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Effective implementation of international human rights instruments: Development of the human rights treaty system

The promotion and protection of human rights is one of the fundamental aims of the United Nations. The setting of legal standards in the field of human rights and the establishment of mechanisms to monitorthose standards has been one the primary means of achieving this aim. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) was the first treaty body, established in 1969, and the system has grown to include six treaty bodies.As of 2004 a seventh treaty body will begin operation to monitor the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (MWC).

As the system has grown, it has confronted challenges. These include delays in submission and/or consideration of reports, non-reporting, and duplication of reporting requirements among treaty bodies. Improving the effectiveness of the human rightstreaty system has been an ongoing interest of individual treaty bodies, the meeting of chairpersons of human rights treaty bodies, the Commission on Human Rights and the General Assembly. These issues have also been the subject of the Inter-Committee Meeting.

In his 2002 report, Strengthening the United Nations: an agenda for further change, the UN Secretary-General identifies further modernization of the treaty system as a key elementin the United Nations goal of promoting and protecting human rights. He has called on the human rights treaty bodies to consider two measures: first, to craft a more coordinated approach to their activities and standardize their varied reporting requirements; and second, to allow each State to produce a single report summarizing its adherence to the full range of human rights treaties to which it is a party.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights has been requested to undertake consultations on new streamlined reporting procedures, and submit his recommendations to the Secretary-General by September 2003. The views of the treaty bodies, States parties, non-governmental organizations and other partners within the United Nations system are being sought.

Documents


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Title
Language
HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6 Compilation of Reporting Guidelines including the guidelines on common core document and treaty specific reports

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HRI/MC/2008/1 PROVISIONAL AGENDA AND ANNOTATIONS : INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS, 20TH MEETING OF CHAIRPERSONS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES, GENEVA, 26 AND 27 JUNE 2008 : NOTE / BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL E | F | S
HRI/MC/2008/2 REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 6TH INTER-COMMITTEE MEETING AND THE 19TH MEETING OF CHAIRPERSONS : NOTE / BY THE SECRETARIAT E | F | S
HRI/MC/2008/3 REPORT ON INDICATORS FOR MONITORING COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS E | F | S
HRI/MC/2008/4 REPORT ON THE WORKING METHODS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES RELATING TO THE STATE PARTY REPORTING PROCESS : NOTE / BY THE SECRETARIAT E | F | S
HRI/MC/2008/5 REPORT ON RESERVATIONS : INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS E | F | S
HRI/MC/2007/1 PROVISIONAL AGENDA AND ANNOTATIONS : INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS, 19TH MEETING OF CHAIRPERSONS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES, GENEVA, 21-22 JUNE 2007 : NOTE / BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL E | F | S
HRI/MC/2007/2 REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE HARMONIZATION OF WORKING METHODS OF TREATY BODIES, GENEVA, 27 TO 28 NOVEMBER 2006 E | F | S
HRI/MC/2007/6 REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 5TH INTER-COMMITTEE MEETING AND THE 18TH MEETING OF CHAIRPERSONS : NOTE / BY THE SECRETARIAT E | F | S
HRI/MC/2006/6 REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 4TH INTER-COMMITTEE MEETING AND THE 17TH MEETING OF CHAIRPERSONS : NOTE / BY THE SECRETARIAT E | F | S
No symbol The OHCHR Plan of Action: Protection and Empowerment E | F | S
A/59/2005 Report of the Secretary-General "In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all" A | C | E | F | R | S
A/59/254 Report of the sixteenth meeting of chairpersons (including the report of the third inter-committee meeting A | C | E | F | R | S
HRI/MC/2004/3 Draft guidelines on an expanded core document and targeted treaty-specific reports and harmonized guidelines for reporting under the international human rights treaties A | C | E | F | R | S
E/CN.4/2004/98 Effective functioning of the human rights treaty bodies: Note by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights A | C | E | F | R | S
A/58/351 Status of implementation of actions described in the report of the Secretary-General entitled “Strengthening of the United Nations: an agenda for further change” A | C | E | F | R | S
A/58/350 Report of the fifteenth meeting of chairpersons (including the report of the second inter-committee meeting

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A/58/123 Report of a brainstorming meeting on reform of the human rights treaty body system, Malbun, Liechenstein

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Background note on the Secretary-General's proposals for reform of the treaty body system E | F | S
E/CN.4/2003/126 Effective functioning of the human rights treaty bodies: Note by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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A/RES/57/202 Effective implementation of international instruments on human rights, including reporting obligations under international instruments on human rights: General Assembly Resolution

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A/57/488 Management review of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (report by Office of Internal Oversight Services) A | C | E | F | R | S
A/57/387 Report of the Secretary-General “Strengthening of the United Nations: an agenda for further change” A | C | E | F | R | S
E/CN.4/1997/74 Final report on enhancing the long-term effectiveness of the United Nations human rights treaty system, by the independent expert, Mr. Philip Alston A | C | E | F | R | S
A/CONF.157/PC/62/
Add.11/Rev.1
Interim report on enhancing the long-term effectiveness of the United Nations human rights treaty system, by the independent expert, Mr. Philip Alston A | C | E | F | R | S
A/44/668 Initial report on enhancing the long-term effectiveness of the United Nations human rights treaty system, by the independent expert, Mr. Philip Alston A | C | E | F | R | S

Views on the report of the independent expert solicited in 1998 and 2000: E/CN.4/1998/85, E/CN.4/1998/85/Corr.1, E/CN.4/1998/85/Add.1, E/CN.4/2000/98, E/CN.4/2000/98/Add.1