The GHRP Contributes to the Development of the UN Treaty Body Impact Database 2020+

20 April 2021

The Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) is collaborating with the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and the Office of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the development of an online database aimed at assessing the impact of the UN human rights treaty body (TB) system.

The ‘Impact Database 2020+' will be an open-access, online database that allows interested parties worldwide to have access to core sources – documents available in the UN system or at the domestic level – that provide evidence of the direct impact of UN human rights treaties and of decisions taken by the related UN TBs. ‘Impact database 2020 +’ will thus serve as a ‘first-stop shop’ for those who wish to obtain the full picture of impact globally, or on any particular subject, country or geographical area.

An Indispensable Tool for Local Human Rights Actors

This database will constitute an essential tool for all domestic stakeholders working with UN TBs, including civil society organizations and academics. Their direct input to the database and the resulting data made available in digital format are expected to increase domestic ownership of TB processes as well as strengthening the monitoring and follow-up of TBs’ recommendations by all stakeholders of the system.

2021 Focus

In 2021, the research team will develop a network of core partner universities – around 50 with one per country –, which will act as national focal points for the database. Throughout the year, selected national focal points/partner universities will be trained on how to collect ‘country documentation’.

Clinical groups at leading universities such as Harvard, the Geneva Academy, Bristol and others have already started to participate by collecting such information.

At the Geneva Academy, a team of students from the LLM programme is already working on the identification of TB impact in a number of selected countries, under the supervision of Dr Domenico Zipoli and the GHRP team. Furthermore, 20 contacts have already been established through an edited book initiative led by Professors Christof Heyns, Frans Viljoen and Rachel Murray on the impact of the UN human rights treaty system on the domestic level (forthcoming, 2021).

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