28 January 2019
At a meeting in Paris, members of United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies as well as staff from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, staff from regional human rights courts and academics discussed UN TBs individual communication procedures.
The meeting was organized by the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR-Centre), with the support of the Open Society Justice Initiative and in partnership with the Geneva Academy and the Paris Human Rights Center.
The meeting aimed at sharing best practices and identify options to improve the way TBs handle individual communications.
Participants notably addressed the transparency and accessibility of the system and compared different approaches for proceeding communications
‘The fact that individuals can complain about a violation of their rights in an international arena brings real meaning to the rights contained in the human rights treaties. Currently, eight TBs are dealing with individual communication procedures: the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)’ underlines Kamelia Kemileva, Co-Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
‘They have all different working methods and ways to deal with these communications and it is therefore essential to bring them together to exchange what works and what does not work in order to find common grounds and, ultimately, improve the system’ she adds.
‘It is important to compare methods of work which might differ from one TB to the other in order to achieve better protection for petitioners’ she adds.
The Geneva Academy will publish a new report on TBs individual communications procedures in the spring, which will fill in a need for more research and analysis of this unique universal mechanism.
‘The research will notably look at the coherence of TBs’ jurisprudence, methods of work and the role of TBs’ secretariats’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Co-Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
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Truth Commissions are by now an integral part of the transitional justice vocabulary and practice. The 2019 Spring School will provide a comprehensive, multidimensional and practical examination of this transitional justice mechanism, shedding light on both its aims and the practical challenges it has met or is likely to meet.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.
UN Photo / Pierre Albouy
This project, launched in 2016, examines different concepts of universality, maps contemporary challenges to the principle of HR universality in the context of specific themes covered by the HRC and discusses the role of the HRC in the promotion and protection of universally guaranteed HR.