Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020

Started in May 2016

 

In 2020, the General Assembly will review its 2014 resolution on strengthening the treaty body system.  To prepare for that review, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights has launched an academic research project to look at options for reform and long-term sustainability of the treaty body system.  The academic process is open to all relevant stakeholders, and I encourage all the academics in this audience to become involved. This is a key opportunity to help define the future of the Covenants and the treaty body system.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

The United Nations (UN) human rights (HR) treaty bodies are a central pillar of the international HR protection system. They prevent HR violations by warning states about areas of concern and by advising them on durable solutions that address root causes.

The 2020 Review

Since the establishment of the first UN treaty body in 1970, both treaty ratifications and the treaty body system have expanded significantly. While this has enhanced HR protection worldwide, it has also created complex challenges that affect the system and those who interact with it: states, national HR institutions, UN entities, civil society organizations, individual complainants and rights-holders at large.

On 9 April 2014, the UN General Assembly (GA) adopted a landmark resolution (A/RES/68/268) which envisages a review of the system at GA level in 2020. This review represents an opportunity to further reflect on the treaty body system’s future and develop innovative proposals and solutions without weakening the HR protection that the system currently affords.

Academic Contribution

The Geneva Academy is coordinating the academic input to this 2020 review via the creation of an academic network of independent researchers, a call for papers, a series of regional workshops, annual conferences in Geneva, as well as ongoing interactions with key stakeholders (i.e. states, UN treaty bodies, national HR institutions, civil society, UN entities and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – OHCHR).

Input to the project / Call for Papers

To allow the broadest possible participation of all stakeholders, we invite input to this research project.

All interested researchers, think tanks, institutions, organizations and individuals are invited to submit responses to research questions developed on the basis of General Assembly (GA) resolution 68/268, or additional areas of interest to the review, with the aim of generating the broadest possible range of ideas to enhance the effective functioning of the treaty body system.

Papers should be sent to tbreview2020[at]geneva-academy.ch and will remain in the responsibility of and attributed to their authors.

It is important to note in this context that GA resolution 68/268 and the inter-governmental processes leading to its adoption examined the effective functioning of the treaty body system and did not include questions related to the implementation and impact of treaty bodies' recommendations at the national level. Despite the importance of these questions, the research questions will use the same parameters.

Project's Timeframe

  • Brainstorming meeting: December 2015
  • Outreach to academia; methodology: January 2016–March 2016
  • Call for papers: March 2016– July 2017
  • Regional consultations: April 2016–September 2017
  • Annual meetings in Geneva: 2016–2017
  • Drafting of an overview report detailing the research projects: 2017

Regional Consultations

We intend to hold the following seven regional consultations:

Western Europe 

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The regional consultation for western Europe was held in Dublin, Ireland, 7–8 July 2016, in partnership with University College Dublin.

 

 

Central and South Amercia and the Spanish-speaking Carribean

IIDH

 


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 The regional consultation for South Amercia and the Spanish-speaking Carribean was held in San José, Costa Rica, 19–20 November 2016, in partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, the Inter-American Social Responsibility and Human Rights Institute and Columbia University.

 


Eastern Europe

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The regional consultation for Eastern Europe was held in Moscow, Russian Federation, 18–19 November 2016, in partnership with the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation.

 


Northern America and English-speaking Caribbean


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The regional consultation for northern Amercia and English-speaking Carribean will be held in New York, USA, 1–2 June 2017, in partnership with Columbia University.



Africa

The regional consultation for Africa will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, 20–21 July 2017, in partnership with the University of Nairobi  and the Strathmore Law School, Nairobi.

Asia

The The regional consultation for Asia will be held in New-Delhi, India, October 2017 (tbc).


Middle East


CU logo

The regional consultation for Middle-East will be held in Amman, Jordan, September 2017, in partnership with Columbia University.

 

 

PROJECT'S DOCUMENTS

TEAM

Picture of Robert Kolb

Robert Kolb

Professor of Public International Law at the Law Faculty, University of Geneva

Robert Kolb is a leading expert in international law and international humanitarian law and has published several books and articles on these topics.

Picture of Kamelia Kemileva

Kamelia Kemileva

Executive Manager

Kamelia Kemileva is Executive Manager of the Geneva Academy and Co-Coordinator of the Treaty Body Review 2020. She is also a visiting programme director at Wilton Park.

Picture of Felix Kirchmeier

Felix Kirchmeier

Manager of Policy Studies

Felix Kirchmeier oversees the conceptualization, development and implementation of policy research at the Geneva Academy. He is also Co-Coordinator of the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020.

