Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020

Started in May 2016

 

In 2020, the General Assembly will review its 2014 resolution on strengthening the treaty body system.  To prepare for that review, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights has launched an academic research project to look at options for reform and long-term sustainability of the treaty body system.  The academic process is open to all relevant stakeholders, and I encourage all the academics in this audience to become involved. This is a key opportunity to help define the future of the Covenants and the treaty body system.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

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 and by advising them on durable solutions that address root causes.

The 2020 Review

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) which envisages a review of the system 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.

Academic Contribution

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 – OHCHR).

Input to the project / Call for Papers

To allow the broadest possible participation of all stakeholders, we invite input to this research project.

All interested researchers, think tanks, institutions, organizations and individuals are invited to submit responses to research questions developed on the basis of General Assembly (GA) resolution 68/268, or additional areas of interest to the review, with the aim of generating the broadest possible range of ideas to enhance the effective functioning of the treaty body system.

Papers should be sent to tbreview2020[at]geneva-academy.ch and will remain in the responsibility of and attributed to their authors.

It is important to note in this context that GA resolution 68/268 and the inter-governmental processes leading to its adoption examined the effective functioning of the treaty body system and did not include questions related to the implementation and impact of treaty bodies' recommendations at the national level. Despite the importance of these questions, the research questions will use the same parameters.

Project's Timeframe

  • Brainstorming meeting: December 2015
  • Outreach to academia; methodology: January 2016–March 2016
  • Call for papers: March 2016– July 2017
  • Regional consultations: April 2016–September 2017
  • Annual meetings in Geneva: 2016–2017
  • Drafting of an overview report detailing the research projects: 2017

Regional Consultations

We intend to hold the following seven regional consultations:

Western Europe 

Logo Dublin College



The regional consultation for western Europe was held in Dublin, Ireland, 7–8 July 2016, in partnership with University College Dublin.

 

 

Central and South Amercia and the Spanish-speaking Carribean

IIDH

 


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 The regional consultation for South Amercia and the Spanish-speaking Carribean was held in San José, Costa Rica, 19–20 November 2016, in partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, the Inter-American Social Responsibility and Human Rights Institute and Columbia University.

 


Eastern Europe

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The regional consultation for Eastern Europe was held in Moscow, Russian Federation, 18–19 November 2016, in partnership with the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation.

 


Northern America and English-speaking Caribbean


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The regional consultation for northern Amercia and English-speaking Carribean will be held in New York, USA, 1–2 June 2017, in partnership with Columbia University.



Africa

The regional consultation for Africa will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, 20–21 July 2017, in partnership with the University of Nairobi  and the Strathmore Law School, Nairobi.

Asia

The The regional consultation for Asia will be held in New-Delhi, India, October 2017 (tbc).


Middle East


CU logo

The regional consultation for Middle-East will be held in Amman, Jordan, September 2017, in partnership with Columbia University.

 

 

PROJECT'S DOCUMENTS

TEAM

Picture of Robert Kolb

Robert Kolb

Professor of Public International Law at the Law Faculty, University of Geneva

Robert Kolb is a leading expert in international law and international humanitarian law and has published several books and articles on these topics.

Picture of Kamelia Kemileva

Kamelia Kemileva

Co-Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and Special Projects Manager

Kamelia Kemileva is Special Projects Manager and Co-Coordinator of the Geneva Academy Human Rights Platform.

Picture of Felix Kirchmeier

Felix Kirchmeier

Manager of Policy Studies and Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Felix Kirchmeier oversees the conceptualization, development and implementation of policy research at the Geneva Academy. He is also the Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Portrait of Miia Halme-Tuomisaari

Miia Halme-Tuomisaari

Associate Research Fellow

Her areas of expertise include legal anthropology, international human rights, the history of human rights, migration and the UN treaty body system.

Portrait of Claire Callejon

Claire Callejon

Associate Research Fellow

Dr Claire Callejon has been part of the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020 since 2017. Her areas of expertise include international human rights law, the United Nations Human Rights machinery and refugee law.

