Integrating a Gender Perspective into Human Rights Investigations

Guidance and Practice

image of Integrating a Gender Perspective into Human Rights Investigations

This publication provides practical guidance on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of investigative bodies or entities, from the planning phase to the investigations and to writing the report and presenting its findings. It should be read in conjunction with existing OHCHR guidance in the Manual on Human Rights Monitoring and Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-finding Missions on International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Guidance and Practice. The publication specifically aims to strengthen the content of human rights reports in order to accurately depict the different experiences of women, men, girls and boys. It is primarily aimed at United Nations Human Rights Officers, especially those performing investigative functions, including with CoIs/FFMs. It may also be used as a reference material for the human rights monitoring, analysis and reporting performed by OHCHR field presences or as part of peace operations mandated by the Security Council and overseen, managed and supported by OHCHR. States Parties, regional mechanisms, national human rights institutions, national commissions of inquiry, civil society organizations and others could also benefit from guidance on how to integrate a gender perspective into monitoring and investigating human rights violations and abuses.

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Presentation of the report and sharing gender-related findings

In many instances, reports produced by investigation teams are meant to be public. In the case of Cols/FFMs, these are presented to the HRC or other mandating entities. In order for the report to receive media attention, investigation teams should work with communications sections well in advance of the intended date of publication, for example, to tailor the messages to be conveyed and identify outlets for its dissemination, in line with the media and outreach strategy developed during the planning phase. Discussions on whether to launch the report at the country and/or global level should also be held. United Nations senior staff or Experts/Commissioners presenting the report should be prepared to respond to any questions related to women’s rights and gender issues during the public presentation with the media present or in the interactive dialogue that takes place at the HRC.

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