2The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976.The ICCPR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
3The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is monitored by the Human Rights Committee, a group of 18 experts who meet three times a year to consider periodic reports submitted by member States on their compliance with the treaty. Members of the Human Rights Committee are elected by member states, but do not represent any State. The Covenant contains two Optional Protocols.
4The First Optional Protocol creates an individual complaints mechanism whereby individuals in member States can submit complaints, known as communications, to be reviewed by the Human Rights Committee. Its rulings under the first optional protocol have created the most complex jurisprudence in the UN international human rights law systemThe Second Optional Protocol abolishes the death penalty.
5All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Covenant and then whenever the Committee requests (usually every four years). The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations.”
6The Committee meets in Geneva or New York The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as general comments on thematic issues, or its methods of work.
7The Human Rights Committee ;HRC has four main functions: a) to review the implementation of the rights in the ICCPR by considering periodic reports from States Parties;b) to issue General Comments that give guidance in the interpretation of the rights;c) to consider inter-State complaints, i.e., complaints lodged by one State Party against another State Party (there have been none to date); andd) to consider communications (i.e., complaints) from individuals submitted under the first Optional Protocol procedure.
8Civil rights are those rights that constitute free and equal citizenship in a liberal democracy. Political rights entail the power to participate directly or indirectly in the establishment or administration of government, such as the right of citizenship, the right to vote, and the right to hold public office.
9The right to self-determination; the right to life, liberty and security;freedom of movement, including freedom to choose a place of residence and the right to leave the country;freedom of thought, conscience, religion, peaceful assembly and association;
10freedom from torture and other cruel and degrading treatment or punishment; freedom from slavery, forced labour, and arbitrary arrest or detention;the right to a fair and prompt trial;the right to privacy