Impact of the work of Special Procedures: Human Rights Mainstreaming


Special Rapporteur on the environment promotes human rights-based approach to climate actions in the Paris Agreement and Human Rights Council resolutions

The consistent advocacy of the Special Rapporteur on the environment promoting a human rights-based approach to climate actions contributed to the inclusion of human rights language in the Paris Agreement, the first environmental agreement that explicitly recognizes human rights. In so doing, the Special Rapporteur provided guidance to States and other stakeholders, advocated the importance of human rights in key meetings, urged States to embrace their human rights obligation in climate-related actions through public advocacy, and produced a number of climate change reports, including his latest report to the 31st session of Human Rights Council in 2016 (A/HRC/31/52). The efforts of integrating human rights in climate actions are not only reflected in the Paris Agreement but also in Human Rights Council resolutions, including resolution A/HRC/RES/31/8. Now, it has become undeniable that climate change cannot be discussed without taking human rights into account, and vice versa. The mandate's climate change project is a successful example of human rights mainstreaming.

Other Impact: Human Rights Standard Setting and Raising Human Rights Awareness

United Nations adopts new policy and guidelines on unarmed private security providers

Between 2013 and 2014, the Working Group on the use of mercenaries undertook a yearlong study aimed at examining how the United Nations contracts private security companies. It reviewed the efforts undertaken by the United Nations to mitigate risks relating to the recruitment of private security providers, in particular its policy and guidelines on the use of private armed guards. The results of the study were compiled into a report that the Working Group presented to the General Assembly in 2014 (A/69/338). The report notably considered the limitations of these policy tools and made recommendations on ways and means to ensure efficient selection and vetting process when employing private security companies. The report also noted a gap in policy on unarmed private security providers.

As a direct response to one the key Working Group's recommendations, the Inter Agency Security Management Network, chaired by the Under-Secretary General for Safety and Security, agreed to develop guidelines on unarmed services provided by private military and security companies contracted by the United Nations. The Working Group subsequently provided comments on the draft policy and guidelines documents on unarmed private security providers. Both documents entered into force in 2016, thus closing the policy gap on unarmed private security providers used by the United Nations. The Working continues to regularly meet representatives of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security to follow up on the recommendations made in its 2014 report.

Other Impact: Human Rights Standard Setting and Policy Reform