Centre for Civil and Political Rights

UN Human Rights Committee 114th Session

29th June to 24th July 2015 - Geneva

Overview of the Session

In Brief

At its 114th session (29th June to 24th July 2015), the Human Rights Committee reviewed the reports of seven States on the implementation of the ICCPR: Canada, France, Macedonia, Spain, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

The Committee also adopted the Lists of Issues in relation to the reports of five States: Costa Rica, Namibia, Rwanda, Slovenia, and South Africa and the List of Issues Prior to Reporting in relation to Belarus, Bulgaria and El Salvador.

The text adopted on the Follow-up to Concluding Observations assesses the recent information received on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations in relation to Norway, Portugal, China Hong Kong, Bolivia, Djibouti and the USA.

In addition, the Committee held a half-day of general discussion focusing on article 6 (Right to Life) of the ICCPR, in preparation for drafting a new General Comment. Finally, the Committee had a Meeting with the State parties.

32 individual communications were adopted, 17 were found to have violations, 6 with no violations, 4 were inadmissible and 5 were discontinued. [Read more]

I. Review of State Reports

Canada: Human Rights Committee reminds Canada that companies must respect human rights

Questions concerning the Committee’s interim measures and corporate social responsibility were at the heart of the dialogue between the Human Rights Committee and Canada. The Canadian delegation justified its refusal to respect the interim measures by arguing that the Committee’s views were not binding. However, the Committee reminded Canada that its refusal to respect its interim measures was a violation of its obligation to apply in good faith the Individual Communication procedure under the First Optional Protocol.

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

France: Security policies and minority rights at the centre of the discussion

The review of France was structured around the themes of minority rights and security. The theme of minorities was treated through the lens of secularism, discrimination and the reservations made by France to Article 27 of the ICCPR. Issue related to security policy were also discussed, particularly in relation to police abuses and the fight against terrorism.

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

Macedonia: State considers a mechanism to implement Committee’s recommendations

During the review of Macedonia’s third periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, the Committee highlighted restrictive laws on abortion and LGBTI. Domestic violence, discrimination, treatment in detention and preventive mechanisms against torture were of essential importance to the Committee. Other issues raised included surveillance, trafficking, corporal punishment and the lack of independence of the judiciary.

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

Spain: Committee reiterates its concern about the impunity for Franco era crimes

During the sixth periodic review of Spain, the Committee reiterated issues raised at previous occasions, such as the impunity and failure to investigate the crimes of the Franco regime and the question of torture. Similarly, the Committee's experts showed great concern about the situation of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers, especially in Ceuta and Melilla borders with Morocco and the violence used against them.

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

United Kingdom: Concern for respect of the right to privacy

During the review of the United Kingdom’s report, the delegation was rigorously questioned on several issues concerning the implementation of the Covenant, including the right to privacy, stop and search powers, the definition of terrorism, prison conditions and abortion rights in Northern Ireland. A discussion also ensued on the extraterritorial application of the Covenant to anyone within the power or effective control of the UK.

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

Uzbekistan: Government maintains that no further investigation of the Andjian Massacre is needed

The issue of torture, notably the definition in legislation and prevalence in places of detention featured prominently during the review of Uzbekistan by the Committee. Other issues raised included the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty more generally including extension of prison sentences and deaths in custody, discrimination against Roma, forced labour and treatment of refugees. The Committee also posed numerous questions on the 2005 Andijan Massacre.

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

Venezuela: A review under a climate of tension

Several questions were raised at the review of Venezuela, such as the prisons conditions and the process by which ancestral lands of indigenous peoples are demarcated. However, some of the issues that raised most concern were the lack of judicial independence, attacks on human rights defenders, violations of the right to freedom of expression and information, as well as the numerous arrests that occurred during demonstrations in 2014.

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

II. Follow-up to the concluding observations

On the 13th July 2015, the Special Rapporteur on follow-up Concluding Observations, Ms. Sarah Cleveland, presented her report to the Human Rights Committee. The text adopted contains grades ranging from the highest level of satisfaction of the States’ responses (grade A) to grade D. It assesses the recent information received on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations in relation to Norway, Portugal, China Hong Kong, Bolivia, Djibouti and the USA. [Read more]

III. Half day discussion on the draft of the General Comment on the right to life

On the 14th of July 2015, the Human Rights Committee held a half day of general discussion in preparation for a General Comment on article 6 (Right to life) of the ICCPR. The purpose of the Committee’s general comments is to provide appropriate and authoritative guidance to States Parties and other actors on the measures to be adopted to ensure full compliance with the rights protected under the Covenant. [Read more]

IV. Next session (19 October - 6 November 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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