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Human Rights Committee hears oral report on follow-up to views

31 October 2012

The Human Rights Committee this afternoon held a brief public meeting in which it heard an oral report from Committee Expert Krister Thelin, the Rapporteur on follow-up to views.

Mr. Thelin said it had been impossible to prepare a normal progress report because of budget constraints and staffing, but he applauded the secretariat for improvising. He would touch upon some of the findings in the draft report and would report on two meetings he had had on follow-up to views with Ukraine and Australia.

There was some good news concerning one case in Argentina after a communication was received from the Governor of a province in Argentina saying that there had been a symbolic reparation ceremony held in April 2009 and the author of the complaint had received $ 53,000 in monetary compensation as well as a monthly pension. This was a step in the right direction, although the case was officially still pending. There were also 16 Colombian cases, ranging from 1982 to last year. Colombia had responded in one submission to all the cases, emphasizing that it had an act in place that allowed monetary compensation to be paid to victims after a pronouncement by an international human rights body, and that it accepted the Human Rights Committee as such. Again, this was a step in the right direction.

Mr. Thelin said it was deplorable that the follow-up progress report that was presented in July had still not been made public. The Committee understood that the translation was holding it up, but he called on the secretariat to ensure that at least the English version was made public before the next session.

There had been a meeting with Ukraine on three outstanding cases, Mr. Thelin said, in which the State party reargued the case and said it had said enough and would not do anything else. He had written this down as an ongoing dialogue with an unsatisfactory result. As for the Australian cases, there were two cases in which the authors were not given a remedy. Australia claimed that the analysis of the Committee was not correct and they maintained their position. There do not seem to be any further way forward. The State party still had to respond in writing, but he did not think they should be overly optimistic, and they would probably have to close the book on those two cases with an unsatisfactory result.

Mr. Thelin said this was probably his last public appearance at the Committee and thanked the Chairperson for her good cooperation and all his colleagues and wished the Committee all success. He also suggested that another Rapoporteur be appointed to take care of the follow-up to views from now until the March session.

Zonke Zanele Majodina, the Chairperson of the Committee, took note of all the developments that Mr. Thelin had recounted and said that the Committee was very sad to see him go. She and other experts expressed appreciation to Mr. Thelin for his good work.

The next public meeting of the Committee will be at 5 p.m. on Friday, 2 November when it will close its one hundredth and sixth session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of the Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal which were reviewed during the session.


For use of the information media; not an official record