Academic and civil society experts recommend ways to bolster Human Rights Treaty Bodies’ individual complaint system

In view of 2020 UN Treaty Body review, they say approaches must consider victim and end-user perspectives.

As part of a review of the United Nations’ Human Rights Treaty Body system in 2020, experts from academia and civil society published recommendations on 17 February for improving the Treaty Bodies’ system for considering individual complaints. Eight of the ten Treaty Bodies, each a separate committee of independent experts  focused on different areas of human rights, can consider complaints submitted by individuals. The UN has called for a review in 2020 of how this system functions.

The expert report, “Strengthening and Enhancing the Effective Functioning of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System Individual Complaint Mechanisms”, is the result of a series of workshops held in November 2019 at the Hertie School Centre for Fundamental Rights in Berlin, together with the University of Oslo’s law centre PluriCourts and the University of Hamburg. Participants included academics, non-governmental organisations and UN Treaty Body members.

In addition to addressing a number of issues and proposing approaches to them, the authors state in their report: “We urge all stakeholders involved in devising and implementing further action to strengthen and enhance the effective functioning of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System individual complaint mechanisms to ensure that the victim-centered perspective and the end-user community perspectives are fully incorporated in all efforts to improve the system. Doing so is necessary to ensure the continued relevance of the UN Human Rights treaties.”

Read the report here.

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