Providing input on Treaty Body reform to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

NCHR recently submitted a series of recommendations to the OHCHR on “Strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system”. 

Participants at the Oslo Consultation in October 2018. (Photo: UiO/Susanne Flølo)

In the preparation of the report on the status of the human rights treaty body system by the Secretary-General in January 2020, the OHCHR has requested comments by states on a questionnaire on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 68/268. National human rights institutions, and other relevant organisations and institutions were also invited to comment on the questionnaire and suggest further action to strengthen and enhance the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system. 

The comments and suggestions provided by NCHR mirror the outcome of a Consultation held in Oslo on October 17-18 2018, co-organised by NCHR and the Geneva Academy of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights as an integrating component of the global discussion spurred by the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020.[1]

Summary key recommendations

What follows is a summary of the key recommendations provided by NCHR to the OHCHR. The full submission can be found here

1. State Reporting Procedure

  • Inclusion of a civil society segment to the intergovernmental process of the 2020 review;
  • Introduction of a Technical Review of Impact and Progress (TRIP), to take place between State Examinations;
  • Establishment of a set schedule for Country Reviews;
  • Promotion of a more sustained integration and synergy between the TB system and other UN human rights mechanisms;
  • Review of certain aspects of the constructive dialogue format which currently hamper domestic stakeholder engagement.

2. Individual Communications Procedure

  • Establishment of a user-friendly and accessible Individual Communications database;
  • Introduction of a standardized set of rules on admissibility criteria;
  • Strengthening of the Petitions Unit by pushing for earmarked contributions by Member

3. General Comments

  • Application of a more pragmatic, “user-friendly” approach to draft General Comments;
  • Provision of information to stakeholders about the possibility to comment on Draft General
  • Comments at an earlier stage;
  • Communication of the expected timelines for adoption and expansion of the efforts at publicising General Comments.

4. Treaty Body Membership

  • Establishment of a platform through which TB nominees submit their candidature;
  • Introduction of an ethical charter for States regarding TB member nominations;
  • Introduction of a training programme for newly elected TB members

Oslo Consultation on Treaty Body Review: Reforms and Scope for Local and National Engagement

Drawing on the consultations undertaken by the Geneva Academy in the context of the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020, the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights invited experts from relevant ministries, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, civil society, national human rights institutions, ombudspersons and academia, to participate in a two-day consultation at the University of Oslo. The consultation served the purpose of testing the Academic Platform’s Report against the backdrop of the participants’ experience in working with the Treaty Body system from a domestic perspective. The result of the two-day consultation is accessible here


Tags: UN Human Rights Mechanisms, Treaty Body Review, OHCHR, UNHRM NCHR, Human Rights By Domenico Zipoli, Susanne Flølo
Published Mar. 25, 2019 1:30 PM - Last modified May 13, 2019 1:19 PM