Members of United Nations Treaty Bodies Discuss the Simplified Reporting Procedure

Workshop participants Workshop participants

20 December 2018

On 10-11 December 2019, members of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs), as well as representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Geneva Academy discussed the so-called simplified reporting procedure (SRP).

This discussion happened at an important moment, as most TBs are only starting to use this procedure. Harmonization will, therefore, be easier as no practice has been firmly established regarding SRP.

Towards a Common Approach

Approaches towards the SRP are disparate. The workshop, co-organized with OHCHR, allowed sharing experiences, identifying good practices, as well as possible elements of a common procedure for all TBs.

‘A common approach to the SRP would facilitate access to the system by its users. States would report in the same manner to all TBs concerned, while National Human Rights Institutions and NGOs would be able to better prepare for the reviews knowing that all TBs function the same way. A harmonized way of reporting via the SRP would also provide an important step towards a coordinated approach to reporting, as pointed out in our report of The Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier, Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform at the Geneva Academy.

Criteria, Implementation, Content and Methodology

The discussion also addressed the criteria for using the simplified reporting procedure, implementation of the procedure by making it the default procedure, and the development of a common methodology and deadlines.

‘Engaging across almost all Committees on this issue covering all rights with a varying number of states which have ratified different treaties is no easy feat. However, all participants stepped up to the challenge and showed a real commitment to ensuring the SRP works for all stakeholders including victims which must hold primacy of place. States also have an obligation to show their commitment by ensuring that the TB system had the adequate resources to implement the international legal obligations’ underlines Orest Nowosad, Chief of Section at the TB Branch of OHCHR.

Integrating Views from Civil Society

Representatives from civil society organizations joined the discussion during the workshop’s session that addressed the information that should be taken into consideration in the simplified reporting procedure and the effective participation of civil society and National Human Rights Institutions.

‘The SRP shifts the entry points for NGOs to the UN TB system. It is therefore crucial that NGOs know when to engage and to submit information – namely at the moment of the elaboration of the “list of issues” by the Committees. While the process seems more technical, it actually offers an additional entry point for civil society to have their concerns heard’ explains Felix Kirchmeier

Informing the Annual Meeting of Chairpersons

The report of the workshop will provide the basis for a secretariat note informing the discussion on the SRP at the next annual meeting of Chairpersons of UN TBs. The report will also be discussed by the various TBs in plenary to encourage them to take decisions on moving forward in a coordinated manner.

‘In light of the upcoming review of TBs by the UN General Assembly, it will be important that TBs show the progress they are making internally towards harmonizing the system’ recalls Felix Kirchmeier

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Cover page of the In-Brief News

Use of Force in Law Enforcement and the Right to Life: The Role of the UN Human Rights Council

29 November 2016

Our new publication examines how the right to life is affected by law enforcement agencies’ use of force and identifies how the HRC could further promote respect for international standards governing policing.

Read more

Participants in the workshop News

A Workshop in Nairobi on the Digital Space and the Protection of Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly in Africa

26 February 2019

Our Research Fellow Dr Jonathan Andrew represented the Geneva Academy at a two-day workshop on digital space and the protection of freedom of association and peaceful assembly in Africa.

Read more

Visual presenting the trilogy Event

Le Tribunal du Congo

4 April 2019, 18:30-21:00

La trilogie ‘Des Procès peu Ordinaires’ continue avec la projection du film Le Tribunal sur le Congo de Milo Rau.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

30 September - 4 October 2019

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

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

A participant to a Geneva Academy event takes note on a computer Project

The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

Completed in January 2014

The digital age offers unique opportunities to strengthen human rights implementation and monitoring and has transformed the means through which human rights are exercised. Equally, the digital age poses unique challenges in ensuring that states and businesses respect and protect our rights in the digital forum. The full extent of the human rights implications of the digital age remain unknown.

Read more