Members of United Nations Treaty Bodies Discuss the Simplified Reporting Procedure

Workshop participants Workshop participants

20 December 2018

On 10-11 December 2019, members of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs), as well as representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Geneva Academy discussed the so-called simplified reporting procedure (SRP).

This discussion happened at an important moment, as most TBs are only starting to use this procedure. Harmonization will, therefore, be easier as no practice has been firmly established regarding SRP.

Towards a Common Approach

Approaches towards the SRP are disparate. The workshop, co-organized with OHCHR, allowed sharing experiences, identifying good practices, as well as possible elements of a common procedure for all TBs.

‘A common approach to the SRP would facilitate access to the system by its users. States would report in the same manner to all TBs concerned, while National Human Rights Institutions and NGOs would be able to better prepare for the reviews knowing that all TBs function the same way. A harmonized way of reporting via the SRP would also provide an important step towards a coordinated approach to reporting, as pointed out in our report of The Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier, Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform at the Geneva Academy.

Criteria, Implementation, Content and Methodology

The discussion also addressed the criteria for using the simplified reporting procedure, implementation of the procedure by making it the default procedure, and the development of a common methodology and deadlines.

‘Engaging across almost all Committees on this issue covering all rights with a varying number of states which have ratified different treaties is no easy feat. However, all participants stepped up to the challenge and showed a real commitment to ensuring the SRP works for all stakeholders including victims which must hold primacy of place. States also have an obligation to show their commitment by ensuring that the TB system had the adequate resources to implement the international legal obligations’ underlines Orest Nowosad, Chief of Section at the TB Branch of OHCHR.

Integrating Views from Civil Society

Representatives from civil society organizations joined the discussion during the workshop’s session that addressed the information that should be taken into consideration in the simplified reporting procedure and the effective participation of civil society and National Human Rights Institutions.

‘The SRP shifts the entry points for NGOs to the UN TB system. It is therefore crucial that NGOs know when to engage and to submit information – namely at the moment of the elaboration of the “list of issues” by the Committees. While the process seems more technical, it actually offers an additional entry point for civil society to have their concerns heard’ explains Felix Kirchmeier

Informing the Annual Meeting of Chairpersons

The report of the workshop will provide the basis for a secretariat note informing the discussion on the SRP at the next annual meeting of Chairpersons of UN TBs. The report will also be discussed by the various TBs in plenary to encourage them to take decisions on moving forward in a coordinated manner.

‘In light of the upcoming review of TBs by the UN General Assembly, it will be important that TBs show the progress they are making internally towards harmonizing the system’ recalls Felix Kirchmeier

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Panel at the 2022 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platrform News

GHRP Annual Conference Tackles Digitalization and Human Rights

15 November 2022

The 2022 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform addressed the issue of digital connectivity in the field of human rights via an expert meeting in the morning and a public discussion in the afternoon.

Read more

Special Rapporteur name plate at the UN Human Rights Council News

Research Provides Critical Insights to Understand the Impact of Interventions by UN Special Procedures

16 January 2023

Our new working paper Assessment Tool for Special Procedures' Impact Evaluation – Developing an Initial Framework examines how to further develop methodologies to appraise the impact of UN Special Procedures.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Open dump Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

11-15 September 2023

This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.

Read more

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Project

The Universality of Human Rights: Developing Narratives to Help Overcome Polarization

Completed in January 2020

This research aimed at taking stock of and contributing to a better understanding of the above-mentioned challenges to the principle of universality of human rights while also questioning their validity.

Read more

Mine Project

Business, Human Rights and Conflict-Affected Regions

Completed in July 2021

This project aimed at identifying and clarifying policies and practices for states and businesses, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘protect, respect and remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

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

published on January 2023

Jonathan Andrew

Read more