Publications

Cover page of the publication

Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System

May 2018

Claire Callejon

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover page of the paper

Diversity in Membership of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

February 2018

Ivona Truscan

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Additional Resources

January 2018

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Diversity in Membership of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

October 2017

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Asia

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Asia

October 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and South Asian university

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Cover of the Report or the Regional Consultation for Asia

Report of the Regional Consultation for Asia

October 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and South Asian university

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Cover of the article

Draft List of Submissions

October 2017

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for the Middle East

Report of the Regional Consultation for the Middle East

August 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Columbia University

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Cover of the Agenda of the Middle East Consultation on Strengthening the Treaty Body System

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Middle East

August 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Columbia University

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Cover page of the report

Report of the Regional Consultation for Africa

July 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Strathmore University and University of Pretoria

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Cover page of the agenda

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Africa

July 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Strathmore University and University of Pretoria

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Cover page of the report

Report of the Regional Consultation for Northern America and the English-Speaking Caribbean

June 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Title of the document

Information Note: Submission to the Meeting of the TB Chairpersons

June 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Northern America and the English-Speaking Carribean

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Northern America and the English-Speaking Carribean

June 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Cover of the Suggested Research Questions

Suggested Research Questions (EN, FR, SP)

January 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the Report of the 2016 Global Conference

Report of the 2016 Global Conference

December 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

Report of the Regional Consultation for for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

December 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Inter-American Institute for Social Responsibility and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Cover of the Agenda of the 2016 Global Conference

Agenda of the 2016 Global Conference

December 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for Eastern Europe

Report of the Regional Consultation for Eastern Europe

November 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation

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Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

November 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Inter-American Institute for Social Responsibility and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

Report of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

July 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and University College Dublin

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Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

July 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and University College Dublin

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Cover of the Concept Note

Concept Note (EN, FR, SP)

February 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the Report of the 2015 Global Conference

Report of the 2015 Global Conference

December 2015

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Agenda of the 2015 Global Conference

Agenda of the 2015 Global Conference

December 2015

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Background Paper

Background Paper (EN, FR, SP)

October 2015

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the List of Official Documents

List of Official Documents

January 2015

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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NEWS

Print screen of the treaty bodies scheduler News

The Consolidated Reporting Model and ‘Treaty Body Scheduler’ Presented for the First Time to UN Treaty Body Members

8 October 2018

Felix Kirchmeier, coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform briefed the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the main proposals developed by the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020.

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UN Headquarters in New York: a view of the UN headquarters complex, as seen from the Visitors’ Entrance News

Our Publication on the United Nations Treaty Bodies Presented in New York

5 June 2018

On 29–30 May 2018, our Manager of Policy Studies, Felix Kirchmeier, presented our publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System in New York to the Chairpersons of United Nations treaty bodies, diplomats and civil society representatives.

Read more >

Cover page of the publication News

Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System

7 May 2018

Our new publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System outlines a series of recommendations related to the functioning of United Nations treaty bodies, considered a cornerstone of universal human rights protection.

Read more >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

The press is briefed by the representatives of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, Palais des Nations. 5 September 2018 Event

International Humanitarian Law in the Work of United Nations Human Rights Bodies

November 2018, 13:15-14:45

This panel will focus on the practicalities of how international humanitarian law is used and the role it plays in the work of the UN human rights machinery.

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Greece, ylakio, pre-removal center. Short Course

Introduction to International Human Rights Law

10- January 2019

This short course provides participants with a comprehensive introduction to both substantive human rights law as well as the functioning of international mechanisms for the protection of human rights.

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General view of the room XX and delegates during of the High Level Segment of the 31st Session at the Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, February 29, 2016 Short Course

Optimizing the Human Rights Council: At the Interplay Between Law and Politics

23 January - February 2019

This short course focuses on the functioning and the mechanisms of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as on the dynamics at play in this major human rights body.

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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.

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 Chittagong (Bangladesh) ship breaking yard Project

A Practitioners' Guide on Human Rights and Countering Corruption

Started in January 2015

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.

Read more