Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in January 2014

The United Nations (UN) human rights (HR) treaty bodies (TBs) are a central pillar of the international HR protection system. They prevent HR violations by warning states about areas of concern and by advising them on durable solutions. With the first TB created in the 1970s, the system has continuously grown, currently comprising 10 TBs and around 180 independent experts. Yet, coordination and possibilities for interaction in the system are limited, posing the danger of fragmentation or even contradiction in the output of these mechanisms.

CONNECTING EXPERTS

Launched in 2014 and hosted by the Geneva Academy, the Treaty Body Members’ Platform (TBMP) connects experts in UN TBs with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

ADDRESSING KEY ISSUES

An average of eight meetings is organized every year allowing UN TB experts to reach out to other Geneva-based actors and apply their expertise to relevant discussions in the fields of sustainable development, migration, access to justice, humanitarian action, refugee law, disarmament, arms control or international humanitarian law.

Guidance to Improve the Harmonization of Reporting and Dialogues

Under this series, the Geneva Human Rights Platform regularly connects online and in-person TB focal points to exchange around working methods and current modalities of reporting and dialogue, with the aim to develop the most efficient, cost-effective and rational modalities for state-party reviews under the eight-year predictable review calendar. These consultations feed into the decisions taken within the official TB sessions and into the implementation plan for the conclusions of the 34th Chairs’ meeting, which is being developed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

2.0 Online Platform

In 2021, we developed and launched a new online tool for all UN TB members, the TBMP 2.0 online platform, a community of practice tool that allows for ongoing online cooperation and communication between TB members. After a first pilot phase, this online platform is opening, as of 2023, to all human rights experts.

As such, this, online platform is now accessible to human rights experts with UN mandates – TB members, Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and staff of their UN secretariats. It provides a private space for communication within and across members of all UN human rights mechanisms. Its main features include live chats, media and document libraries and the creation of forums and discussion groups as needed.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

A meeting of the Treaty Body members Platform at Villa Moynier News

The Treaty Body Members Platform in 2022

12 January 2023

In 2022, the TBMP hosted nine informal meetings for UN TBs, with the participation of UN TBs secretariat staff from OHCHR, along with UN Special Procedures mandate holders and their respective secretariat staff in order to support OHCHR ‘all-mechanism’ approach.

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Orphanage in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe. News

The Geneva Human Rights Platform Accompanied the Adoption of a UN Statement on Illegal Intercountry Adoptions

4 October 2022

Two UN treaty bodies, three UN Special Rapporteurs and the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances issued a Joint Statement on illegal intercountry adoptions.

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A meeting of the Treaty Body Members Platform at Villa Moynier News

The Treaty Body Members Platform in 2021: A New 2.0 Version

7 February 2022

In 2021, the Geneva Human Rights Platform developed and launched a new online tool for all UN treaty body members to interact online as a community of practice, consult each other, collaborate on tasks, connect to share news and information, and contribute material to a resource library

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TEAM

Picture of Felix Kirchmeier

Felix Kirchmeier

Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Felix Kirchmeier is the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Picture of Domenico Zipoli

Domenico Zipoli

Research Fellow and Project Coordinator

His research focuses on the question of connectivity among international human rights mechanisms and on national strategies for monitoring, implementation and follow-up of international human rights obligations and recommendations.

Picture of Stefania Di Stefano

Stefania Di Stefano

Project Officer at the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Her research includes international human rights law, business and human rights, human rights in the digital age, corporate responsibility, and the rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

OUTPUT

2021: Moving Online

In 2021, we launched a new online tool for all UN TB members, the TBMP 2.0 online platform, a community of practice tool that allows for ongoing online cooperation and communication between TB members. This online platform, exclusively accessible to TB members and the UN Committee Secretaries, provides a private space for communication within and across all Committees. Its main features include live chats, media and document libraries and the creation of forums and discussion groups as needed.

Despite the difficult situation related to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on in-person gatherings, the TBMP organized six meetings in 2021. Most focused on the issue of enforced disappearance due to the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

2020: A Special Year

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most meetings and exchanges took place online. In this context, the TBMP organized in a record time one of the first online meetings of the system – along with the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University Law School – that brought together UN TBs Chairpersons and focal points for the 2020 Review to discuss issues around this review, and establish the commonalities of positions of states, TBs members, NGOs and academia.

