Analysis of the work of special procedures

Special procedures are used by the Human Rights Council (HRC) to find out about human rights situations for a given issue or in a particular country. Read our detailed guide to special procedures.

There are special procedures with specific children’s rights mandates, namely the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. But children have all human rights too. Not because they are "the future" or "the adults of tomorrow", but because they are human beings today. This means that all special procedures need to address children’s rights in their work.

Unfortunately, like other UN mechanisms, special procedures often ignore or neglect children’s rights. So CRIN has begun to analyse the work of individual special procedures to further understand which children’s rights issues are being raised and which are being neglected. This research will allow us to go to specific special procedures and show them exactly how and why they are failing in their duties to uphold children’s rights. We believe this will help us, and other children’s rights activists, to work better to advance children’s rights within the UN.

Our first report on the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, included key extracts of children’s rights mentions across the Special Rapporteur’s work. It is often forgotten that children have civil and political rights, but adherence to these rights can be a good indication of whether a particular society views and treats children as rights holders.

We are looking to develop this work further and will update this page regularly with new information. For more on our work with special procedures, please email us.