Treaty Bodies’ Individual Communication Procedures: Providing Redress and Reparation to Victims of Human Rights Violations

Treaty Bodies’ Individual Communication Procedures: Providing Redress and Reparation to Victims of Human Rights Violations addresses the handling of individual communications, tackles efficiency questions related to this procedure and outlines a series of key recommendations to improve the system, including the creation of a registry to provide substantive legal support to UN treaty bodies.

This report examines an essential aspect of the work of UN treaty bodies which, unlike state reporting, has received insufficient attention despite representing an import¬ant mechanism to enforce victims’ rights and ensure that national laws are in line with international standards.

The publication identifies four challenges that currently prevent individual communication procedures from providing relief to victims of human rights violations – accessibility and visibility, stakeholder’s participation, universal use and structural difficulties – and provides specific recommendations to address these challenges.

For each challenge, it discusses the current shortcomings of the system, including for instance the issue of reprisals against those filing complaints; the need to modernize the Petitions and Urgent Action Section of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; or the issue of coordination and harmonization among the various treaty bodies and complaint procedures.

AUTHORS

Portrait of Claire Callejon

Claire Callejon

Associate Research Fellow

Her areas of expertise include international human rights law, the United Nations Human Rights machinery and refugee law.

Picture of Kamelia Kemileva

Kamelia Kemileva

Picture of Felix Kirchmeier

Felix Kirchmeier

Manager of Policy Studies and Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Felix Kirchmeier oversees the conceptualization, development and implementation of policy research at the Geneva Academy. He is also the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

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New Publication Provides Guidance to Improve the UN Human Rights Individual Complaints Mechanism

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Our new publication addresses the handling of individual communications, tackles efficiency questions related to this procedure and outlines a series of key recommendations to improve the system, including the creation of a registry to provide substantive legal support to United Nations treaty bodies.

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