General Debate on Item 5: Human rights bodies and mechanisms
52nd session of the Human Rights Council
23 March 2023
Thank you, President.
Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the #EmptyChairs Campaign.
We thank the Chair of the Coordination Committee for presenting reports on Special Procedures’ work in 2022.
While Special Procedures present unique opportunities for rights-holders' participation and analysis, inconsistent participation avenues across mandates and reliance on individual mandate-holders' initiative and available resources hinder their effectiveness. We call for the Special Procedures working methods to conform to human rights standards of meaningful participation and transparency including longer timelines for inputs to annual reports and country visits, as well as hybrid open civil society consultations with interpretation that are accessible to all. Regrettably, the 2022 annual meeting of Special Procedures with civil society was only held in person, which is exclusionary for people in the Global South kept out by discriminatory visa and resource requirements, among other barriers.
States must ensure that all Special Procedures and the Secretariat have the resources necessary for the fulfilment of their mandates, including robust civil society participation. As with the Human Rights Council as a whole, Special Procedures’ work must not be curtailed by so-called “efficiency measures” directly resulting from States’ failure to pay their budgetary contributions.