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.
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.
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.
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
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
During an expert seminar UN Special Procedures, members of UN treaty bodies, staff from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as representatives from civil society and the Swiss Government discussed the role that UN human rights mechanisms play in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals that seek to realize economic, social and cultural rights.
At a meeting co-organized with the permanent missions of Costa Rica and Japan to the United Nations in Geneva, Geneva-based diplomats discussed the current status of the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies.
This public conference will discuss the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants in Europe and its contribution to the SDGs and the UN Decade of Family Farming.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
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.
Nicolas Axelrod / Ruom
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 œuvre.
This research project, aims via the drafting of a practitioners’ guide on human rights and countering corruption, to clarify the conceptual relationship between human rights, good governance and anticorruption, demonstrate the negative impact of corruption on human rights and provide guidance and make practical recommendations for effectively using the UN human rights system in anti-corruption efforts.
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.