Human Rights Bodies’ Hearings & Sessions: March 2024

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances in session
Credit: UN Web TV

In March 2024, 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 and Inter-American human rights commissions and courts 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) wil hold a hearing in the case of Ships Waste Oil Collector B.V. and Others v. the Netherlands on March 6. 

At the United Nations, the Human Rights Council will be in session, along with the human rights treaty bodies focused on economic, social, and cultural rights; enforced disappearances; civil and political rights; and, the rights of persons with disabilities. The UN special procedure mandate holders scheduled to carry out country visits in March include the Working Group on mercenaries, to Côte d’Ivoire; the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, to Colombia; the Independent Expert on older persons, to Peru; the Independent Expert on a democratic international order, to the Maldives; and, the Special Rapporteur on cultural rights, to Chile. 

Finally, the OHCHR and special procedures have issued many calls for input with deadlines in March 2024, including for submissions related to: resettlement, the role of workers’ organizations in addressing contemporary forms of slavery, gender and toxics, the right to development, access to information on hazardous substances, discrimination against women and girls, financing and mercenarism, mobile Indigenous Peoples, arms transfers, cyberbullying against persons with disabilities, water management in food systems, unilateral coercive measures, missing persons, digital technologies in the administration of justice, LGBTI people and business activities, civil society and international solidarity, and the relationship between climate change and girls’ right to education. Additional calls for input concern country visits to Denmark and Greenland, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Finland, Sweden, Brazil, the Maldives, and the United States of America. 

African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) is holding its 72nd Ordinary Session from February 12 to March 8. Additional details will be publicized closer to the start of the session. Videos of the opening ceremony and delivery of the judgments are available on the Court’s YouTube channel.

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is holding its 78th Private Ordinary Session, virtually, from February 23 to March 8. The session will not include public participation.

Separately, the ACHPR is seeking inputs to its draft Declaration on the Promotion of the Role of Human Rights Defenders and their Protection in Africa, which may be submitted by March 31. [ACHPR Press Release]

European Committee of Social Rights

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) will hold its 340th Session from March 18 to 22. The agenda and synopsis of the session will be posted on the Committee’s webpage after the conclusion of the session.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) will hold its 165th Ordinary Session from March 7 to 22. Additional information will be available closer to the start of the session.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is holding its 189th Period of Sessions from February 26 to March 7, in person at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. During the session, the IACHR is holding public hearings concerning issues of concern and pending complaints. [IACHR Press Release] The IACHR has also convened three hearings at its own initiative, to address judicial independence, the situation of human rights defenders, and the human rights of older people.

UN Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is holding its 55th regular session from February 26 to April 5, in Geneva. According to its agenda, the Council will hear the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as other reports by the OHCHR, Secretary-General, and special procedure mandate holders on specific countries and topics. The documentation for the session is available online. The Council will appoint mandate holders to various special procedures, including those focused on the rights of Indigenous peoples, a democratic and equitable international order, the situation of human rights in Mali, a healthy environment, climate change, truth and justice, peaceful assembly and association, the rights of peasants, and the use of mercenaries. The Council will consider and adopt the final outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Russia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, and Uzbekistan.

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 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers (CMW) have issued a call for submissions on a concept paper for a joint General Comment/Recommendation on the obligations of State parties concerning public policies to address xenophobia and its impact on migrants, their families, and other non-citizens affected by racial discrimination.

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) is holding its 75th Session from February 12 to March 1 in person in Geneva. The Committee will hold constructive dialogues with Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Mauritania, Romania, and Sweden, in addition to conducting follow-up to its concluding observations concerning Belgium and Kuwait.

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) is holding its 26th Session from February 19 to March 1, in person in Geneva. Its program of work includes holding a constructive dialogue with Cambodia, adopting the list of issues for Malawi, and conducting follow-up to its concluding observations concerning Panama. In addition, the CED will adopt a list of issues in absence of a report from Belize, and consider additional information submitted by Burkina Faso and Honduras.

Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee will hold its 140th Session from March 4 to 28, in Geneva with hybrid participation. It will consider the reports of Chile, Guyana, Indonesia, Namibia, Serbia, Somalia, and the United Kingdom, concerning their implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee will also adopt lists of issues concerning the reports of Mongolia and Vietnam, as well lists of issues prior to the reports of Andorra, Azerbaijan, Djibouti, and Mali. The Committee will conduct follow-up to prior concluding observations regarding Finland, Paraguay, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan. The programme of work for the sessions also includes consideration of individual communications, an informal meeting with States parties, and adoption of its annual report.

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will hold its 30th Session from March 4 to 22 in Geneva. The CRPD’s programme of work includes consideration of the State reports of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Sweden, and Zambia, as well as follow-up to inquiry reports concerning Spain and the United Kingdom.

Additional Information

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.