The Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute has released a new report, "Engaging U.N. Special Procedures to Advance Human Rights at Home: A Guide for U.S. Advocates". Intended as a practical guide for U.S. advocates seeking to engage with U.N. human rights experts, the report is based on more than 40 interviews conducted by students in the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic during the 2013-14 academic year. The student team spoke with human rights advocates, current and former U.N. special procedures mandate holders, and current and former U.S. government officials to explore ways in which U.S. advocates are making strong use of the U.N. special procedures.
The report provides an inside perspective on both the challenges and opportunities associated with the U.N. special procedures and offers recommendations for how to increase the effectiveness of domestic advocacy efforts. Case studies and examples in the report explore recent visits to the U.S. by the U.N. Special Rapporteurs on violence against women, the right to adequate housing, and the right to clean water and sanitation, as well as NGO advocacy with the Special Rapporteurs on torture, and on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.