Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in January 2014

The United Nations (UN) human rights (HR) treaty bodies (TBs) 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. With the first TB created in the 1970s, the system has continuously grown, currently comprising 10 TBs and around 180 independent experts. Yet, coordination and possibilities for interaction in the system are limited, posing the danger of fragmentation or even contradiction in the output of these mechanisms.

CONNECTING EXPERTS

Launched in 2014 and hosted by the Geneva Academy, the Treaty Body Members’ Platform (TBMP) connects experts in UN TBs with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

ADDRESSING KEY ISSUES

An average of ten meetings is organized every year allowing UN TB experts to reach out to other Geneva-based actors and apply their expertise to relevant discussions in the fields of sustainable development, migration, access to justice, humanitarian action, refugee law, disarmament, arms control or international humanitarian law.

TEAM

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.

Picture of Domenico Zipoli

Domenico Zipoli

Research Fellow

His research focuses on the question of connectivity among international human rights mechanisms and on national strategies for monitoring, implementation and follow-up of international human rights obligations and recommendations.

Picture of Kamelia Kemileva

Kamelia Kemileva

Senior Consultant

Kamelia Kemileva is an external consultant on selected mandates related to the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

OUTPUT

2020: A Special Year

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most meetings and exchanges took place online. In this context, the TBMP organized in a record time one of the first online meetings of the system – along with the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University Law School – that brought together UN TBs Chairpersons and focal points for the 2020 Review to discuss issues around this review, and establish the commonalities of positions of states, TBs members, NGOs and academia.

The TBMP also organized, during this period, discussions ranging from the impact of pesticides on the rights to health and life to concrete ways on how to bring corruption cases to the various TBs individual communication procedures. It also supported discussions on the work of TBs during the pandemic and how TBs can coordinate their working methods in the ongoing situation of online meetings.

2019: The Rights of Child, Corruption and the 2020 Review

In 2019, the TBMP allowed peer exchanges among UN TBs experts and other Geneva-based actors on issues like the rights of the child, corruption, the 2020 review of UN TBs, missing persons, trafficking and prostitution, as well as individual complaints.

2018: The Harmonization of UN TBs

Activities of the TBMP in 2018 included discussions on the harmonization of TBs, exchanges among peers and with external experts and other institutions on thematic issues, and briefings on the 2020 review of TBs by the UN General Assembly.

In collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), several workshops involving members of all TBs addressed key harmonization issues like the simplified reporting procedure and the handling of individual communications.

2017: Indigenous women, business and human rights and the relationship with national human rights institutions

In 2017, the TBMP enabled experts from various treaty bodies (TBs) – the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Committee against Torture (CAT), the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families – to discuss a range of issues among themselves as well as with external experts and practitioners.

These included the rights of indigenous women, business and human rights, non-refoulment, individual complaint mechanisms and the relationship between treaty bodies and national human rights institutions.

2016: Sustainable Development Goals, the right to life and enforced disappearances, implementation and remedies, and treaty bodies’ inquiry procedures

In 2016, experts from the HRC, the CESCR, the CEDAW, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the CRC, the CAT and the CRPD discussed a range of issues among themselves as well as with external experts and practitioners.

These included human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the right to life and enforced disappearances, implementation and remedies, and treaty bodies’ inquiry procedures.

NEWS AND EVENTS

View of a session of the UN Human Rights Committee News

The Treaty Body Members Platform in 2020: A Special Year

18 December 2020

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most meetings and exchanges had to take place online.

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A meeting at the Geneva Academy News

The Treaty Body Members Platform in 2019

20 December 2019

The 2019 meetings focused on the rights of the child, corruption, the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies, missing persons, trafficking and prostitution, as well as individual complaints.

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Participants in a meeting of the UN Treaty Body members Platform News

The Treaty Body Members Platform in 2018

14 January 2019

Activities of the TBMP in 2018 included discussions on the harmonization of TBs, exchanges among peers and with external experts and other institutions on thematic issues, and briefings on the 2020 review of TBs by the UN General Assembly.

Read more >

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