Members of United Nations Treaty Bodies Discuss the Simplified Reporting Procedure

Workshop participants Workshop participants

20 December 2018

On 10-11 December 2019, members of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs), as well as representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Geneva Academy discussed the so-called simplified reporting procedure (SRP).

This discussion happened at an important moment, as most TBs are only starting to use this procedure. Harmonization will, therefore, be easier as no practice has been firmly established regarding SRP.

Towards a Common Approach

Approaches towards the SRP are disparate. The workshop, co-organized with OHCHR, allowed sharing experiences, identifying good practices, as well as possible elements of a common procedure for all TBs.

‘A common approach to the SRP would facilitate access to the system by its users. States would report in the same manner to all TBs concerned, while National Human Rights Institutions and NGOs would be able to better prepare for the reviews knowing that all TBs function the same way. A harmonized way of reporting via the SRP would also provide an important step towards a coordinated approach to reporting, as pointed out in our report of The Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier, Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform at the Geneva Academy.

Criteria, Implementation, Content and Methodology

The discussion also addressed the criteria for using the simplified reporting procedure, implementation of the procedure by making it the default procedure, and the development of a common methodology and deadlines.

‘Engaging across almost all Committees on this issue covering all rights with a varying number of states which have ratified different treaties is no easy feat. However, all participants stepped up to the challenge and showed a real commitment to ensuring the SRP works for all stakeholders including victims which must hold primacy of place. States also have an obligation to show their commitment by ensuring that the TB system had the adequate resources to implement the international legal obligations’ underlines Orest Nowosad, Chief of Section at the TB Branch of OHCHR.

Integrating Views from Civil Society

Representatives from civil society organizations joined the discussion during the workshop’s session that addressed the information that should be taken into consideration in the simplified reporting procedure and the effective participation of civil society and National Human Rights Institutions.

‘The SRP shifts the entry points for NGOs to the UN TB system. It is therefore crucial that NGOs know when to engage and to submit information – namely at the moment of the elaboration of the “list of issues” by the Committees. While the process seems more technical, it actually offers an additional entry point for civil society to have their concerns heard’ explains Felix Kirchmeier

Informing the Annual Meeting of Chairpersons

The report of the workshop will provide the basis for a secretariat note informing the discussion on the SRP at the next annual meeting of Chairpersons of UN TBs. The report will also be discussed by the various TBs in plenary to encourage them to take decisions on moving forward in a coordinated manner.

‘In light of the upcoming review of TBs by the UN General Assembly, it will be important that TBs show the progress they are making internally towards harmonizing the system’ recalls Felix Kirchmeier

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

A session of a UN treary body in Geneva News

Formal Launch of the 2020 Review of UN Treaty Bodies: Our Input

4 June 2020

The Geneva Human Rights Platform has been contributing to this review by providing expert input, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the discussions towards the follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.

Read more

Pixabay/joanbrown51 News

Research with an Impact: The Relevance of the UN Human Rights Guidance on Less-Lethal Weapons

5 June 2020

This document – the outcome of research and broad consultations carried out under the auspices of the Geneva Academy and the University of Pretoria – provides direction on what constitutes lawful and responsible deployment and use of less-lethal weapons.

Read more

Plenary session during the first annual conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform Event

2020 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

15 October 2020, 09:00-18:00

The 2020 Annual Conference will focus on the connectivity between regional and global human rights mechanisms and relevant links with national systems, as well as on the effectiveness of these interactions in a number of policy areas.

Read more

Prison visit by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Haiti Short Course

The Implementation of International Human Rights Law

3 December - 7 January 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, aims at presenting the institutions and procedures in charge of the implementation of international human rights law.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

11 March - 1 April 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

Read more

Peru, Lima. Anti-riot policemen during a demonstration. Project

Use of Force, Crowd Control and Peaceful Protests

Completed in January 2015

This research project aims at addressing the challenges – legal and law enforcement – encountered during the management of assemblies and at filling the protection gaps by developing new standards and useful tools.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Started in April 2019

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.

Read more

Cover page of the book Publication

The UN Human Rights Council: A Practical Anatomy

published on September 2020

Eric Tistounet

Read more