In March 2022, various international human rights bodies will meet – some virtually – to continue their monitoring and oversight of States’ human rights practices. For more information on each of the bodies mentioned, visit the Courts & Monitoring Bodies section of the IJRC Online Resource Hub.
At the regional level, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, European Committee of Social Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will be in session in March. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will hold hearings this month in the cases of Hurbain v. Belgium and Macatė v. Lithuania.
At the United Nations, the five human rights treaty bodies in session are those focused on economic, social, and cultural rights; civil and political rights; the rights of migrant workers; the rights of persons with disabilities; and enforced disappearance. The Human Rights Council will also be in session. One UN special procedure mandate holder is scheduled to carry out a country visit in March: the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, to the European Union. The new International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in Law Enforcement will hold its first session, privately, from February 28 to March 4, in Geneva.
Finally, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and special procedures have issued many calls for input with deadlines in March, including for submissions related to: gold mining and human rights, glorification of Nazism, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the fight against racial discrimination, the SDGs and the sale and sexual exploitation of children, victims of mercenaries, contemporary forms of slavery in the informal economy, the death penalty, and violence against women in the context of the climate crisis.
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is holding its 70th Ordinary Session, privately and virtually, from February 23 to March 9. The Commission will hold a closed session to consider communications (complaints), resolutions, and reports.
European Committee of Social Rights
The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) will hold its 326th Session from March 21 to 25. The session agenda will be posted in advance on the Committee’s sessions webpage, and a synopsis will be available after the session.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold its 183rd Period of Sessions, in hybrid format, from March 7 to 18. The Commission has announced one public hearing, on the situation of public policies on business and human rights in Peru (requested by the State), and meetings with civil society concerning the Caribbean and, separately, democracy and independence of the judiciary in the Americas. [IACHR Press Release (Spanish)]
UN Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council will hold its 49th Session from February 28 to April 1, 2022, in Geneva. Its agenda includes holding debates and interactive dialogues, including in response to numerous reports from UN bodies and experts. The Council also expects to appoint mandate holders to a range of special procedures, including the Special Rapporteur on climate change, and the special rapporteurs on Afghanistan, Burundi, the occupied Palestinian territories. The Council will also appoint members to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Working Group on the use of mercenaries, Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances, Working Group on transnational corporations, and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies
UN treaty bodies have now resumed State party reviews and in-person sessions, which had been postponed because of COVID-19. However, the in-person participation of States and civil society continues to be limited, as determined by each committee for each session. Note that the March 2022 sessions are not listed in the OHCHR calendar of meetings, but are listed on the relevant bodies’ webpages. Treaty bodies’ public activities, including constructive dialogues held as part of State party reviews, will be webcast on UN Web TV.
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) will hold its 71st Session from February 14 to March 4, in Geneva. According to the programme of work, it will hold constructive dialogues with Bahrain, Belarus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Serbia, and Uzbekistan, concerning their implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Only the Committee members will convene in person; State delegations and others will participate virtually. The format for civil society participation may be further impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Human Rights Committee
The Human Rights Committee will hold its 134th Session from February 28 to March 25. The Committee will hold constructive dialogues with Bolivia, Cambodia, Iraq, Israel, Qatar, and Russia. The NGO Information Note does not currently indicate whether the dialogues or civil society meetings will take place in person or virtually.
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will hold its 26th Session, in hybrid format, from March 7 to 25. The Committee will hold constructive dialogues with Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, Switzerland, and Venezuela concerning their implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. According to an information note, the CRPD will hold all constructive dialogues online, although the Committee members and State delegations may convene in person. Civil society members will be able to participate remotely in private briefings to the Committee.
Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers
The Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers (CMW) will hold its 34th Session from March 28 to April 8, in Geneva. It will hold constructive dialogues with Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, and Paraguay concerning their implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The CMW will also adopt lists of issues for Uruguay, Kyrgyzstan, and Peru. According to an information note, the CMW intends to allow virtual participation in its meetings with civil society, and may decide to hold the session in a hybrid or virtual format, depending on public health conditions.
Committee on Enforced Disappearance
The Committee on Enforced Disappearance (CED) will hold its 22nd Session from March 28 to April 8. The CED will hold constructive dialogues with Greece and Niger concerning their implementation on the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and will adopt lists of issues for Cambodia, Gambia, and Niger. According to an information note, the CED will decide at a later date on whether to hold the reviews and meetings with civil society in person or virtually, based on the public health conditions.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the scheduling and format of supranational human rights bodies’ sessions and other activities, particularly at the regional level. The IJRC monthly overviews have detailed these changes, beginning in April 2020. For an overview of the initial changes in human rights oversight caused by the pandemic, see our July 2020 post on OpenGlobalRights.
To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar. For more information on the various human rights monitoring bodies, visit IJRC’s Online Resource Hub. To stay up-to-date on international human rights law news, visit IJRC’s News Room.