The TBMP also organized, during this period, discussions ranging from the impact of pesticides on the rights to health and life to concrete ways on how to bring corruption cases to the various TBs individual communication procedures. It also supported discussions on the work of TBs during the pandemic and how TBs can coordinate their working methods in the ongoing situation of online meetings.

2019: The Rights of Child, Corruption and the 2020 Review

In 2019, the TBMP allowed peer exchanges among UN TBs experts and other Geneva-based actors on issues like the rights of the child, corruption, the 2020 review of UN TBs, missing persons, trafficking and prostitution, as well as individual complaints.

2018: The Harmonization of UN TBs

Activities of the TBMP in 2018 included discussions on the harmonization of TBs, exchanges among peers and with external experts and other institutions on thematic issues, and briefings on the 2020 review of TBs by the UN General Assembly.

In collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), several workshops involving members of all TBs addressed key harmonization issues like the simplified reporting procedure and the handling of individual communications.

2017: Indigenous women, business and human rights and the relationship with national human rights institutions

In 2017, the TBMP enabled experts from various treaty bodies (TBs) – the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Committee against Torture (CAT), the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families – to discuss a range of issues among themselves as well as with external experts and practitioners.

These included the rights of indigenous women, business and human rights, non-refoulment, individual complaint mechanisms and the relationship between treaty bodies and national human rights institutions.

2016: Sustainable Development Goals, the right to life and enforced disappearances, implementation and remedies, and treaty bodies’ inquiry procedures

In 2016, experts from the HRC, the CESCR, the CEDAW, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the CRC, the CAT and the CRPD discussed a range of issues among themselves as well as with external experts and practitioners.

These included human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the right to life and enforced disappearances, implementation and remedies, and treaty bodies’ inquiry procedures.

Publications

Cover Page of the publication

The Work of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances

August 2021

Maria Clara Galvis Patiño

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law andf Human Rights

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Past Events

Children in International Migration: Celebrating 5 Years of Joint Action by Two UN Treaty Bodies

28 September 2022

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UN Treaty Bodies: COVID-19 Working Methods

2-3 December 2020

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Students during the orientation week News

79 Students Start their Academic Year

12 September 2022

The 41 students enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the 38 enrolled in our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) arrived in Geneva for their orientation week.

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A session of the PhD Forum predecessor, the Geneva Academy Wednesdays News

The PhD Forum: A Space for Exchange for Researchers and PhD Students

11 November 2022

The Geneva Academy PhD Forum is a space that gathers PhD researchers and experts – in Geneva and beyond – who work in the scientific focus area of the Geneva Academy.

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Event

Mayors, Human Rights and the UN Universal Periodic Review

27 January 2023, 14:00-16:00

This hybrid event, co-organized by our Geneva Human Rights Platform, UPR-Info, OHCHR and UN-Habitat, and the Geneva Cities Hub will discuss human rights implementation at the local and the UPR.

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CSW63 Side Event - “Take the Hot Seat” Intergenerational Dialogue Event

Child Participation in the Work of UN Human Rights Mechanisms

6 February 2023, 13:15-14:45

This Human Rights Conversation will discuss child participation in the work of UN human rights mechanisms and opportunities to move away from today’s reliance on individual organizations or UN representatives’ initiatives.

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Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

27 April - 8 June 2023

This online short course discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

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An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

1 March - 18 April 2023

This online short course analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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Session of the UN Human Rights Committee Project

Treaty Body Review 2020 and Beyond

Started in January 2018

The Geneva Human Rights Platform contributes to this review process by providing expert input via different avenues, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the development of a follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.

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View of a session of the UN Human Rights Council Project

Human Rights Conversations

Started in January 2020

A series of events aimed at discussing contemporary issues and challenges related to the promotion and protection of human rights in Geneva and beyond.

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Cover of the publication Publication

Assessment Tool for Special Procedures' Impact Evaluation – Developing an Initial Framework

published on January 2023

Jonathan Andrew

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