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COMMITTEE ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES

Information note for national human rights institutions engagement

The Committee considers that, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), as well as specific national mechanisms with a mandate to promote and protect human rights (e.g. national preventive mechanisms), also have a key role to play in assisting the Committee in fulfilling the different activities that it may carry out in accordance with the Convention. Following the Committee’s decisions 4/III, 5/VI and 6/V the Committee is currently finalizing a document on the relationship with national human rights institutions.

There are several ways in which NHRIs can engage with the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and its work, as described below. To facilitate the interaction, the Committee’s Secretariat liaises with the ICC Geneva Representative Office, which aims at encouraging the national human rights institutions to be more effective in their collaboration with the Committee’s work, including by sharing information, publishing the Committee’s work and advising such institutions about opportunities to contribute.

I. States Parties Reports under Article 29 of the Convention

According to article 29, paragraph 1, States parties are requested to submit a report on the measures taken to give effect to their obligations under the Convention within two years after the entry into force of the Convention for the State party concerned. The deadlines for submission of States parties reports can be consulted at the following link: Timetable of reports due under article 29.1 of the Convention. In addition, pursuant to article 29, paragraph 4, of the Convention, the Committee may also request States parties to provide additional information on the implementation of the Convention.

Following the submission of the report, the Committee shall adopt a list of issues and then review the report in the context of a constructive dialogue held with the State party concerned during a public meeting. To consult the schedule for the review of States parties reports, please visit the Committee’s website (see sessions).

The Committee adopts concluding observations in relation to the reports of States parties that it considers, which include subjects of concern and related recommendations. In these concluding observations, the Committee may also request the State party to submit follow-up information in relation to some of its recommendations (see follow-up to concluding observations procedure).

NHRIs may transmit their inputs to the Committee before and/or after a report is submitted by a State party in accordance with article 29 of the Convention. NHRIs are requested to observe the deadlines indicated in the NHRI information note that will be available on the Committee’s website under the relevant session. Strict respect for those deadlines will ensure the Committee’s attention to the submitted documents. NHRI reports which follow the same form of presentation as the reports submitted by the State party concerned are especially welcome. Inputs can be submitted prior to the adoption of the list of issues and/or the review of the State party’s report. NHRIs may also transmit information related to the follow-up to concluding observations procedure. NHRIs are encouraged to take into consideration the reports by the State party while transmitting their inputs.

II. Reports by NHRIs

All submissions should:

  1. Identify the NHRI (anonymous information is not accepted).
  2. Be relevant to the Committee’s mandate.
  3. Indicate the State party to which the information relates.
  4. Indicate whether the submission should be considered confidential or can be posted on the Committee’s website. All submissions will be posted on the Committee’s website unless identified as “confidential”.
  5. Not contain names of victims, except if related to public cases or if the consent of the victims or relatives is obtained.
  6. Be submitted in English, French or Spanish. As most CED members use English as their working language, documents submitted in French and Spanish should, to the extent possible, be translated into English. Please note that the Secretariat does not translate documents submitted by NHRIs.
  7. Be transmitted to the Secretariat within the deadlines indicated in the NHRI information note that will be available on the Committee’s website under the relevant session.

Suggestions:

  1. Written information should be concise, specific, reliable and objective.
  2. Highlight priority concerns and suggest possible country-specific recommendations.
  3. NHRI reports which follow the same form of presentation as reports submitted by States parties, are especially welcome.

The information/report shall be submitted electronically to the CED Secretariat in both PDF and Word formats to ced@ohchr.org.

Due to the large volume of information received, the Secretariat does not make copies of submissions. Therefore, NHRIs attending a session, if they wish to do so, may bring 15 hard copies of their reports/information for distribution at the meeting.

III. Attending the Session

NHRIs are welcome to attend, as observers (i.e. will not be given the opportunity to address the Committee), the public meetings during which the Committee reviews States Parties reports in the presence of the concerned State party’s delegation.

