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Chapter Summary

The thematic machinery not only breaks through the selectivity problems of the confidential 1503 procedure and public procedures, but also evolves means of responding to the situations called upon to address with an urgency commensurate with their gravity. The first thematic mechanism established, by the UN Commission on Human Rights, was the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. Occasionally an urgent appeal may be made not to protect a potential victim, but because of the overall seriousness of some legal or institutional development. The facts of individual cases may well involve more than one thematic mandate. Indeed, they may also involve the mandate of a country-specific rapporteur. It is important to note a basic distinction between urgent appeals in individual cases and the transmittal of allegations of human rights violations within the purview of particular mandates.

Keywords: thematic mechanism; UN Commission on Human Rights; urgent action



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