Category Archives: monthly overview

Human Rights Bodies’ Sessions & Hearings: August 2020

Committee on Enforced Disappearances
Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Committee on Enforced Disappearances meets virtually
Credit: UN Web TV

In August, the African human rights court and commission, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) will be in session, virtually. The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) will continue the online session it began in May, in order to allow members to continue their work remotely.

The Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee and Working Group on Communications have postponed their scheduled meetings from August 2020 to February 2021, per the Council’s homepage and Working Group webpage. Although the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues and Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures have country visits currently scheduled for August (to Paraguay and Venezuela, respectively), it is not clear whether they will proceed.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the scheduling and format of supranational human rights bodies’ sessions and other activities. The IJRC monthly overviews have detailed these changes, beginning in April 2020. For an overview of the changes in human rights oversight caused by the pandemic, see our July post on OpenGlobalRights. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar. Read more

Human Rights Bodies: Schedule and Procedural Changes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic (July 2020)

First hearing of the ECtHR by videoconference
Credit: ECtHR via Twitter

Universal and regional human rights oversight bodies are beginning to hold virtual sessions, following postponements and cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since mid-March 2020, almost all human rights bodies started suspending their meetings and travel through at least June, with the United Nations treaty bodies postponing all in-person meetings through August 2020. Quarantine measures in many of the bodies’ host countries are further impacting the way staff and appointed experts can carry out their work. However, many human rights bodies have adopted measures that will enable them to continue some of their work remotely. On May 1, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights became the first human rights body to announce that it would hold a virtual period of sessions in July 2020. This month, several regional universal and regional human rights bodies will meet virtually, including the African Commission and Peoples’ Rights, which will swear in four new commissioners during its session.

As more information becomes available in the month of July, this post will be updated. For future or past monthly updates on human rights bodies’ schedule & procedural changes, see the IJRC monthly overviews. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar. Read more

Human Rights Bodies: Schedule & Procedural Changes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic (June 2020)


IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI Persons participates in virtual panel on the “Recognition of Gender Identity in Latin America”
Credit: IACHR via Twitter

Universal and regional human rights oversight bodies have postponed or cancelled their upcoming sessions and suspended some procedural deadlines as a result of the developing COVID-19 pandemic, while striving to maintain other activities. Beginning in mid-March 2020, almost all human rights bodies have suspended their meetings and travel through at least June, with the United Nations treaty bodies postponing all in-person meetings through August 2020. Moreover, quarantine measures in many of the bodies’ host countries are further impacting the way staff and appointed experts can carry out their work. Many human rights bodies have adopted measures that will enable them to continue some of their work remotely and some have begun to hold virtual meetings. On May 1, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights became the first human rights body to announce that it would hold a virtual period of sessions in July 2020.

As more information becomes available in the month of June, this post will be updated. For future or past monthly updates on human rights bodies’ schedule & procedural changes, see the IJRC monthly overviews. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.

*Last updated June 1, 2020

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Human Rights Bodies: Schedule & Procedural Changes Amid Covid-19 Pandemic (May 2020)

European Committee of Social Rights meets via video conference
Credit: ECSR

Universal and regional human rights oversight bodies have postponed or cancelled their upcoming sessions and suspended some procedural deadlines as a result of the developing COVID-19 pandemic, while striving to maintain other activities. Beginning in mid-March 2020, almost all human rights bodies have suspended their meetings and travel through at least May, with the European Court of Human Rights extending its exceptional measures to June 2020. Moreover, quarantine measures in many of the bodies’ host countries are further impacting the way staff and appointed experts can carry out their work. Some human rights bodies have adopted measures that will enable them to continue some of their work remotely and some have already held virtual meetings. On May 1, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights became the first human rights body to announce that it will hold a virtual period of sessions in July 2020.

As more information becomes available in the month of May, this post will be updated. For future or past monthly updates on human rights bodies’ schedule & procedural changes, see the IJRC monthly overviews. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.

