TB-Net Statement on the 31st meeting of Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies 

On the occasion of a private consultation with civil society at the Chairperson meeting held this week in New YorkIMARD delivered a joint statement on behalf of TB-Net. 

Recommendations focus on:

  • 2020 Review of the Human Rights Treaty Body System: TB-Net believes that the treaty bodies should be seen as one system, all on an equal footing with each other while respecting their independence and the specificity, scope and full set of rights of each treaty. TB-Net recommends that treaty bodies: support an open and transparent review process that allows for direct contributions by civil society; propose/support measures in the 2020 review which increase the promotion and protection of human rights at national level through compliance by States with their human rights obligations; support civil society’s vital role in informing the work of TBs; further align working methods through inter-committee exchanges, increase the predictability of State reviews and the accessibility of the system for all users; Adopt joint guidelines on follow-up and assessment procedures 
  • Quality, Independent and Diverse Treaty Body Membership: promote quality, independent and diverse treaty body membership through open and participatory nominations and elections processes. Call on States to organise open, participatory, transparent and structured national nomination processes; encourage States to ensure that the candidates have high moral standing, recognised competence and experience in the human rights field and are independent, and a diversity of backgrounds; assist States in identifying the most appropriate candidate by recalling the key requirements for treaty body membership and encouraging States to take into account the current composition of the concerned treaty body and its outgoing members as well as the current and potential gaps in expertise, geographical representation and gender balance.  
  • Implementation of the Guidelines against Intimidation or Reprisals (the San José Guidelines): TB-Net welcome the creation of a dedicated page on intimidation and reprisals for cooperation with the TBs on the OHCHR website, following the workshop on reprisals held in December 2018 and calls for further implementation of the recommendations contained in the outcome report. 
  • Financial sustainability of the treaty body system: TB-Net remains deeply concerned by the recent UN budget shortfall in fully supporting the work of the treaty bodies and urges States to properly support the work of the treaty bodies, financially and politically and by taking seriously implementation of the treaty bodies’ recommendations and views. 

The statement also reminds that TB-Net, with Amnesty International and ISHR, is hosting in July an NGO consultation process on TB strengthening to reach out to NGOs at national and regional levels, to keep them informed about the 2020 review process and incorporate the perspectives of users of the system, and the experiences of rights holders. A report will be produced in September.