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Human Rights Committee to hold one hundredth and ninth session in Geneva from 14 October to 1 November 2013

BACKGROUND RELEASE

10 October 2013

Experts to Review Reports of Bolivia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Mozambique and Uruguay

The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundredth and ninth session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 14 October to 1 November, during which it will review the reports of Bolivia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Mozambique and Uruguay on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

On Monday 14 October, the Committee will hear an address by the High Commissioner for Human Rights or her representative and will also adopt its agenda and programme of work. During the session, the Committee will hear, in closed meetings, from United Nations organizations, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions on the situation in the countries that it will review.

In addition, the Committee will discuss its methods of work and hear progress reports from its Special Rapporteur on follow-up to views and follow-up to concluding observations. The Committee will also consider a number of individual communications in closed meetings and will continue its discussion on a draft General Comment on Article 9 on the right of everyone to liberty and security of person.

Two of the five States parties presenting reports during this session have been previously reviewed by the Committee. Bolivia is presenting its third periodic report of Bolivia (CCPR/C/BOL/3), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on its second periodic report, which was considered in March and April 1997, can be found in (CCPR/C/79/Add.74). Uruguay is presenting its fifth periodic report (CCPR/C/URY/5), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on its fourth periodic report, which was considered in March 1998, can be found in (CCPR/C/79/Add.90).

Djibouti (CCPR/C/DJI/1), Mauritania (CCPR/C/MRT/1), and Mozambique (CCPR/C/MOZ/1) will be presenting their initial reports.

The report of the United States had been scheduled to be reviewed during the session, but it has been postponed until March 2014 at the request of the United States, due to the ongoing government shutdown.

Information on the one-hundredth and ninth session can be found via this link.

Background on the Covenant


The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted by the General Assembly and opened for signature in 1966 and entered into force in 1976. The Covenant begins by stating that all peoples have the right of self-determination. It recognizes that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. It prohibits torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment, and the arbitrary deprivation of life. Anyone arrested is to be informed of the reasons for the arrest, and anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge is to be brought promptly before a judge or another legally authorized person.

The Covenant also provides, among other rights, for freedom of movement, and places limitations upon the expulsion of aliens present lawfully in the territory of a State party. In addition, the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and to freedom of expression are recognized by the Covenant, which also prohibits any propaganda for war or any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred.

States Parties to Covenant


The following 167 States have ratified or acceded to the Covenant: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Optional Protocols to the Covenant


The Optional Protocol to the Covenant provides for the confidential consideration of communications from individuals who claim to be victims of a violation of any rights recognized in the Covenant. The Committee can receive no communications if it concerns a State party to the Covenant that is not also a party to the Optional Protocol.

The following 114 States are parties to the Optional Protocol: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zambia.

The Human Rights Committee is also mandated, under article 41 of the Covenant, to consider communications from a State party alleging violations of the Covenants provisions by another State party. This procedure can be applied when both States recognize this competence of the Committee by a relevant declaration.

The Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant, which aims at the abolition of the death penalty, was adopted by the General Assembly on 15 December 1989 and entered into force on 11 July 1991. The following 78 States have ratified or acceded to the Second Optional Protocol: Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.

Membership of the Committee


The States parties to the Covenant elect the Committee's 18 expert members who serve in their individual capacity for four-year terms. Article 28 of the Covenant requires that "they shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights." They are:

Yadh Ben Achour (Tunisia); Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria); Christine Chanet (France); Ahmad Amin Fathalla (Egypt); Cornelis Flinterman (The Netherlands); Yuji Iwasawa (Japan); Mr. Walter Kalin (Switzerland), Zonke Zanele Majodina (South Africa); Kheshoe Parsad Matadeen (Mauritius); Iulia Antoanella Motoc (Romania); Gerarld L. Neuman (United States); Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom); Victor Manuel Rodriguez-Rescia (Costa Rica); Fabian Omar Salvioli (Argentina); Anja Seibert-Fohr (Germany); Yuval Shany (Israel); Konstantine Vardzelashvili (Georgia); and Margo Waterval (Suriname).

Mr. Rodley is the Chairperson. The Vice-Chairpersons are Mr. Ben Achour, Ms. Motoc and Ms. Waterval. Mr. Flinterman is the Rapporteur.

Programme of Work (Public meetings)

Monday, 14 October

10 a.m. Opening of session, adoption of the agenda, report
of the working group
3 p.m. Third periodic report of Bolivia (CCPR/C/BOL/3),

Tuesday, 15 October

UN holiday

Wednesday, 16 October
10 a.m. Report of Bolivia (continued)
3 p.m. Initial report of Djibouti (CCPR/C/DJI/1)

Thursday, 17 October

10 a.m. Report of Djibouti (continued)
3 p.m. Closed meeting

Friday, 18 October

10 a.m. Closed meeting
3 p.m. Closed meeting

Monday, 21 October

10 a.m. Closed meeting
3 p.m. Initial report of Mauritania (CCPR/C/MRT/1)

Tuesday, 22 October

10 a.m. Report of Mauritania (continued)
3 p.m. Initial report of Mozambique (CCPR/C/MOZ/1)

Wednesday, 23 October

10 a.m. Report of Mozambique (continued)
3 p.m. Fifth periodic report of Uruguay (CCPR/C/URY/5)

Thursday, 24 October

10 a.m. Report of Uruguay (continued)
3 p.m. Draft General Comment Article 9

Friday, 25 October

10 a.m. Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Views
11 a.m. Methods of Work
3 p.m. Closed meeting

Monday, 28 October
10 a.m. Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up
to Concluding Observations
3 p.m. Methods of work

Tuesday, 29 October
10 a.m. Draft General Comment on Article 9
3 p.m. Closed meeting

Thursday, 31 October
10 a.m. Draft General Comment on Article 9
3 p.m. Closed meeting

Friday, 1 November
10 a.m. Closed meeting
3 p.m. Methods of work and announcement of bureau decisions
Closing of the session


The country reports and full list of issues can be found here:
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=624&Lang=en

The concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee will be made available on Thursday 31 October at: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=624&Lang=en.

To learn more about the Human Rights Committee, visit:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CCPR/Pages/CCPRIndex.aspx

To learn more about the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx

To arrange an interview with a Committee member, please contact Kate Fox (+41 (0) 22 917 9398/ kfox@ohchr.org)

For more information and other media requests, please contact Liz Throssell (+41 (0) 22 917 9434/ ethrossell@ohchr.org

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