Treaty Bodies Individual Communications Procedures

Towards a More Efficient Functioning

Started in January 2019

Treaty Bodies’ Individual Communication Procedures (ICPs) are a major instrument to enforce the rights enshrined in the corresponding human rights treaties and provide victims with an effective remedy before an international body. They also represent a key entry point for victims of human rights violations to the United Nations (UN) human rights system.

This work is supported by a secretariat, hosted by the Office of the UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights and entitled ‘Petitions and Urgent Actions Section’ (PUAS).

AT THE CROSSROAD OF A SECRETARIAT AND A LEGAL ENTITY

Even if UN treaty bodies (TBs) are not tribunals per se, they carry out legal work with the ICPs and must, therefore, be given the ways and means to do it

Our publication Treaty Bodies’ Individual Communication Procedures: Providing Redress and Reparation to Victims of Human Rights Violations precisely addressed the handling of ICPs and tackled efficiency questions related to this procedure. It also outlined a series of key recommendations to improve the system, including the creation of a judicial-like registry to provide substantive legal support to TBs.

The PUAS partially fulfils this task, struggling with institutional and financial issues, but there could be a way, through discussion and assessments to hugely improve its work.

FINDING A VIABLE SOLUTION WITH CONCRETE IMPROVEMENTS

Starting from the challenges and efficiency questions identified in our publication, this initiative aims at finding a viable solution for the ICPs and for the various actors involved – victims, states, TBs, and OHCHR as host of the PUA.

An informal task force, made of an evolving group of stakeholders – including academics, members of PUAS, TB members, diplomats, human rights NGOs, litigators and former registrars in international tribunals – will, placing victims at the centre of the debate, notably aim at equipping TBs with an appropriate tailor-made efficient and economic judicial-like registry.

TEAM

Picture of Felix Kirchmeier

Felix Kirchmeier

Manager of Policy Studies and Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Felix Kirchmeier oversees the conceptualization, development and implementation of policy research at the Geneva Academy. He is also the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Picture of Kamelia Kemileva

Kamelia Kemileva

Senior Consultant

Kamelia Kemileva is an external consultant on selected mandates related to the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Publications

Cover page of the publication

Treaty Bodies’ Individual Communication Procedures: Providing Redress and Reparation to Victims of Human Rights Violations

May 2019

Felix Kirchmeier, Kamelia Kemileva, Claire Callejon

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

NEWS AND EVENTS

Cover Page of the Publication News

New Publication Provides Guidance to Improve the UN Human Rights Individual Complaints Mechanism

May 2019

Our new publication addresses the handling of individual communications, tackles efficiency questions related to this procedure and outlines a series of key recommendations to improve the system, including the creation of a registry to provide substantive legal support to United Nations treaty bodies.

Read more >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Portrait of Christophe Golay News

Dr Christophe Golay is Shortlisted for the Position of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

February 2020

Our Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dr Christophe Golay, is a candidate for the position of United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

Read more

Conference room in New York News

Taking the Discussions on the 2020 Treaty Body Review to the Next Level

October 2019

In order to bring the substantive debates on the future of UN treaty bodies from Geneva to the political discussions in New York, the Geneva Human Rights Platform held with the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica and Switzerland a side event at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Read more

Destroyed health facilities in Libya Event

Fighting Two Battles at the Same Time: Responding to Covid-19 in Conflict Zones

April 2020, 12:30-13:45

This online IHL Talk will discuss the challenges faced by humanitarian organizations in organizing the response to COVID-19, and states' obligation of due diligence to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Read more

Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

12 October - November 2020

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en oeuvre.

Read more

A farmer in her field, DRC Training

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Second Half of 2020

From its adoption to its content and implementation, this training course provides a comprehensive overview of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants, as well as tools to protect and promote the rights of peasants, rural women, fisher, pastoralist and nomadic communities, as well as agricultural workers.

Read more

First annual conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform Project

The Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Started in June 2019

Read more

Séléka rebels patrol in the town of Bria, Central African Republic (CAR). Project

Human Rights Responsibilities and Armed Non-State Actors

Started in June 2018

This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Human Rights and the Governance of Artificial Intelligence

published on March 2020

Ana Beduschi

Read more