An Insider’s View on UN Treaty Bodies in 2020

In our new Working Paper published with the Paris Human Rights Center, Professor Olivier de Frouville shares his own views on the work of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs) during the period running from March to December 2020.

In the 20 pages of The United Nations Treaty Bodies in a Transition Period – Progress Review, he analyses the work of UN TBs at a critical moment: during this pivotal year, UN TBs had to adapt their work to the COVID-19 pandemic and start implementing at the same time the recommendations emanating from the 2020 review process.

‘Professor de Frouville has worked for more than twenty years as an expert in the UN human right system and knows this environment extremely well. As a current member of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, he was at the forefront of UN TBs work during 2020’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

‘This working paper will therefore be an important source of information and inspiration for those – inside and outside the TB system – who are implementing the recommendations of the 2020 TB review process’ he adds.

Learning from the Measures Taken to Adapt to the COVID-19 Crisis

De Frouville shows in this paper how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the functioning of the TB system and how UN TBs adapted both procedurally and substantially to the situation.

‘The coincidence of the 2020 review and the pressure to move TB sessions online due to the COVID-19 created real-life examples of what the 2020 review outcome calls the digital shift in TB work. It therefore allowed to draw lessons on the opportunities but also limitations of online meetings. This experience is therefore of crucial importance to assess some of the recommendations formulated in the review’ says Felix Kirchmeier.

Detailing the Steps to Implement the 2020 Review Recommendations

The 2020 Review is the most recent effort to strengthen the UN human rights TB system, building upon efforts underway for over 30 years.

This working paper details steps undertaken by different stakeholders – states, TB members, NGOs, academia and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – during this decisive year to implement the recommendations emanating from the review. The paper also includes a detailed account of the Geneva Human Rights Platform’s initiative on the review.

‘In relation to our initiative, it was particularly interesting to see how TBs and OHCHR shifted official dialogues with states and other TB activities online, and how they coordinated internally. The example of the inter-committee working group on COVID-19 is a positive development in terms of inter-committee coordination, which could also tackle further areas of general harmonization.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Aerial view of Manila News

The GHRP Reiterates the Importance of Conducting Focused Reviews in Regions

14 June 2021

At the online meeting of the Chairpersons of UN human rights treaty bodies, the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform reiterated the importance of conducting dialogues with state parties concerning their reports at the national or regional level.

Read more

Press briefing by the Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Palais des Nations. 28 February 2019. News

New Paper Discusses the Impact of United Nations Special Procedures

12 April 2021

Our new Working Paper Towards Transversal Standards to Evaluate the Impact of UN Special Procedures discusses the impact of UN Special Procedures, reviews progress made to measure it, and proposes avenues to improve this assessment.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Council Event

Study on Emergining Good Practices from the UPR

28 September 2021, 13:30-14:45

This online event – co-organized with UPR Info, OHCHR, and GANHRI – will discuss a new study commissioned by OHCHR on emerging good practices in UPR.

Read more

Cover Page of the Book Event

Book Launch: The Domestic Institutionalisation of Human Rights

28 September 2021, 18:30-20:00

This book launch is part of our Human Rights Conversation series. It will discuss the book’s novel approach and content and the question of the domestic institutionalization of human rights.

Read more

Greece, ylakio, pre-removal center. Short Course

Introduction to International Human Rights Law

14-29 October 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).

Read more

Mine Project

Business, Human Rights and Conflict-Affected Regions

Started in July 2021

This project aims to further identify and clarify policies and practices for States and business, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Started in April 2019

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.

Read more

Cover Page of the publication Publication

The Work of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances

published on August 2021

Maria Clara Galvis Patiño

Read more