Mariano J. Aznar

UNESCO’s Human Rights Protection Mechanism: The ‘Procedure 104’

  • Abstract

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Keywords: UNESCO; human rights protection; Procedure 104; monitoring; non-contentious control; human rights follow-up.

This article aims to offer an analysis of the peculiar – and not too well known – mechanism for the protection of human rights at UNESCO, labelled as ‘Procedure 104’. Created in 1978, it has followed a different path from that of the rest of the universal mechanisms for the protection of human rights in the UN system, as it is more similar to a good offices procedure with some elements of monitoring of situations related to violations of those human rights associated with education, science and culture. Its opacity, slowness and lack of follow-up by civil society are, however, concerns that both the doctrine and some States have criticised. Opacity and slowness which, however, can also be seen as distinctive features of a procedure that uses them precisely to quietly resolve possible human rights violations within UNESCO.

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