Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020: Update at the 2017 Meeting of Chairpersons of Human Rights Treaty Bodies

The Palais Wilson in Geneva, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights The Palais Wilson in Geneva, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Geneva Academy informed, via an official submission, the chairpersons of all UN human rights treaty bodies about the latest developments of the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020.

The submission contains information about all regional consultations held by the platform, as well as a list of preliminary results of this three-year initiative.

‘The close connection with the chairs and members of all UN human rights treaty bodies is of particular importance to us. We need to keep them informed about the outputs of this academic platform, as most of the changes suggested can be implemented by the treaty bodies themselves, and thus encourage them to enhance their efforts to align their working methods’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier, Co-Coordinator of this platform.

About the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020

The United Nations (UN) human rights (HR) treaty bodies are a central pillar of the international HR protection system. They prevent HR violations by warning states about areas of concern, by advising them on durable solutions that address root causes and by adjudicating individual complaints.

Since the establishment of the first UN treaty body in 1970, both treaty ratifications and the treaty body system have expanded significantly. While this has enhanced HR protection worldwide, it has also created complex challenges that affect the system and those who interact with it: states, national HR institutions, UN entities, civil society organizations, individual complainants and rights-holders at large.

On 9 April 2014, the UN General Assembly (GA) adopted a landmark resolution (A/RES/68/268) on strengthening the treaty body system, which envisages a review of the measures taken at GA level in 2020. This review represents an opportunity to further reflect on the treaty body system’s future and develop innovative proposals and solutions without weakening the HR protection that the system currently affords.

The Geneva Academy is coordinating the academic input to this 2020 review via the creation of an academic network of independent researchers, a call for papers, a series of regional workshops, annual conferences in Geneva, as well as ongoing interactions with key stakeholders (i.e. states, UN treaty bodies, national HR institutions, civil society, UN entities and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).

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