The overall reference for this procedure of the Human Rights Council is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948.
The complaint procedure, also known as “procedure 1503”, is a universal mechanism bearing the number of the resolution by the former UN Commission on Human Rights which established it. The procedure is confidential and examines the human rights situation within a State. The Council therefore does not decide on individual cases. The individuals or NGOs who file a complaint will not be informed about the steps taken. Generally, they receive, as the only answer, a letter confirming the reception of the complaint. Anonymous complaints are not accepted.
The complaint procedure allows an examination of such complaints which reveal the existence of a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Once the Council received several individual cases which form a consistent pattern of gross systematic human rights violations which are reliably proved, it can decide to examine the situation of the human rights in the country concerned.
The complaint must comprise:
The correspondence and inquiries relying on the complaint procedure should be directed to:
Commission/Sub-Commission Team (1503 Procedure)
Support Services Branch
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10
Fax: + 41 22 9179011
For more information, visit the UN’s website about the complaint procedure: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/complaints.htm
The claimant could be informed about the course of his/her request, i.e. whether it has been accepted by the working groups and how they decided on it.