Module 11: Introduction to UN Mechanisms
Although there is not yet a regional human rights court in South or Southeast Asia, and only a limited human rights system in Southeast Asia (and none in South Asia), the UN human rights system can still play an important role in upholding human rights in these regions. Among the most effective tools that individual rights-holders may have is to bring, directly or through their counsel, individual complaints to treaty bodies. Another tool that is not dependent on states’ having accepted the jurisdiction of treaty bodies in relation to individual complaints is to raise concerns through communications with the UN special procedures, notably the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. Engagements with states by the UN treaty bodies and special procedures can prove highly impactful for those seeking to hold their states to account for rights violations, whether in individual cases or more generally.