In April 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 African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child will be in session, along with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. On April 12, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will hold a hearing in the case of Communauté genevoise d’action syndicale (CGAS) v. Switzerland.
At the United Nations, the five human rights treaty bodies in session are those focused on: torture, racial discrimination, and migrant workers and their families. The Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (EMRTD) will hold its 7th Session, in New York, from April 3 to 5. The UN special procedure mandate holders scheduled to carry out country visits in April include the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion, to Tajikistan; the Special Rapporteur on health, to Luxembourg; the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, to Botswana; the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, to the United Kingdom; the Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation, to Syria; the Independent Expert on democratic international order, to Georgia.
Finally, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and special procedures have issued many calls for input with deadlines in April 2023, including for submissions related to: affordable housing, law enforcement equipment and torture, green financing and Indigenous peoples’ rights, voluntourism and exploitation of children, aquatic ecosystems and poverty, implementation of the program of activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent, human rights and cultural diversity, intimidation and reprisals for cooperation with the UN, cultural rights and the governance of development, technology and contemporary slavery, elimination of racism, economic empowerment of people of African descent, practical tools for law enforcement in the context of peaceful protests, the draft General Comment on Article 4 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and upcoming country visits to Somalia and Bangladesh.
African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) will hold its 157th Regular Session from April 17 to 28. During its sessions, the Court holds public hearings in cases and deliberates in private. The agenda for the 157th Regular Session is not yet available.
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.
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) is holding 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.
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will hold its 109th Session, from April 11 to 28, in Geneva. According to its programme of work, the Committee will review Argentina, Niger, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, and Tajikistan concerning their implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It will also meet informally with nongovernmental organizations and national human rights institutions, and hold other closed meetings.
Committee against Torture
The Committee against Torture (CAT) will hold its 76th Session, in Geneva, from April 17 to May 12, according to its provisional agenda. The Committee will review Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, and Slovakia concerning their implementation on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The CAT will also adopt lists of issues for Burundi, Egypt, and Portugal to address in their reviews.
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.