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UN letter on migrants: Minister Moavero tasks the Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva to request a clarification

In relation to the letter dated 17 May that was sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, by experts of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Foreign Ministry specifies the following:

Yesterday, Minister Moavero tasked Ambassador Cornado, the Italian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, to contact the Special Procedures Mandate Holders who signed the letter sent to Italy in order to ask for more detailed information on the sources relied on and the methodology and timing followed in their work, and to clarify some of the elements specifically replying to their letter.

The letter was sent within the framework of the so-called “special procedures”, a generic expression to designate the routine mechanisms of the United Nations Human Rights Council to examine, supervise, advise and report on the situation of human rights in different States.

The special procedures may be activated with respect to single States or over broader and more generic concerns; they can imply visits to the Countries and/or notifying communications to the States to submit to their attention the alleged human rights violations.

“Communications”, such as the one received by Italy, are letters on alleged human rights violations either past or ongoing. They are not of a judicial or investigative nature and they do not provide for obligations or sanctions. The content of the communications is based on information received from various sources that have sometimes resulted to be inaccurate or unreliable. The communications are drafted by the special procedures mandate holders: independent experts who operate in an autonomous personal capacity. The letters and the possible reply from the State addressed are published in periodic reports on the Website of the Human Rights Council, so as to make them known to the public opinion. The letter sent to Italy will be included in the report on the period from 1 March to 31 May 2019.  

Since 1 January 2018, Italy has received a total of 8 communications; over the same period of time, numerous other States have received communications: by way of example, the United States has received 30 communications, the United Kingdom 16, France 12, Spain 7 and Germany 2.