During the month of April 2016, six supranational human rights bodies will be in session. These include three regional human rights monitoring bodies: the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACtHR), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Each will consider pending cases and human rights topics of concern in their respective regions, including through public discussions or hearings. Additionally, four United Nations mechanisms will meet in Geneva, Switzerland: the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), the Committee Against Torture (CAT), and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The UN treaty bodies in session will review States’ implementation of the respective treaties, consider individual complaints, and discuss best practices. Video of the public portions of these sessions is available on UN Treaty Body Webcast or UN Web TV. In addition, four experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council will carry out country visits to assess the human rights situation relevant to children, housing, persons with disabilities, and health in Georgia, India, Zambia, and Algeria, respectively.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The IACHR will hold its 157th Period of Sessions from April 2 to 15, 2016 at its Washington, D.C. headquarters. According to the session schedule, the Commission will hold public hearings concerning seven pending cases. Additionally, in hearings requested by the respective States, the Commission will evaluate the general situation of human rights in Venezuela, Mexico, and Costa Rica; examine cultural rights and the internet in Brazil; and assess Peru’s national reparations plan. State delegations will have the opportunity to present on these topics, followed by presentations by civil society and questions and comments by the Commission. [IACHR Press Release]
At its own initiative, Commission will also hold a series of thematic hearings on broad and systematic human rights issues such as reducing the use of pretrial detention, enhancing national protection systems for human rights defenders in the Americas, and evaluating the effectiveness of States’ national child protection systems in preventing and remedying violence against children. [IACHR Press Release] These hearings will consist of State and civil society presentations and commissioners’ questions and comments.
At the request of civil society organizations, the Commission will also hold hearings on a variety of regional and country-specific thematic issues, such as: the privatization of Mexico’s prison system, the human rights situation of labor leaders in Peru, the human rights situation of LGBT persons in Honduras, and freedom of association in the Americas.
Other events during the session include the presentation of new reports by the Commission and its rapporteurships, a dialogue between the Commission and civil society, and a consultation with civil society on the regional and universal human rights mechanisms.
The IACHR will webcast all public hearings live on its website. The videos of these hearings will subsequently be available on the session webpage.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will hold its 114th Regular Session from April 21 to May 4, 2016 at its seat in San Jose, Costa Rica. The Court will hold public hearings concerning four pending cases: Members of the Village of Chichupac and Neighboring Communities of the Municipality of Rabinal v. Guatemala (regarding a series of massacres, extrajudicial killings, torture, forced disappearances, and sexual violence that occurred during Guatemala’s armed internal conflict between 1981 and 1986), Pollo Rivera et al. v. Perú (alleging arbitrary and illegal arrest, inhuman or degrading treatment, and failure to provide due judicial processes), Valencia Hinojosa et al. v. Ecuador (on the absence of an independent and impartial judicial process in relation to the death of a policeman during police operations), and I.V. v. Bolivia (concerning a woman’s forced sterilization).
To stay updated on the Court proceedings, visit the Inter-American Court of Human Rights website. Photographs and videos of the hearings should be made available in the Court’s Multimedia Gallery.
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights will hold its 58th Ordinary Session from April 6 to 20, 2016 at its seat in Banjul, The Gambia. Pursuant to the draft agenda, the ACHPR will consider the State reports for Namibia, Mali, and South Africa on their implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other obligations. The ACHPR will also hold discussions on the cooperation with national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations; hear presentations of the activity reports from its thematic experts (special mechanisms); and hold panel discussions on several topics, including on sexual and reproductive health, the death penalty, consultations on regional mechanisms coordinated by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and on European Union support to three special mechanisms, among others. State delegates, African Union organs with a human rights mandate, intergovernmental and international organizations, national human rights institutions, and NGOs will each make brief statements before the ACHPR.
For more information on the 58th Ordinary Session, visit the 58th Session webpage.
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The CRPD will hold its 15th Session in Geneva, Switzerland from March 29 to April 21, 2016 to review the State reports of Chile, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Thailand, and Uganda concerning their implementation of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ICRPD). According to the session agenda, the Committee will also invite dialogue with representatives of United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities, and other related groups with the intent of strengthening cooperation with such bodies in order to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
The Committee has established various working groups responsible for drafting its general comments in the areas of women with disabilities, the right to independent living and to be included in the community, and the right to education, and will spend time reviewing the progress of each. The Committee will also discuss implementing General Assembly Resolution 68/268 on strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of the human rights treaty body system.
For more information on the 15th session, including links to the reports of the States and the agenda, visit the 15th Session webpage.
Committee on Migrant Workers
The Committee on Migrant Workers will hold its 24th Session in Geneva, Switzerland from April 11 to 22, 2016 to review the State reports of Lesotho, Mauritania, Senegal, and Turkey concerning their implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families (CMW). According to the session agenda, the Committee will adopt concluding observations on the implementation of the Convention by the four reporting States parties and will adopt a list of issues in respect of Bangladesh and lists of issues prior to reporting in respect of Guyana, Indonesia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Additionally, the Committee will also elect new officers to serve two year terms for the positions of chair, three vice-chairs, and a rapporteur.
For more information, including the agenda and State’s reports, visit the 24th session webpage.
Committee Against Torture
The Committee Against Torture will hold its 57th Session in Geneva, Switzerland from April 18 to May 13, 2016 to review the State reports of France, Israel, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey concerning their implementation of the International Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. According to the program of work, the Committee will hold meetings with national human rights institutions and national preventative mechanisms as well as with NGOs; the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture; and the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee will also elect officers to serve for two year terms for the positions of chair, three vice-chairs, and a rapporteur.
Additionally, the Committee will adopt a list of issues in respect of Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan and lists of issues prior to reporting in respect of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Uruguay.
For more information, including the agenda, program of work, and State’s reports, visit the 57th session webpage. For more information on the Committee Against Torture head to the IJRC Online Resource Hub.
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The CERD will hold its 89th Session in Geneva, Switzerland from April 25 to May 13, 2016 to review the State reports of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Namibia, Oman, Rwanda, and Spain. CERD’s program of work includes examination of the seventh to ninth periodic reports of Azerbaijan, the sixth to eight periodic reports of Georgia, the thirteenth to fifteenth periodic reports of Namibia, the second to fifth periodic reports of Oman, the eighteenth to twentieth periodic reports of Rwanda, and the twenty first to twenty third periodic reports of Spain.
In order to consider compliance and implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Committee will also consider alternative reports submitted by civil society organizations. Its interactive dialogue with each State under review will be webcast on UN Treaty Body Webcast.
Additional information and materials, including the program of work and State’s reports, are available at the 89th Session webpage.
Country Visits by Special Rapporteurs
A number of UN special procedure mandate holders will embark on missions in April. The Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography will visit Georgia April 11 to April 18. The Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context will visit India April 11 to April 22. The Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities will visit Zambia April 18 to April 28. The will visit Algeria April 26 to May 10.
For more information about the Inter-American Human Rights System, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on Migrant Workers, the Committee Against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, or the other universal and regional human rights courts and monitoring bodies, visit the IJRC Online Resource Hub.