Picture of Domenico Zipoli

Domenico Zipoli

Research Assistant

Domenico Zipoli is currently investigating the impact and modes of influence which National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) engagement have on treaty body recommendations; and the impact and modes of influence which NHRI engagement with the UN human rights treaty bodies have on domestic human rights standards.

Portrait of Miia Halme-Tuomisaari

Miia Halme-Tuomisaari

Associate Research Fellow

Her areas of expertise include legal anthropology, international human rights, the history of human rights, migration and the UN treaty body system.

Publications

Cover page of the publication

Optimizing the UN Treaty Body Sytem

May 2018

Claire Callejon

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover page of the paper

Diversity in Membership of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

February 2018

Ivona Truscan

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Additional Resources

January 2018

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Diversity in Membership of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

October 2017

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Asia

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Asia

October 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and South Asian university

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Cover of the Report or the Regional Consultation for Asia

Report of the Regional Consultation for Asia

October 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and South Asian university

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Cover of the article

Draft List of Submissions

October 2017

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for the Middle East

Report of the Regional Consultation for the Middle East

August 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Columbia University

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Cover of the Agenda of the Middle East Consultation on Strengthening the Treaty Body System

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Middle East

August 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Columbia University

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Cover page of the report

Report of the Regional Consultation for Africa

July 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Strathmore University and University of Pretoria

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Cover page of the agenda

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Africa

July 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Strathmore University and University of Pretoria

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Cover page of the report

Report of the Regional Consultation for Northern America and the English-Speaking Caribbean

June 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Title of the document

Information Note: Submission to the Meeting of the TB Chairpersons

June 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Northern America and the English-Speaking Carribean

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Northern America and the English-Speaking Carribean

June 2017

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Cover of the Suggested Research Questions

Suggested Research Questions (EN, FR, SP)

January 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the Report of the 2016 Global Conference

Report of the 2016 Global Conference

December 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

Report of the Regional Consultation for for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

December 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Inter-American Institute for Social Responsibility and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Cover of the Agenda of the 2016 Global Conference

Agenda of the 2016 Global Conference

December 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for Eastern Europe

Report of the Regional Consultation for Eastern Europe

November 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation

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Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Spanish-Speaking Carribean

November 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Inter-American Institute for Social Responsibility and Human Rights and Columbia University

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Cover of the Report of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

Report of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

July 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and University College Dublin

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Cover of the Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

Agenda of the Regional Consultation for Western Europe

July 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and University College Dublin

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Cover of the Concept Note

Concept Note (EN, FR, SP)

February 2016

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the Report of the 2015 Global Conference

Report of the 2015 Global Conference

December 2015

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Agenda of the 2015 Global Conference

Agenda of the 2015 Global Conference

December 2015

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

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Cover of the Background Paper

Background Paper (EN, FR, SP)

October 2015

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Cover of the List of Official Documents

List of Official Documents

January 2015

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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NEWS

Cover page of the publication News

Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System

7 May 2018

Our new publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System outlines a series of recommendations related to the functioning of United Nations treaty bodies, considered a cornerstone of universal human rights protection.

Read more >

Session of the UN Committee against Racial Discrimination News

New Paper Examines the Diversity in Membership of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

27 February 2018

Our new paper ‘Diversity in Membership of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies’ examines the composition of UN human rights treaty bodies (TBs) notably in relation to gender balance, geographical representation, as well as TBs members’ subject-matter expertise and professional background.

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Participant in a Geneva Academy's event takes note News

Briefings for States and NGOs on Proposals Emerging from our Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020

28 November 2017

Our Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020 organizes two briefings – one for states and one for NGOs – to discuss proposals that are emerging from the seven regional consultations that took place in 2016-2017, informal thematic and global conferences, continued engagement with members of treaty bodies and an open call for papers.

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Encounter with the High Commissioner for Human Rigjhts during the annual meeting of NHRIs Event

The Paris Principles at 25: How National Human Rights Institutions Have Contributed to Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and What They Can Do in the Future

May 2018, 17:00-18:30

This event will explore the ways in which National Human Rights Institutions contributed to improving the lives of individuals around the world over the past 25 years, and the role they continue to play both domestically and internationally.

Read more

Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Lower Dir disctrict, Kamala village. Those farmers lucky enough to have Training

The Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

2- July 2018

This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights (HR) and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing HR mechanisms.

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Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

1 October - November 2018

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en œuvre.

Read more

Human Rights Council: a general view of the room XX during the 31st regular opening of session, Geneva, Switzerland Project

Universality in the Human Rights Council

Started in January 2015

This project, launched in 2016, examines different concepts of universality, maps contemporary challenges to the principle of HR universality in the context of specific themes covered by the HRC and discusses the role of the HRC in the promotion and protection of universally guaranteed HR.

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Panel Discussion: Project

Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in July 2014

The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

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