Commission has a procedure for receiving confidential communications on human rights violations. The Commission's works to implement the principle that men and women shall have equal rights, to develop proposals that give effect to its recommendations, and to adopt its own resolutions and decisions. The Inter-American Commission of Women and the Commission on the Status of Arab Women submit reports to each session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

7. Treaty bodies

69. In addition to the above organs and procedures which derive their authority directly or indirectly from the UN Charter there are six treaty bodies which have and are playing an increasingly significant role in the implementation of human rights. These expert bodies include the Human Rights Committee, which considers states reports under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and adjudicates individual cases under the Optional Protocol to the Civil and Political Covenant. The five other treaty bodies oversee the implementation of multilateral conventions in their respective domains: the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee against Torture, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

a. Reporting obligations

70. The main aim of the reporting requirements is to help governments bring their laws and practices into conformity with their treaty obligations. The reporting requirements encourage governments and citizens to focus their discussions regarding nations' human rights performance. Governments then may remedy problems that become evident while preparing reports and, thus, reaffirm their commitment to comply with treaty obligations.

71. Each treaty body meets periodically -- usually two or three times per year -- to review the states reports. Each reporting Government is invited to send a representative to the public meeting who may orally introduce the report and place it in legal, social, economic, and political context. The representative also may update information submitted earlier. After the introduction Committee members, in turn, engage in a dialogue with the representative by asking questions about the report and the Government's fulfillment of treaty obligations. Committee members are not limited to information in the State's report but may utilize their own expertise, information available from other sources (including reports from field operations), and materials submitted informally by NGOs.

72. After a Government representative has presented their report and answered questions from committee members, most of the committees have since about 1992 or 1993 begun to issue concluding observations evaluating the State party report, the dialogue with the delegation, the positive developments that had been noted during the period under review, and difficulties affecting the implementation of the treaty, as well as specific issues of concern regarding the application of the provisions of the treaty. Comments also include suggestions and recommendations formulated by the Committee to the attention of the State party concerned.

73. Based on their overall experience in reviewing State reports, most of the treaty bodies have also issued general comments or recommendations which authoritatively interpret the provisions of their respective treaties or provide guidance to reporting States.

Human rights field operations may play an important role in assisting governmental authorities in preparing reports to be submitted to the treaty bodies, by advising on methodology data collection, and legal issues, or by providing training. They may encourage national NGOs - through training and other forms of assistance - to submit relevant information as provided by the treaty bodies methods of work.

b. Individual complaints procedures

74. Three of the treaty bodies -- the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Committee against Torture -- receive and adjudicate individual complaints from individuals whose governments have agreed to become the subject of such complaints. The Human Rights Committee has received and decided a considerable number of complaints. The other two treaty bodies have received only a handful of complaints. Similar individual complaint mechanisms are being considered for the other treaty bodies. Human rights field operations need to be aware of the existence, applicability and methods of work of these complaints procedures, and may advise individuals as to how to access them to submit specific cases.

8. High Commissioner for Human Rights


The post of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was created in 1993 by the General Assembly. The High Commissioner has principal responsibility for UN human rights activities and is specifically mandated to:


The High Commissioner can provide "follow-up" - as defined in this Chapter - to actions by human rights field operations through private communications with Governments, public statements, reports, and long-term technical assistance interventions. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is based in Geneva, and is also responsible for providing secretarial and substantive servicing to the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights and the human rights treaty bodies, thus providing the most direct channel for transmission of information to those bodies.

The High Commissioner has established or maintained human rights field operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Rwanda, as well as smaller offices in Abkhazia, Georgia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gaza, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malawi, Mongolia, South Africa, Togo, Republic of Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In other cases, the High Commissioner is responsible for providing substantive guidance to human rights operations established within peace-keeping or other UN missions, such as in Angola, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Liberia.


1. United Nations Department of Peace-Keeping Operations/Office of Planning & Support/Training Unit, Peace-keeping Handbook for Junior Ranks 12, 19, 54-55 (1994).

2. UNICEF, Children and Women in Emergencies: Strategic Priorities and Operational Concerns for UNICEF, U.N. Doc. EICEF/1997/7 (1996).

3. The UN Security Council established the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Former Yugoslavia since 1991 and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda. Security Council resolutions 827 of 25 May 1993 and 955 of 8 November 1994. The Statute of the permanent International Criminal Court was developed under the auspices of the UN General Assembly and agreed in Rome in July 1998.

4. For example, guidelines on cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia were issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for staff of the Special Mission of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania in 1999.

5. Security Council res. 955 of 8 November 1994.

6. High Commissioner for the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, G.A. res. 48/141, 48 U.N. GAOR (No. 49) at 411, U.N. Doc. A/48/49 (1993).

7. See United Nations, Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, U.N. Doc. A/51/306 (1996)(report of Graça Machel).


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