At its 108th Session (8 to 26 July 2013) the Human Rights Committee reviewed the reports of six States Parties and adopted Lists of Issues in relation to the reports of six States. It considered 17 Individual Communications, finding 2 inadmissible, deciding 14 on the merits, and discontinuing consideration of one. The Committee also devoted three meetings to its first reading of draft General Comment 35 on article 9 (Liberty and Security of Persons).
In its 3000th meeting the Committee met with just over 60 States parties and had a generally constructive exchange, with several speakers commending the work of the Committee.
For a full overview of the session read the Centre for Civil and Political Rights' Overview of the Session.
II. Review of State Reports
The examination of the second report of Albania (CCPR/C/ALB/2) took place on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 July 2013. The Committee deplored the extent of violence against women, including domestic violence, and the persistence of attitudes which mean that women reporting abuse may be asked what they did to provoke their aggressor. Other areas of concern included conditions of detention and measures to guarantee the rights of detainees, judicial corruption, blood feuds, and the investigation of enforced disappearances. The Committee regretted the absence of national NGOs from the review. Read more...
The situation of the Roma dominated the examination of the third periodic report of the Czech Republic (CCPR/C/CZE/3) on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 July 2013, as it had dominated the previous review, reflecting the lack of progress in this area. Other topics of discussion included loss of legal capacity and the right to vote of persons with disabilities, the continued use of net beds, enforced sterilisation, and the equality of men and women. Read more...
The review of the sixth periodic report of Finland (CCPR/C/FIN/6) took place on Friday 12 July 2013. The Committee welcomed Finland's responses on its investigation of renditions flights. However, concerns remained about the asylum system, particularly the use of the accelerated asylum procedure, discrimination against Roma, women, and LGBTs, as well as the situation and rights of the Saami. Read more...
A large NGO delegation attended the review of the initial report of Indonesia (CCPR/C/IND/1) on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 July 2013. The continued use of the death penalty was a major concern with Committee members particularly stressing that international law only permits the use of the death penalty for the most serious crimes, which does not include drug offences. Freedom of religion was another topic that received great attention, while freedom of expression, reported attacks on human rights defenders, and the situation in Papua were also touched on. Read more...
The review of the second periodic report of Tajikistan (CCPR/C/TJK/2) took place on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 July 2013. Safeguards for persons deprived of their liberty in practice as well as in law, the equality of men and women, freedom of religion, and the functioning of the asylum system were among the issues raised by the Committee. Read more...
A large number of NGOs attended the review of Ukraine's seventh periodic report (CCPR/C/UKR/7) on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 July 2013. The equality of men and women, particularly in the sphere of labour, was discussed at length, with the State delegation asserting that the gender pay gap was partially due to the inability of women to do certain jobs! Military service and the possibility of conscientious objection, discrimination on grounds of sexuality and gender identity, and measures to protect the rights of persons deprived of their liberty were among the other concerns raised by the Committee. Read more...
III. List of Issues
During the 108th session the Committee adopted Lists of Issues on:
These Lists of Issues will shortly be available from the CCPR Centre and OHCHR websites.
IV. Follow-up to Decisions on Individual Communications
Following a decision taken at the previous session, the Rapporteur on Follow-up to Concluding Observations did not present a report during the 108th session.
On Monday 22 July, the Rapporteur on Follow-up to Views presented a report covering the implementation of 47 decisions relating to 25 States.
In the vast majority of these cases no progress had been made towards implementation. In most instances the dialogue between the Committee and the State party remains ongoing, but, worryingly, the Rapporteur decided to discontinue the follow-up procedures in relation to four decisions which remain unimplemented. This is a new development in the Committee's practice, and should be used with extreme caution. It is also essential that it be recorded in the Committee's Annual Report and highlighted during the press conference that the decisions had not been implemented.
On a more positive note, the Rapporteur was able to close the follow-up procedure on two cases, L.N.P. v. Argentina and Dumont v. Canada, due to the satisfactory implementation of the decisions by the State party. Read more...
The CCPR Centre webcast the presentation of this report, which can now be watched on the webcast archive.
V. First Reading of the General Comment on Article 9
Draft text: English, French, Spanish
On Thursday 18 July, Tuesday 23 July, and Thursday 25 July the Human Rights Committee continued its first reading of a new General Comment on Article 9 (Liberty and Security of Person), reaching paragraph 31 in the course of this session.
The inclusion of protection for mental integrity alongside the protection of physical security was broadly endorsed, although the Committee was concerned to ensure that the protection not be interpreted too broadly. In its second meeting, the Committee concluded that it was not merely desirable, but essential that it address the question of detention on mental health grounds and in doing so adopt text in line with the standards established by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In the final meeting at this session, attention focused particularly on the continued 'preventative detention' of individuals who have completed the sentences imposed by a Court. Some concern was expressed about the use of the phrase 'preventative detention' in this context, given the technical use of this phrase to refer to detention before a judgement has been passed in some States.
Where necessary, the Rapporteur will now re-draft the paragraphs discussed. The Committee will resume its consideration of the text at the next session.
Read more about the discussion of the text in the CCPR-Centre's Overview of the Session or watch the webcast of the discussions.
The webcast of the Committee's discussions during the previous session can also be found on the Treaty Body Webcast Archive and a summary is provided in the Centre's Overview of the 107th session.
VI. Next Session
14 October - 1 November 2013 - Geneva