Last updated: 27 Jan 2023

The special procedures of the Human Rights Council and other bodies of the council, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner and other human rights bodies regularly call for inputs for the reports in preparation. Find here the calls related to the environment.

Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. They are non-paid and elected for 3-year mandates that can be reconducted for another three years. As of October 2021, there are 45 thematic and 13 country mandates.

With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures:

  • undertake country visits
  • act on individual cases of reported violations and concerns of a broader nature by sending communications to States and others
  • conduct annual thematic studies, seek information from calls for input and convene expert consultations
  • contribute to the development of international human rights standards, and
  • engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation.

Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment

The Human Rights Council established the mandate for the Independent Expert on human rights and the environment in 2012 (resolution 19/10). The mandate on human rights and the environment exists to:

  • examine the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
  • promote best practices of the use of human rights in environmental policymaking
  • identify challenges and obstacles to the global recognition and implementation of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
  • Conduct country visits and respond to human rights violations

In March 2018, the Human Rights Council further extended the mandate (resolution 37/8) and appointed David R. Boyd as the Special Rapporteur for three years. In March 2021 the Human Rights Council extended the mandate for another three years (resolution 46/7). His career has included serving as the executive director of Ecojustice, appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada, and working as a special advisor on sustainability for Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Calls for submissions

There are currently no calls for submissions.

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change

Ian Fry is the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. Following the adoption of a resolution at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council (resolution 48/14), Ian Fry was appointed for a three-year term with the following mandate:

  • Study and identify how the adverse effects of climate change, affect the full and effective enjoyment of human rights
  • Identify existing challenges, including financial challenges, of States’ efforts
  • Synthesize knowledge, including indigenous and local traditional knowledge, and identify good practices, strategies and policies
  • Promote and exchange views on lessons learned and best practices
  • Raise awareness on the human rights affected by climate change, especially of persons living in developing countries particularly vulnerable
  • Facilitate and contribute to the exchange of technical assistance, capacity-building and international cooperation in support of national efforts
  • Integrate a gender-responsive, age-sensitive, disability inclusive and social-inclusion perspective
  • Work closely with States and relevant stakeholders, including business enterprises to adopt a human rights perspective

Calls for submissions

There are currently no calls for submissions.

Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights

The exposure of people to a myriad of harmful substances without their prior informed consent is a human rights issue. However, it is a human rights issue for which solutions exist. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights seeks to help States, businesses and other stakeholders adopt such solutions.

Dr Marcos A. Orellana was appointed Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights in August 2020. He is an expert in international law and the law on human rights and the environment. His practice as legal advisor has included work with United Nations agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations.

Call for submissions

Call for inputs | The toxic impacts of some climate change solutions

The climate emergency does not justify action that may infringe on the rights to life, health, personal integrity and a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. To reach the 1.5 degrees Celsius climate goal and protect affected communities, decarbonization technologies should be integrated with detoxification strategies. A comprehensive human rights approach should guide the transition toward a circular economy that is both chemically and climate-safe. The report will identify gaps and shortcomings, as well as good practices, in relation to which the Special Rapporteur would seek to make constructive and concrete recommendations. The Special Rapporteur would like to invite all interested individuals and organizations working on issues related to the toxic pollution and human rights implications of climate change solutions to provide input for the preparation of his thematic report. Inputs can be both country-specific or of a general nature.

The deadline for all comments and submissions is 6 February 2023. Submit your input

Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation was initially established by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2008 as the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The Human Rights Council extended the mandate on water and sanitation in March 2011 and changed its title to Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. The Special Rapporteur, Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, carries out thematic research, undertakes country missions, collects good practices, and works with development practitioners on the implementation of the rights to water and sanitation.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation was established to:

  • focus on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation;
  • carry out thematic research;
  • undertake country missions;
  • collect good practices; and
  • work with development practitioners on the implementation of the rights to water and sanitation.

Call for submissions

There are currently no calls for submissions.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

In 2001, the Commission on Human Rights decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, as part of the system of thematic Special Procedures. The Special Rapporteur’s mandate was renewed by the Commission on Human Rights in 2004, and by the Human Rights Council in 2007. It was most recently renewed in 2019 in resolution 42/20. Francisco Cali Tzay was appointed Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in March 2020 and took up the role on 1 May 2020.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples was created to:

  • Promote good practices, including new laws, government programs, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples;
  • Make recommendations and proposals on appropriate measures to prevent and remedy violations of the rights of indigenous peoples;
  • Report on the human rights situations of indigenous peoples around the world;
  • Address specific cases of alleged violations of indigenous peoples’ rights.

Call for Contributions

Call for Inputs for the country visit to Canada

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples is seeking information in preparation of his upcoming country visit to Canada which will take place from 1 to 10 March 2023.

The deadline for all comments and submissions is 1 February 2023. → Submit your input

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, first established by the Human Rights Commission in 2000 and renewed by the Human Rights Council in 2020, aims to promote the effective implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

Mary Lawlor is the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders since 1 May 2020. As part of her mandate to seek, receive and respond to information on the situation of human rights defenders, including environmental defenders. In her report to HRC46, she stated that among 1,323 human rights defenders killed since 2015, EHRDs are the most targeted (A/HRC/46/35).

Call for Contributions

There are currently no calls for submissions.

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Call for comments on the draft general comment on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change

The Committee on the Rights of the Child is currently drafting a general comment on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change.

In October 2021, the Committee invited all interested parties to comment on the concept note of the general comment. Check the states’ submissions on the concept note, the findings of consultations with 7,416 children from 103 countries, and an analysis of feedback from the general public and from thematic workshops.

The Committee now invites all interested stakeholders to comment on its draft general comment. After due consideration of inputs provided, the Committee will decide on the contents of the final version of the general comment. The deadline for all comments and submissions is 15 February 2023. → Submit your input

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Call for Inputs: Study on “The impact of militarization on the rights of Indigenous Peoples”

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact militarization has on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The study will address the impact of militarization on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including, but not limited to, rights contained within the Declaration, particularly, Article 30. Article 30.1 of UNDRIP states that “Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of Indigenous Peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the Indigenous Peoples concerned.” Article 30.2 further explains that “States shall undertake effective consultations with the Indigenous Peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities.”

The deadline for all comments and submissions is 31 January 2023. → Submit your input

Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises

Call for Inputs for the official country visit to Argentina

The Working Group on Business and Human Rights is seeking information in preparation of its upcoming country visit to Argentina which will take place in February 2023. The deadline for all comments and submissions is 1 February 2023. → Submit your input

Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights

Call for inputs: Promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights within the context of addressing inequalities in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic

As COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the dramatic consequences of chronic underinvestment in public health, social protection, housing, education, water and sanitation, food and other economic, social and cultural rights, there was a growing global consensus over the urgency to profoundly transform economies to make them greener, fairer and more inclusive. There is a strong need to align state’s human rights obligations and their economic policies.

OHCHR will convene a three-day workshop on 6-8 February 2023 on promoting and protecting economic, social, and cultural rights within the context of addressing inequalities in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop sessions will encompass focused advocacy on easing economic burdens, vaccine equity, removing structural impediments, and developing technical assistance programs to enhance the capacity-building of States, especially developing and least-developed States.

OHCHR will present the vision of the Office for reinforcing its work in promoting and protecting economic, social, and cultural rights in the form of a report, building on the discussions and proposals from the workshop, for consideration by the Human Rights Council at its fifty-fourth session in September-October 2023. The deadline for all comments and submissions is 31 January 2023. → Submit your input