United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the University of Arizona

The University of Arizona Law’s Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program is honored to be hosting the mandate of United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples​, José Francisco Calí Tzay, for his three-year UN General Assembly appointed term.​ This is the second time IPLP has been asked to host the UN Special Rapporteur's mandate, having supported former University of Arizona Law Regents Professor James Anaya, who served as Special Rapporteur from 2008-2014.

José Francisco Calí Tzay

Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples & Lecturer in Law and Associate Director, IPLP Human Rights Clinical Programs

About the mandate

In 2001, the Commission on Human Rights decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as part of the system of thematic Special Procedures.

Under the basic principles of universality, equality and non-discrimination, indigenous peoples are entitled to the full range of rights established under international law. Their equal worth and dignity must be assured both through  individual rights and  collective rights. . Indigenous peoples possess collective rights which are indispensable for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples.

Human Rights Council resolution 42/20 requests the Special Rapporteur to “participate in relevant international dialogues and policy forums on the consequences that climate change has on indigenous peoples” and to “undertake thematic research and to develop cooperation dialogue with States, intergovernmental organisations, civil society and other stakeholders on effective and sustainable practices”.

Country Visits

UNSRRIP Mandate holders carry out country visits to assess the situation of Indigenous Peoples' rights at the national level: at the request of a mandate-holder, the Government sends an invitation for a fact-finding mission. During such missions, the expert assesses the indigenous people's rights situation in a given country, as well as the specific institutional, legal, judicial, administrative and de facto situation under the UNSRRIP mandate. UNSRRIP meets with national and local authorities, including members of the judiciary and parliamentarians; members of the national human rights institution, if applicable; non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and victims of human rights violations; the UN and other inter-governmental agencies; and the press when giving a press conference at the end of the mission.

  • Countries visited by the special rapporteur are highlighted in blue color.
  • Countries that have been visited once are highlighted in lighter color background.
  • Countries that have been visited more than once are highlighted in darker color background.
  • Countries in Gray have never been visited.
  • Click on any highlighted country or select it from the list of countries on the left-hand side of the dashboard to expose a web link. Click on the web link to browse a webpage that lists all UNSRRIP mandate-related activities about that country.


Communications are letters sent by the Special Procedures to Governments and others, such as intergovernmental organizations, businesses, military, or security companies. In these letters, the experts report on allegations of human rights violations they have received, regarding past human rights violations - which can be the object of a letter of the allegation; ongoing or potential human rights violation - which can be the object of an urgent appeal; concerns relating to bills, legislation, policies or practices that do not comply with international human rights law and standards.

  • The red dot indicates the presence of UNSRIP Communications.
  • The bigger red dot represents a larger number of communications and the smaller dot represents a smaller number of communications.
  • Hover over the red dots to view the number of communications by country.

Calí Tzay’s role as UN Special Rapporteur is the highest-ranking independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council with primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of the human rights of Indigenous peoples. Calí Tzay's responsibilities for the three-year post include reporting to the U.N. about global human rights standards for Indigenous peoples, advising the UN and States about best practices to promote these standards, developing studies and reports related to protecting Indigenous people's human rights, and responding to specific allegations involving the violation of Indigenous peoples' human rights.