In October 2023, various regional and universal human rights bodies will hold sessions or hearings to continue their oversight and adjudication of human rights issues. 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, and Inter-American Commission and Court will all be in session. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) does not currently have any hearings scheduled for October.
At the United Nations, the human rights treaty bodies in session are those focused on economic, social and cultural rights; discrimination against women; civil and political rights; and, torture.
The UN special procedure mandate holders scheduled to carry out country visits in October include the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion, to Sweden; the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, to Australia; and the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, 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 October 2023, including for submissions related to: advocacy of hatred based on religion or belief, social development challenges faced by persons with albinism, resettlement, investors and human rights, conscientious objection to military service, decriminalization of homelessness, exploitation of children in the entertainment industry, environmental democracy, and fiscal systems. Several mandate holders are also seeking inputs for upcoming visits to Australia, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Netherlands, Ukraine, United States of America, and the African Union judicial and human rights organs.
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) will hold its 77th Ordinary Session from October 20 to November 9, in person in Arusha, Tanzania. The ACHPR’s agenda includes discussion of the human rights situation in Africa and consideration of activity reports and the periodic reports of Eritrea and Uganda.
European Committee of Social Rights
The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) will hold its 337th Session from October 16 to 20, at its headquarters in Strasbourg, France. The session agenda and synopsis will subsequently be available on the sessions webpage.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) will hold its 162nd Regular Session from October 9 to 13, in Colombia. During its sessions, the Court holds public hearings in cases and deliberates in private. The agenda for the session is not yet available.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold its 188th Period of Sessions from October 30 to November 10, in hybrid mode. In response to requests, the IACHR will hold hearings in Washington, D.C. and via Zoom on pending cases and on topics of concern in particular countries and in the region. The Commission has announced two ex officio public hearings, on the rights of persons deprived of liberty in Jamaica, and on the social protests in Peru.
Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council is holding its 54th session from September 11 to October 13, in person in Geneva, Switzerland. Among other activities, the draft programme of work and agenda indicate the Council will elect members of its Advisory Committee and appoint 12 special procedure mandate holders. The Council President’s list of proposed candidates and the applications of all candidates are available online.
The Council will also hold annual or biennial discussions related to integration of a gender perspective, the rights of Indigenous peoples, unilateral coercive measures, and youth and human rights, in addition to many interactive dialogues with mandate holders.
The Council is scheduled to adopt the outcome reports from the latest Universal Periodic Review cycle for Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burundi, France, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Tonga, and the United Arab Emirates.
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.
Separately, on October 10, the UN General Assembly will elect 15 members to the Human Rights Council, for the 2024-2026 term.
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.
Additionally, the States parties to the Convention against Torture will meet on October 19 to elect five members to the Committee against Torture.
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) is holding its 74th Session, in person in Geneva, from September 25 to October 13. The Committee’s programme of work includes constructive dialogues with Armenia, Brazil, Chad, France, Qatar, and Palestine. The CESCR will consider the implementation of prior recommendations by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, and Latvia under its follow-up procedure.
Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) will hold its 86th Session from October 9 to 27, in person in Geneva. The Committee’s programme of work includes constructive dialogues with Albania, Bhutan, France, Guatemala, Jamaica, Malawi, Nicaragua, Philippines, and Uruguay.
Human Rights Committee
The Human Rights Committee will hold its 139th Session from October 9 to November 3, in person in Geneva. Its programme of work includes constructive dialogues with Haiti, Iran, Kuwait, Republic of Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, and Venezuela. The Committee will consider the implementation of prior recommendations by Belgium, Czech Republic, Mauritania, and Nigeria under its follow-up procedure; it will also adopt lists of issues for Pakistan, San Marino, and Slovakia.
Committee against Torture
The Committee against Torture (CAT) will hold its 78th Session from October 30 to November 24, in person in Geneva. While the session documents are not yet online, the CAT is scheduled to hold constructive dialogues with Burundi, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, Kiribati, and Slovenia.
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.