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Within the realm of the possible: Reforming the UN treaty bodies’ individual communication mechanisms

The reform of the United Nations human rights system is once again on the agenda. The latest such review was concluded by the UN General Assembly in 2014, and it called for States to undertake a subsequent review no later than April 2020.  The upcoming 2020 review of the treaty body system by the General Assembly offers an opportunity to reflect on how to strengthen the impact of the human rights treaty bodies’ work.

The aim of this workshop was to take stock of the performance of the individual communications mechanisms of the UN human rights treaty bodies, to review their evolving case law, and to ask what reforms are required within the realm of the legally and politically possible to strengthen the right to individual petition as a means to protect and promote human rights globally.

In four panels, focusing on 'Interpretation of Treaties', 'Remedies, Follow-up, and Implementation', 'Country Perspectives' and 'Ways for Internal Cohesiveness and External Effectiveness' workshop participants presented their recommendations for reform proposals. Members from  provided comments as to the feasibility and desirability of the recommendations put forward.

Recommendations from the seminar will be submitted to the United Nations Secretary General and to the chairpersons of the UN human rights treaty bodies.

For further information on the workshop programme see here.