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Home > International Justice > International Advocacy > Guide to International Human Rights Mechanisms > Getting Started: From Documentation to Advocacy > Step 2: Preparing Submissions to International Human Rights Mechanisms
Preparing Submissions to International Human Rights Mechanisms

Advocates and activists on the ground can provide real-life examples of the government's failure to respect human rights obligations. The UN monitors find this specifc information particularly helpful. Specific information, including case examples or statistical information, should be included and sources cited. Include reports of local and state government conduct or practices. 

When preparing a submission, stay focused on your area of expertise and evidence. There is no obligation to assess compliance under every article of a treaty; just focus on where there is evidence of a particular violation. 

Submissions to the UN should be based on factual information and written in clear, simple language. Submissions should include references to the specific treaty provisions violated. For example, when discussing violations of immigrants rights in the U.S., reference should be made to Article 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Systemic failure of a school system to provide equal access to education for minority students or racial profiling by a local police department may violate the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.

Formats vary between the various UN mechanisms. Each monitoring body has its own preferred or required format, including page limitations and filing schedule. Check the Reporting Guidelines and Contact Information section for details about particular monitoring body requirements.