Update: 19.08.2011

Complaint Procedure

The complaint procedure is the revised version of complaint procedure 1503 of the Commission for Human Rights. It serves the identification of grave and confirmable human rights abuses. Individuals may submit complaints but they are not involved in the procedure as appellant. Therefore, the HRC-complaint procedure must not be confused with other individual complaint procedures which serve the realization of human rights on an individual basis, as they are established by additional protocols to some human rights conventions, . 

The goal of the complaint procedure is the identification and containment of human rights abuses where there are indications of regular and systematic patterns of violations of human rights in a state. 


The complaint is submitted by an individual or an NGO. It is then reviewed by a member of the working group of the Advisory Committee. The working group is composed of five members. If the complaint is deemed permitted, the state in question must comment on the accusations.

If indications of regular and vast human rights abuse patterns are found, they are relayed to a working group with one representative of all regional groups. The working group's report is forwarded to the Human Rights Council. It entails information on the situation in the country in question as well as suggestions on measures to take.

The Human Rights Council devotes itself to such situations once a year. It observes the human rights situations in the states in question and can offer recommendations to the High Commissioner for Human Rights on how best to offer support to these countries.

The procedure is confidential and is made public only with the final decision of the Human Rights Council. This, as well as the restricted responsiveness are often criticized.

Further Information

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