In addition, during the sessions, NHRI representatives will have the possibility of addressing the Committee during formal meetings (with interpretation in Arabic, English, French and Spanish). These meetings are set out in the programme of work and normally take place at the beginning of the session. NHRIs may also organize informal briefings (without interpretation) with Committee members. These meetings are usually organised from 14h to 15h on the day prior to the examination of a particular State party. There will be a designated room for these briefings. For those NHRI representatives that would like to address the members of the Committee but cannot travel to Geneva, the Secretariat may organize video-conferences.

Please contact the CED Secretariat at ced@ohchr.org, at least one month prior to the beginning of the session, to confirm attendance to a meeting and/or arrange informal briefings with the members of the Committee.  

IV. Accreditation

NHRI representatives wishing to attend a session and/or meet with Committee members are required to be duly accredited. For this purpose, NHRI representatives are requested to fill in the registration form and submit it to ced@ohchr.org at least one month prior to the beginning of the session) so that arrangements can be made with the Accreditation Office for the issuance of the United Nations ground passes to enter United Nations premises. The details for accreditation will be reflected in a NHRI information note that will be available on the Committee’s website under the relevant session. NHRI representatives wishing to hold a video-conference should submit their request to ced@ohchr.org, at least one month prior to the beginning of the session.

Please note that OHCHR will not send letters of invitations to attend CED sessions and that it is unable to assist with travel or accommodation costs relating to their participation as well as with visas to enter Switzerland.

To claim for the ground pass all applicants are required to appear in person at the United Nations Pass and Identifications Unit located at the Palais des Nations, Pregny Gate, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10. A valid national passport or government issued ID bearing a photograph will be required when collecting the ground pass. UN Pregny Gate office hours are 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. NHRI representatives must bring their passports or identification cards every time they wish to enter UN premises.

V. Documentation

To consult the States parties reports submitted, the dates and sessions during which the said reports are scheduled to be reviewed as well as the agenda and other documents related to the sessions of the Committee, please visit the Committee’s website (see sessions).

VI. Additional Competences of the Committee

The Convention gives the Committee additional competences, namely:

  • To receive and consider urgent requests that a disappeared person should be sought and found as provided for in article 30 of the Convention. The guidance and model form for a request for urgent action by the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED/C/4) are available online. All requests should be sent to: TB-petitions@ohchr.org, ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org.
  • To receive and consider individual communications from or on behalf of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation by a State party of provisions under the Convention. Communications are only received when they concern a State party that has accepted the competence of the Committee under article 31 of the Convention. The guidance and model form for submission of individual communications to the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED/C/5) are available online. All individual complaints should be sent to: TB-petitions@ohchr.org, ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
  • To conduct country visits to a State party when it receives reliable information indicating that a State party is seriously violating the provisions of the Convention as provided for in article 33 of Convention. All relevant information should be sent to: ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
  • To urgently address the General Assembly when it receives information which appears to contain well-founded indications that enforced disappearance is being practiced on a widespread or systematic basis in the territory under the jurisdiction of a State party as provided for in article 34 of the Convention. All relevant information should be sent to: ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org

VII. Additional Information

What is a UN human rights treaty body? - http://goo.gl/5qmti

Factsheet No. 6 on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Rules of procedure of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED/C/1)

Methods or work of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Contact Information:

Secretariat of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Tel. +41.22.917.92.56
Fax. +41.22.917.90.08
E-mail: ced@ohchr.org
Mailing address: UNOG-OHCHR, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

E-mail addresses:

For the submission of information / reports: ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org

For requests of urgent actions and individual complaints:  TB-petitions@ohchr.org, ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org

For accreditation to the sessions, please follow the instructions under the section “Accreditation” above.

For more information on how NHRIs can participate in the reporting process, please consult the CED Secretariat at the above mentioned contacts; and/or Ms. Liza Sekaggya, National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section, FOTCD, OHCHR, at lsekaggya@ohchr.org; and/or Ms. Katharina Rose, International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, at k.rose.icc@gmail.com

Country-specific information