July 2016: UN and European Bodies Meet, IACHR Session Canceled
During July 2016, the European Committee of Social Rights and the United Nations human rights treaty bodies focused on civil and political rights, discrimination against women, and torture will convene to review States’ compliance with their treaty obligations. Additionally, the UN experts on freedom of assembly and association and on the rights of persons with disabilities will carry out country visits to the United States and Morocco, respectively, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has canceled its planned July session due to an ongoing financial crisis. [IACHR Press Release] The UN Human Rights Council concluded its 32nd regular session on July 1, after commemorating its 10-year anniversary, establishing an Independent Expert on violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and renewing several other special procedures’ mandates. [ISHR; NYT]
European Committee of Social Rights
The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) will hold its 286th Session in Strasbourg, France from July 4 to 8, 2016. According to its agenda, the ECSR will consider States parties’ reports on their implementation of European Social Charter and Revised European Social Charter provisions related to employment, training, and equal opportunities. It will examine the situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Macedonia with regard to the reporting cycle theme, which corresponds to articles 1, 9, 10, 15, 18, 20, 24, and, 25 of the Revised European Social Charter.
States parties must submit annual reports on one of four groups of rights protected by the European Social Charter and Revised Charter. While France and Ireland are permitted to submit a simplified report every two years because they have accepted the ECSR’s collective complaints procedure, their reports this year must be fully detailed. The Committee’s conclusions regarding national reports can be accessed through its HUDOC database.
During this session, the ECSR will also review the progress of pending collective complaints and discuss follow-up to collective complaints decided against Croatia, Cyprus, Norway, and Sweden. The list of ongoing complaints is available on the ECSR’s Collective Complaints webpage, and its decisions can be found in the HUDOC database.
Human Rights Committee
The United Nations Human Rights Committee will continue its 117th Session in Geneva, Switzerland, which began June 20 and will end on July 15, 2016. The Committee is holding interactive dialogues with government representatives of Argentina, Burkina Faso, Denmark, Ecuador, Ghana, Kazakhstan, and Kuwait to discuss each country’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Following these dialogues, the Committee will issue concluding observations on the advances and gaps in each State’s compliance with the treaty.
During the session, country report task forces will also adopt lists of issues on Italy, Serbia, Thailand, and Turkmenistan, following the submission of the States’ periodic reports and in anticipation of their interactive dialogues with the Committee. For Belgium, Lithuania, and Norway, task forces will adopt lists of issues for the States to address in their periodic reports, through an optional, simplified procedure referred to as “list of issues prior to reporting.”
For additional information on this session, see the IJRC news post on June 2016 human rights activities.
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) is holding its 64th Session in Geneva, Switzerland from July 4 to 22, 2016 to review States’ implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. According to the session agenda, the Committee will hold interactive dialogues with representatives of Albania, France, Mali, Myanmar, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and Uruguay concerning those States’ periodic reports and additional information submitted by civil society and national human rights institutions (NHRIs). Following these dialogues, the Committee will issue concluding observations on the advances and gaps in each State’s compliance with the treaty.
The CEDAW Committee will also hold its 66th pre-sessional working group in Geneva, Switzerland from July 25 to 29, 2016. The working group will prepare lists of issues and questions for the upcoming reviews of El Salvador, Germany, Jordan, Micronesia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine.
Committee Against Torture
The Committee Against Torture will hold its 58th Session in Geneva, Switzerland from July 25 to August 12, 2016. The Committee will hold interactive dialogues with Burundi, Honduras, Kuwait, and Mongolia to discuss information submitted in their periodic reports, as well as in reports by civil society and NHRIs, concerning each State’s implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment (CAT). Following these dialogues, the Committee will issue concluding observations on the advances and gaps in each State’s compliance with the treaty. According to its agenda, the Committee will also examine individual communications submitted to it under Article 22 of the CAT.
Country Visits by Special Procedures
The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, will visit the United States from July 11 to 27, 2016. The Special Rapporteur’s visits generally include meetings with government officials and with civil society and allow him to independently assess, and make recommendations regarding, the enjoyment of the rights to assembly and association in the State. The Special Rapporteur’s reports following country visits are available on the mandate’s Country Visits webpage.
The Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, will carry out a country visit to Morocco from July 19 to 28, 2016. The country visit allows the Special Rapporteur to gain information on the rights of persons with disabilities in the country and gaps in legal protection. The Special Rapporteur will report findings and propose recommendations where she finds situations of concern. For more information on country visits and to access the report on this visit, once published, visit the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities’ webpage.
For more information on the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Committee against Torture, UN special procedures, or the European Committee of Social Rights, visit IJRC’s Online Resource Hub.