*Last updated May 26, 2020

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Human Rights Bodies: Schedule & Procedural Changes amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Joint virtual briefing for Member States on the COVID-19 pandemic
Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Universal and regional human rights oversight bodies have postponed or cancelled their upcoming sessions and suspended some procedural deadlines as a result of the developing COVID-19 pandemic, while striving to maintain other activities. Beginning in mid-March 2020, almost all human rights bodies have suspended their meetings and travel through at least April, with the European Court of Human Rights extending its exceptional measures to June 2020 and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to May 20, 2020. Moreover, quarantine measures in many of the bodies’ host countries are – or soon will be – further impacting the way staff and appointed experts can carry out their work. While most human rights bodies can continue some of their work remotely, no plans have yet been implemented to enable any body to virtually conduct sessions, dialogues with States, or fact-finding visits through technology or other means. As more information becomes available, this post will be updated. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.

*Last updated April 23, 2020 

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March 2020: UN Treaty Bodies, Human Rights Council, and Regional Bodies in Session

European Committee of Social Rights
Credit: Council of Europe

In March, universal and regional human rights bodies and experts will assess States’ compliance with their human rights obligations through the consideration of State and civil society reports and country visits. Five United Nations treaty bodies and two pre-sessional working groups will be in session to assess States’ progress regarding economic, social and cultural rights; children’s rights; civil and political rights; the rights of persons with disabilities; and, migrants’ rights. The Human Rights Council will continue to hold its first of three regular sessions in 2020. Seven UN special procedures will conduct country visits in March. Additionally, two UN Working Groups will hold sessions in Geneva, Switzerland. Regionally, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) will hold public sessions. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will also hold a Grand Chamber hearing.

The UN treaty body sessions, the ECtHR’s Grand Chamber hearing, and the public hearings of the IACtHR and the IACHR may be watched via UN Web TV, the ECtHR’s website, and the IACtHR’s Vimeo page and the IACHR’s YouTube page, respectively. Civil society members wishing to attend sessions should monitor updates related to the spread of the COVID-19 (Corona) virus, which may result in cancelled sessions or meetings and/or additional health checks.

To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar. Read more

January 2020: UPR Working Group and Regional Human Rights Bodies in Session

Human Rights Council UPR Working Group
Credit: UN Photo/Violaine Martin

In January, several universal and regional human rights bodies and experts will assess States’ compliance with their human rights obligations through country visits and the review of individual complaints. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will also be in session and will conduct interactive dialogues with representatives from 14 States. Five UN special procedures will conduct country visits in January. Regionally, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will be holding public sessions.

The UPR session may be watched via UN Web TV, and the public hearings of the IACtHR and the ECtHR may be watched via the IACtHR’s website or Vimeo page and the ECtHR’s website, respectively. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.

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December 2019: UN Treaty Bodies & Regional Bodies in Session

European Committee of Social Rights
Credit: ECSR

In December, universal and regional human rights bodies and experts will assess States’ compliance with their human rights obligations through the consideration of State and civil society reports and country visits. Two United Nations treaty bodies will be in session to assess States’ progress regarding the prevention of torture and the elimination of racial discrimination. Seven UN special procedures will conduct country visits in December. Additionally, two UN Working Groups will hold sessions in Geneva, Switzerland. Of the regional bodies, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR), the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will be in session.

The UN treaty body sessions, the AfCHPR public hearings, and the ECtHR’s Grand Chamber hearings, may be watched via UN Web TV, the African Court’s YouTube channel, and the ECtHR’s website, respectively. To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.

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November 2019: UN Treaty Bodies, UPR Working Group & Regional Bodies In Session

UPR Reports Reviewed
Credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc FerrŽ

In November, universal and regional human rights bodies and experts will assess States’ compliance with their human rights obligations through the consideration of State and civil society reports and country visits. Five United Nations treaty bodies and one pre-sessional working group will hold sessions to assess States’ progress regarding women’s rights, civil and political rights, the prevention of torture, and the elimination of racial discrimination. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will also be in session and will conduct interactive dialogues with representatives from 14 States. Ten UN special procedures will conduct country visits in November. Additionally, two UN Working Groups will hold sessions in Geneva, Switzerland. Of the regional bodies, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) will be in session.

The UN treaty body sessions may be watched via UN Web TV. The public hearings of the IACtHR and the IACHR may be viewed via the IACtHR’s Vimeo page and the IACHR’s YouTube page, respectively.

To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.

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