Institute for International and
Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA)

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Country Visits

 

Fact-finding missions to countries were often the most visible and high-profile component of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. They typically involved a one- to two-week in-country visit, during which the Special Rapporteur met with victims, witnesses, NGOs, independent experts, UN and Government officials. He was typically accompanied by a team of international law experts, interpreters and security advisors. While the country missions themselves are relatively short, they are preceded by many months of detailed preparation and consultation with country and issue experts. On the final day of the visit, the Special Rapporteur delivered a press statement in which he outlines his preliminary conclusions and recommendations. Subsequently, and following a number of months of analysis of interviews and provided materials, a detailed country report is issued.


Honduras Honduras

23-27 May 2016

The Special Rapporteur undertook his final country visit to a country which, a few years previously, had the highest murder rate in the world. He underlined the two dimensions of the problem – firstly the prevalence of the violence itself, and secondly the failings of accountability. Impunity, he contended, was a significant cause of the ongoing violence, and one about which much could be done. He also discussed police corruption, the impact of gangs and other organised criminal groups, the role played by private security providers, very poor prison conditions and threats against journalists and human rights defenders.

ohc-logo End of Mission Statement

pdf-icon xsmall  Report (A/HRC/35/23/Add.1)


Ukraine Ukraine

8-18 September 2015

The Special Rapporteur visited the Ukraine more than a year after the Maidan protest and its aftermath, and during a temporary (relative) ceasefire in the hostilities in the Donbas region. He visited Odesa, where in May 2014 there had been another mismanaged assembly that had resulted in great loss of life, and crossed the “contact line” to visit the self-proclaimed “Donetsk people’s republic”. He did not visit Crimea. In addition to discussing the management of assemblies, he also reviewed conditions of detention, and the conduct of hostilities in the east – finding that on both sides of the contact line shelling had been taking place indiscriminately, without adequate precautionary steps to protect civilians.

ohc-logo End of Mission Statement

pdf-icon xsmall  Report (A/HRC/32/39/Add.1)


Gambia The Gambia

3 – 7 November 2014

The Special Rapporteur conducted this country visit as a joint visit alongside the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Méndez. This was the first ever country visit by special procedure mandate holders to the Gambia, and was quite fraught, with last-minute cancelation of an early-scheduled visit, and with controversy during the mission about the mandate holders’ access to the Security Wing of the Mile 2 Prison. Nonetheless the Special Rapporteurs were able to document their findings with respect to several areas of concern, including the death penalty (and its sudden resumption in 2012), the use of force by the police and by the National Intelligence Agency, and processes for accountability (or lack thereof).

ohc-logo End of Mission Statement

pdf-icon xsmall  Report (A/HRC/29/37/Add.2)


Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea

3 – 14 March 2014

The Special Rapporteur visited Papua New Guinea to review all dimensions of the protection of the right to life. Unfortunately, his access was not facilitated also to visit asylum seekers at a Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island. He reviewed the legal regime under which the police used force, and the extent to which there was currently confusion both on the part of the police and the public about the circumstances in which lethal force could be used. He highlighted the role played by private security providers. He also examined killings by non-state actors, particularly those arising in the context of accusations of sorcery or witchcraft, tribal violence, and domestic violence.

ohc-logo End of Mission Statement

pdf-icon xsmall  Report (A/HRC/29/37/Add.1)

 

  


Mexico Mexico

22 April – 2 May 2013

The Special Rapporteur met with more than 120 representatives of the federal and state governments, as well as with international and local civil society and families of victims. Interlocutors recounted how since 2007 the Government had deployed the military to take on increasingly organised drugs cartels in what it called a “war on drugs”. The Special Rapporteur underlined how, across the world, soldiers involved in policing are notoriously unable to discard the military paradigm and undertake the qualitatively different work on law enforcement. He also highlighted the challenges of ensuring proper investigations of potentially unlawful deaths, and other pressures on the justice system, including intimidation of witnesses and family members.

ohc-logo End of Mission Statement

pdf-icon xsmall  Report (A/HRC/26/36/Add.1)

pdf-icon xsmall  Follow-up Report (A/HRC/32/39/Add.2)

 


 Turkey Turkey

26 – 30 November 2012

The Special Rapporteur highlighted significant developments that had been made in Turkey since the last visit by the mandate holder (in 2001), however during his visit he had also been made aware of a number of alleged unlawful killings. He highlighted allegations of excessive use of force by the police, including their use of supposedly “less-lethal” weapons in such a way as to cause death, and for purposes other than to protect life. He also highlighted worrying patters of violence against women, including so-called “honour killings”.

ohc-logo End of Mission Statement

pdf-icon xsmall  Report (A/HRC/23/47/Add.2)

pdf-icon xsmall  Follow-up Report (A/HRC/29/37/Add.4)


India India

26 – 30 November 2012

The Special Rapporteur highlighted significant developments that had been made in Turkey since the last visit by the mandate holder (in 2001), however during his visit he had also been made aware of a number of alleged unlawful killings. He highlighted allegations of excessive use of force by the police, including their use of supposedly “less-lethal” weapons in such a way as to cause death, and for purposes other than to protect life. He also highlighted worrying patters of violence against women, including so-called “honour killings”.

ohc-logo Press Release

pdf-icon xsmall  Report (A/HRC/23/47/Add.1)

pdf-icon xsmall  Follow-up Report (A/HRC/29/37/Add.3)