• Four unremunerated United Nations expert positions established by the Human Rights Council are expected to be filled at the Council’s 44th session, with the appointments to be made at the end of that session.
  • Individuals seeking appointment should have extensive and internationally recognized professional experience and expertise in the field of human rights with an emphasis on the particular human rights issue to which the positions relate.
  • Applications must be received by 15 April 2020 (12 noon Greenwich Mean Time).
  • To apply online click here
  • For more information about the selection process, please visit the website and refer to frequently asked questions
  • Specific queries about the application and selection process may be addressed to hrcspe[email protected]


Applications are now accepted for:

  1. Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes (HRC resolution 36/15)
  2. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (HRC resolution 34/18)1
  3. Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (HRC resolution 42/16)
  4. Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (HRC resolution 35/5)[1]

The “special procedures” of the Human Rights Council (HRC) are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. These experts report to the Human Rights Council – the main United Nations intergovernmental body dealing with human rights.

Experts serve in their independent and personal capacity. Their specific functions are defined in the HRC resolutions creating or extending their mandate. The work involves substantial time commitment, approximately three months per year, and includes examining, monitoring, advising and publicly reporting on either specific country situations (country mandates), or on thematic issues in all parts of the world (thematic mandates). Activities of special procedures also include undertaking country visits, acting on individual cases, conducting studies and engage in general advocacy activities. All mandate holders report annually to the HRC and most mandate holders also report to the General Assembly.

Appointed experts are not United Nations staff members, they are not based in the United Nations offices in Geneva or another United Nations location and they do not receive any salary or other financial compensation except for allowances when they travel officially. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provides support to the mandate holders.

For queries about the application and selection process: [email protected]

[1] The appointment of these mandate holders will be made provided the mandates themselves are extended by the Human Rights Council.