Centre for Civil and Political Rights

UN Human Rights Committee 113th Session

16th March to 2nd April 2015 - Geneva

Overview of the Session

I. Introduction

During its 113th Session (16 March - 2 April 2015), the Human Rights Committee welcomed six new members, elected new Chairperson (Mr Fabian Salvioli) and new rapporteurs for the follow-up to the views and the concluding observations.

The Committee reviewed the reports of the six following States on the implementation of the ICCPR: Cambodia, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cyprus, Monaco, Russian Federation.

The Committee also adopted the List of Issues in relation to the reports of Austria, Benin, Greece, Iraq, Republic of Korea, Suriname

In addition, the Committee discussed the preparatory steps in view of elaborating a General Comment No.36 on the right to life.

31 individual communications were adopted, 14 were found to have violations, 2 with no violations, 10 were inadmissible and 5 were discontinued

The follow-up reports on the State reviews and on individual communications were also adopted.

II. Interview with the new President of the Committee, Mr Fabian Salvioli

During an interview, Mr Fabian Salvioli discussed of his top priorities as the newly elected President of the Human Rights Committee. He also emphasised on the importance of the work of NGOs for the review of State parties' reports and of the follow-up missions which enable the Committee to get concrete results concerning the implementation of their recommendations.

[Read more and find out the President's priorities for his mandate]

III. Review of State Reports

Cambodia: lack of cooperation of the State party hinders the review of its report by the Human Rights Committee

During the review of Cambodia's second periodic report, the Human Rights Committee raised a number of issues including impunity of law enforcement officers, restrictions of fundamental freedoms, violence against women and the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. During the review, the Committee expressed major concerns over the lack of substantial information in the State report and its replies to the List of Issues, and Cambodia's consistent refusal to provide any concrete answers to the questions asked by the experts.

[Read more and find out the recommendations of the Committee]

Ivory Coast: for the first time the Human Rights Committee reviews State report

Questions concerning impunity and enforced disappearances were at the heart of the constructive dialogue between the Human Rights Committee and the Ivory Coast delegation. Several experts voiced their concerns about the lack of prosecution of the crimes committed during the post-electoral period (2010-2011), and the delay of the government to publish the report of the Truth, Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission. On the other hand, the Committee congratulated the State party’s progress with regards to the abolition of the death penalty, and invited the latter to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant.

[Read more (in French) and find out the recommendations of the Committee]

Croatia: the principle of non-discrimination has to be a cornerstone of public policies

Although Croatia had made some progress in the field of gender equality, the Committee highlighted that domestic violence continued to be an important problem and asked what measures are being taken to solve this issue. Lack of participation of minorities in the political life of the country is also another important concern of the Committee, especially with regards to the Croatian Serbs and Roma community. The right to freedom of expression, association and demonstration were also discussed.

[Read more and find out the recommendations of the Committee]

Cyprus: the Human Rights Committee urges Cyprus to change the situation of Turkish Cypriots

During the review of Cyprusss report, the Human Rights Committee repeatedly raised the issue of the treatment of Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus and reminded the Cyprus delegation that the principle of non-discrimination was a cornerstone of international human rights law. The Committee also asked questions concerning unresolved cases of disappearances and living conditions in detention centres during a constructive dialogue that was concluded by Cyprus's affirmation that the respect for human rights is a top priority for the Government of Cyprus.

[Read more and find out the recommendations of the Committee]

Monaco : the Human Rights Committee invites Monaco to ratify the Rome Statute

The Committee encouraged Monaco to become a member of the International Criminal Court and asked what constitutional norms would have to be amended or changed to ratify the Rome Statute. It also highlighted several legislative dispositions that did not comply with the Covenant, including the absence of a definition of torture. The Committee regretted Monaco's reluctance to remove its reservations and interpretative declarations on the Covenant. On the other hand, the Committee took note of Monaco's intention to ratify the First Optional Protocol to the Covenant.

[Read more (in French) and find out the recommendations of the Committee]

Russian Federation : LGBT community rights continue to be ignored

In response to the Committee's concerns about the discriminatory treatment of members of the LGBT community, including a ban on homosexual propaganda, the Russian delegation continued to defend its measures as necessary and proportionate to protect traditional values in Russian society. Several other concerns were raised by the Committee, including the discrimination of Roma minorities, the restriction of freedom of religion in the occupied territory of Crimea and the political interference in the judiciary. On the other hand, the Committee was encouraged by the positive steps taken by Russia to maintain its moratorium against the death penalty.

[Read more and find out the recommendations of the Committee]

IV. Follow-up to the concluding observations and the views

Follow-up to the Individual Communications
On 30 March 2015, the Rapporteur on follow-up Views, Mr. Iwasawa, presented his report on the implementation of the recommendations adopted by the Human Rights Committee in relation to individual communications. The report is based on the information related to the individual complaints, setting out all information provided by States parties and authors or their counsel/representative between June 2014 and January 2015. In that occasion, the complaints were against 16 State parties (Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameron, Colombia, Denmark, France, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Nepal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Spain, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan). Read more on the follow-up to the individual communications

Follow-up to the Concluding Observations
On Monday, 30 March 2015, the Special Rapporteur for the follow-up on concluding observations, Mr. Salvioli, presented his report to the Human Rights Committee. The text adopted contains grades ranging from the highest level of satisfaction (grade A) of the States’ responses to the lowest (grade E). It assesses the recent information received on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations in relation to Jordan, Serbia, Yemen, Lithuania, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Mauritania, Uruguay and Indonesia. Read more Follow-up on the Concluding of Observations

V. Next Session (29 June - 24 July 2015)

The Centre for Civil and Political Rights works to improve the implementation of the ICCPR by promoting and enhancing NGO engagement with the UN Human Rights Committee.

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