The United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries will conduct its first visit to Armenia from 20 to 27 February 2023.
The Working Group will visit the capital, Yerevan, and Syunik province. The experts will meet Government officials, members of civil society and non-governmental organizations, victims and their representatives.
The Working Group will present its findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in September 2023.
The Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination was established in July 2005 by the then Commission on Human Rights. Its mandate was further extended by the Human Rights Council in 2022. The Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world. The Chairperson-Rapporteur is Mr. Ravindran Daniel (India). Other members are Ms. Jelena Aparac (Croatia), Mr. Carlos Salazar Couto (Peru), Mr. Chris Kwaja (Nigeria), and Ms. Sorcha MacLeod (United Kingdom).
The Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.