The fact-finding and investigatory mechanisms of the Human Rights Council are collectively known as the special procedures.
These include Special Rapporteurs, Special Representatives of the Secretary General and working groups mandated by the Human Rights Council with the aim of documenting human rights violations on particular themes or country situations. There are currently 44 thematic and 12 country mandates.
The strength of the special procedures lies in their independence; mandate holders are human rights experts appointed in an individual capacity.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights provides the special procedures with personnel, policy, research and logistical support to assist them carry out their mandates.