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Guide to International Human Rights Mechanisms

The UN and regional human rights bodies engage in a variety of activites to protect, monitor, and advance human rights worldwide. International tribunals hold human rights violators accountable. UN agencies work directly to improve human rights. Some UN and regional treaty bodies take complaints from individuals who allege human rights violations.

International and regional treaty bodies monitor and report on human rights conditions. Parties to international and regional human rights treaties are required to submit regular reports detailing their compliance. In some cases a human rights body independently undertakes missions to monitor human rights conditions in a particular country.

The international human rights system depends on active participation of civil society - NGOs, nonprofits, the academic community, and community activists. By providing credible examples of human rights violations, on-the-ground activists and advocates draw attention to systemic problems and help take part in ending human rights violations.

What will you find in the Guide to International Human Rights Mechanisms? Accessing the international human rights system can seem daunting. This resource provides the basic tools for NGOs, nonprofits, and activists to easily take part in international human rights advocacy. First, look at Getting Started: From Documentation to Advocacy for activists and advocates who are new to using international human rights mechanisms. From Documentation to Advocacy will help you find, understand, and apply international human rights standards to the issues you work on. Next, consult the Overview of Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms for information on the specific treaty monitoring bodies. Review the Reporting Guidelines and Contact Information section for details on submitting information. Finally, read samples of submissions filed by The Advocates for Human Rights.


 UN Charter-Based Mechanisms


 UN Treaty-Based Mechanisms


 Regional Human Rights Bodies