Two new educational videos detail how human rights works at the UN and the role of Special Rapporteurs. The videos were produced in English and Persian for Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and can be found on his website.

"When reflecting on my time in this work, I felt that such resources were necessary in order to move forward in making tangible changes to the human rights situation in Iran," said Dr. Shaheed in a press release issued last week. "I believe human rights promotion is best achieved when UN bodies, member states and civil society all work together... Helping the public better engage with the UN can therefore only strengthen my work and better protect human rights in Iran."


As the new videos detail, Special Rapporteurs are appointed when countries fail to comply with their human rights obligations. And in order to successfully carry out their responsibilities, mandate holders are encouraged to conduct "fact-finding" missions in their country of expertise. These videos are particularly timely considering that although Iran issued a standing invitation to all thematic Special Procedures mandate holders in 2002, it has since failed to grant individual access to the country, and at least six mandate holders have outstanding visit requests at this time, including Dr. Shaheed.