The Treaty Body Members Platform in 2022

12 January 2023

The Treaty Body Members Platform (TBMP), an initiative of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, connects experts in United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (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.

Over the last years, the TBMP also increasingly linked members of UN TBs with UN Special Procedures mandate holders to share expertise, approaches and exchange around specific thematic issues.

In 2022, the TBMP hosted nine informal meetings for UN TBs, both in-person at Villa Moynier and online. UN TBs secretariat staff from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also participated in these meetings, along with UN Special Procedures mandate holders and their respective secretariat staff in order to support OHCHR ‘all-mechanism’ approach.

In addition, the TBMP held a briefing for OHCHR TBs secretariats on the GHRP activities, including on the pilot focused reviews carried out in Sierra Leone and Grenada.

‘The TBMP is a unique and behind the scene setup that contributes to enhancing the work of UN human rights mechanisms through exchanges, the sharing of expertise and best practices and the development of common work and positions explains’ Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

From the Rights of Indigenous Women and Girls to the Role and Obligations of Non-State Actors

Several meetings allow TB members to exchange their approaches to various thematic issues with their peers.

Members of the UN Human Rights Committee met with their counterparts of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women to discuss their work on the rights of indigenous women and girls. They also met with members of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to exchange views on the connections between the two mechanisms in relation to individual cases.

Experts of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers met with their counterparts of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in commemorating their joint General Comments on the human rights of children in the context of international migration.

Another TBMP meeting allowed the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to discuss and develop its position on non-state actors.

Facilitating the Adoption of a UN Statement on Illegal Intercountry Adoptions

In order to facilitate the adoption of a Joint Statement on illegal intercountry adoptions by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), three UN Special Rapporteurs – on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children and on Trafficking in Persons – and the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the TBMP organized, in collaboration with the CRC and CED, two joint meetings with these different bodies.

This document promotes a human rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to preventing and eradicating illegal intercountry adoptions. It does so by identifying the rights which are violated through illegal intercountry adoptions and by clarifying states’ obligations under international human rights law.

Addressing the Impact of Climate Change on Human Rights

Another specific series of meetings, open to all TB members, focused on the impact of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights.

During these meetings, TB members exchanged with the authors of the 2021/2022 reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), linking in that way climate science and human rights expertise and policy.

Reflecting on TBs’ Working Methods

Two full days of inter-committees expert discussions – co-organized with OHCHR and with the support of Switzerland and Belgium – allowed to reflect on TBs’ working methods and discuss coordination, notably in relation to the handling of petitions, the development of a harmonized approach to scheduling of reviews, and the conduct of state reviews.

These meetings aimed at harmonizing the various Committees’ practices to handle petitions as well as to develop the most efficient, cost-effective and rational modalities for state reviews under the new eight-year predictable review calendar.

As a follow-up to the 34th Annual Meeting of TB Chairpersons in June 2022, such meetings represented a tangible step forward in the operationalization of the 2019 common position of the TB Chairpersons and the recommendations of the co-facilitators of the 2020 TB review.

Expanding the TBMP 2.0

The TBMP 2.0 online platform, launched back in 2021 as a community of practice tool that allows for ongoing online cooperation and communication between TB members continued to grow in 2022.

Group discussions allowed for thematic exchanges on specific issues – including the harmonization of working methods among all committees and individual communications.

This online platform will broaden its audience in 2023 to incorporate other UN human rights mechanisms, including UN Special Procedures mandate holders and members of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

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