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International Human Rights Machinery: Overview of the UN Human Rights System Ben Schokman Lawyer Human Rights Law Resource Centre Ltd

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Presentation on theme: "International Human Rights Machinery: Overview of the UN Human Rights System Ben Schokman Lawyer Human Rights Law Resource Centre Ltd"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Human Rights Machinery: Overview of the UN Human Rights System Ben Schokman Lawyer Human Rights Law Resource Centre Ltd (03)

2 UN Human Rights System Security Council General Assembly Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Human Rights Council Secretary–General and UN Secretariat Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) UN Specialised Agencies Such as UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, ILO and many others -Special Procedures -Universal Periodic Review Treaty Bodies

3 Security Council Responsible for maintaining international peace and security 5 permanent members (with veto powers) 10 non-permanent members International Criminal Tribunals International Court of Justice

4 General Assembly Main deliberative and decision-making organ of the UN Consists of all UN member states All have one vote Currently 192 governmental delegations

5 Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Consists of 54 governmental delegations Carries out the economic and social work of the UN Establishes a number of functional and regional commissions

6 Human Rights Treaties Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women 1979 Convention Against Torture 1984 Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 [International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers 1990] Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006

7 Optional Protocols Expand substantive protection: Second OP to ICCPR (1989) – death penalty OP-CROC (2000) – armed conflict, sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography Further monitoring procedures: First OP to ICCPR (1966) OP-CEDAW (2000) OP-CAT (2002) [OP-ICESCR]

8 Treaty Bodies Monitoring mechanisms Eight operative committees: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Human Rights Committee Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Committee Against Torture Committee on the Rights of the Child Committee on Migrant Workers Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture

9 Procedures of Treaty Bodies Consideration of Periodic Reports  Concluding Comments/Observations Individual Complaints (HRC, CERD, CAT, CEDAW) General Comments Inquiry Procedures (CAT and CEDAW) Visits (SPT) Reform?

10 Why use the international human rights system? To secure the domestic implementation of international human rights standards To use the outcomes of these mechanisms in litigation, policy development and advocacy Civil society plays a crucial role


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