The United Nations (UN) human rights (HR) treaty bodies (TBs) are a central pillar of the international HR protection system. They prevent HR violations by warning states about areas of concern and by advising them on durable solutions. With the first TB created in the 1970s, the system has continuously grown, currently comprising 10 TBs and around 180 independent experts. Yet, coordination and possibilities for interaction in the system are limited, posing the danger of fragmentation or even contradiction in the output of these mechanisms.
Launched in 2014 and hosted by the Geneva Academy, the Treaty Body Members’ Platform (TBMP) connects experts in UN TBs with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.
ADDRESSING KEY ISSUES
An average of eight meetings is organized every year allowing UN TB experts to reach out to other Geneva-based actors and apply their expertise to relevant discussions in the fields of sustainable development, migration, access to justice, humanitarian action, refugee law, disarmament, arms control or international humanitarian law.
Guidance to Improve the Harmonization of Reporting and Dialogues
Under this series, the Geneva Human Rights Platform regularly connects online and in-person TB focal points to exchange around working methods and current modalities of reporting and dialogue, with the aim to develop the most efficient, cost-effective and rational modalities for state-party reviews under the eight-year predictable review calendar. These consultations feed into the decisions taken within the official TB sessions and into the implementation plan for the conclusions of the 34th Chairs’ meeting, which is being developed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
2.0 Online Platform
In 2021, we developed and launched a new online tool for all UN TB members, the TBMP 2.0 online platform, a community of practice tool that allows for ongoing online cooperation and communication between TB members. After a first pilot phase, this online platform is opening, as of 2023, to all human rights experts.
As such, this, online platform is now accessible to human rights experts with UN mandates – TB members, Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and staff of their UN secretariats. It provides a private space for communication within and across members of all UN human rights mechanisms. Its main features include live chats, media and document libraries and the creation of forums and discussion groups as needed.