In March 2023, 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 human rights courts and commissions of Africa and the Americas will be in session in March, as will the European Committee of Social Rights. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will hold hearings in four pending cases this month.
At the United Nations, the five human rights treaty bodies in session are those focused on: civil and political rights; economic, social, and cultural rights; enforced disappearances; the rights of migrant workers; and the rights of persons with disabilities. The UN special procedure mandate holders scheduled to carry out country visits in March include the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, to Serbia.
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 2023, including for submissions related to: homelessness and contemporary forms of slavery, food and the right to health, maternal mortality and morbidity, glorification of Nazism, monitoring implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, access to medicines, deaths in custody, toxic impacts of some climate change solutions, poverty and aquatic ecosystems, financing of reparations for serious human rights violations, development finance institutions and human rights, abuse of older persons, and upcoming country visits to Chile, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom.
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is holding its 74th Ordinary Session, virtually and in private, from February 21 to March 7. [ACHPR Press Release] During the session, the ACHPR will consider pending communications, resolutions, and reports. States and civil society will not take part in this private session.
African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) had planned to hold its 41st Ordinary Session from March 20 to 30, but has since announced via Twitter that the session has been postponed to a later date.
African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) is holding its 68th Ordinary Session from February 20 to March 17 at its seat in Arusha, Tanzania. The Court has not publicly shared any additional information about this session.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold its 186th Period of Sessions from March 6 to 10, in person, in Los Angeles, United States of America. [IACHR Press Release] On each day of the session, the IACHR will hold public hearings concerning pending cases and issues of concern, in accordance with the schedule of hearings. The hearings will be livestreamed on the IACHR’s YouTube channel and other social media accounts. On March 10, the IACHR will hold a meeting with civil society members on the human rights situation in the United States.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) will hold its 156th Regular Session from March 6 to 24. During its sessions, the Court holds public hearings in cases and deliberates in private. The agenda for the 156th Regular Session is not yet available.
European Committee of Social Rights
The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) will hold its 333rd Session from March 20 to 24. The agenda is not yet online. A synopsis will be posted following the session.
Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council is holding its 52nd regular session from February 27 to April 4, in person, in Geneva, Switzerland. Among other activities, the draft programme of work and agenda indicate the Council will appoint experts to special procedures and other mandates, including the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development, Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Special Rapporteur on the right to development, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Russia, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
The Council is scheduled to adopt the outcome reports from the latest Universal Periodic Review cycle for Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, Ecuador, Finland, India, Indonesia, Morocco, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, The Netherlands, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.
The Council will also consider various reports from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and numerous special procedure mandate holders. The documentation for the session is available online, and the public portions of the session will be webcast on UN Web TV.
UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies
Various UN treaty bodies will convene this month. The full schedule can be viewed on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Teamup Calendar. Treaty bodies’ public activities, including constructive dialogues held as part of State party reviews, will be webcast on UN Web TV.
Human Rights Committee
The Human Rights Committee is holding its 137th Session from February 27 to March 24. While the Committee will meet in Geneva, it will undertake some activities in hybrid (in-person and virtual) mode. The Committee will consider the reports of Egypt, Panama, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, and Zambia concerning their implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It will adopt lists of issues in response to the reports of Namibia, Serbia, and Syria, and will adopt a list of issues for Kazakhstan to address in its next report. Privately, the Committee will consider individual communications and adopt concluding observations on State party reviews. Other items in its programme of work include adopting its annual report and reporting on progress on follow-up to its concluding observations and decisions on individual communications.
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) is holding its 73rd Session, in person, from February 13 to March 3 in Geneva. During this session, the CESCR has held constructive dialogues with Cambodia, China, Lithuania, Panama, Portugal, and Yemen concerning their implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. On February 24, it held a day of general discussion on sustainable development. Among other items on its agenda, the Committee will elect officers and consider individual communications.
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will hold its 28th Session, in person, from March 6 to 24 in Geneva. The CRPD will review Angola, Argentina, Georgia, Peru, Togo, and Tunisia concerning their implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Its agenda also includes swearing in newly-elected members and selecting its bureau.
Committee on Enforced Disappearances
The Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) will hold its 24th Session from March 20 to 31, in person, in Geneva. The CED will review Costa Rica and Zambia, and adopt lists of issues for its review of Benin, Malta, and Norway. Its programme of work also includes dialogues with Germany and Argentina concerning their reports on additional information.
Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers
The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW) will hold its 36th Session from March 27 to April 6, in Geneva. During the session, it will hold constructive dialogues with El Salvador, Morocco, Nigeria, and the Philippines 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 adopt lists of issues prior to reporting for Niger and Seychelles. Its agenda also includes discussion of efforts to promote the Convention.
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.