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Human Rights Committee holds its one hundred and fifteenth session in Geneva from 19 October to 6 November 2015

BACKGROUND RELEASE

15 October 2015

Experts to Review Reports of Greece, San Marino, Austria, Suriname, Republic of Korea, Iraq and Benin

The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundred and fifteenth session in Geneva from 19 October to 6 November, during which it will review the reports of Greece, San Marino, Austria, Suriname, Republic of Korea, Iraq and Benin on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

On Monday, 19 October, the Committee will hear an address by the High Commissioner for Human Rights or his 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.

During the session the Committee will hear progress reports from its Special Rapporteurs on Follow-up to Concluding Observations and on Follow-up to Views. In addition, the Committee will discuss its methods of work. The Committee will also consider a number of individual communications in closed meetings.

All seven States parties coming before the Committee have been reviewed before.

Greece is presenting its second periodic report CCPR/C/GRC/2. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, which was considered in March 2005, can be found in CCPR/CO/83/GRC.

San Marino is presenting its third periodic report CCPR/C/SMR/3. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the second periodic report, which was considered in July 2008, can be found in CCPR/C/SMR/CO/2.

Austria is presenting its fifth periodic report CCPR/C/AUT/5. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the fourth periodic report, which was considered in October 2007, can be found in CCPR/C/AUT/CO/4.

Suriname is presenting its third periodic report CCRP/C/SUR/3. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the second periodic report, which was considered in March 2004, can be found in CCPR/CO/80/SUR.

The Republic of Korea is presenting its fourth periodic report CCPR/C/KOR/4. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the third periodic report, which was considered in October 2006, can be found in CCPR/C/KOR/CO/3.

Iraq is presenting its fifth periodic report CCPR/C/IRQ/5. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the fourth periodic report, which was considered in October 1997, can be found in CCPR/C/79/Add.84.

Benin is presenting its second periodic report CCPR/C/BEN/2. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, which was considered in October 2004, can be found in CCPR/CO/82/BEN.

The country reports, lists of issues and other documentation relating to the session can be found here.

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 168 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, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, 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, State of Palestine, 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 115 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, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, 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, Guinea-Bissau, 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 81 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, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, 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, Poland, 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:

Mr. Yadh Ben Achour (Tunisia); Mr. Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria); Ms. Sarah Cleveland (United States of America); Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France); Mr. Ahmad Amin Fathalla (Egypt); Mr. Yuji Iwasawa (Japan); Ms. Ivana Jelić (Montenegro); Mr. Duncan Laki Muhumuza (Uganda); Ms. Photini Pazartis (Greece); Mr. Mauro Politi (Italy); Mr. Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom); Mr. Victor Manuel Rodriguez-Rescia (Costa Rica); Mr. Fabian Omar Salvioli (Argentina); Mr. D. B. Seetulsingh (Mauritius); Ms. Anja Seibert-Fohr (Germany); Mr. Yuval Shany (Israel); Mr. Konstantine Vardzelashvili (Georgia); and Ms. Margo Waterval (Suriname).

Mr. Salvioli is the Chairperson. The Vice-Chairpersons are Mr. Iwasawa, Mr. Seetulsingh and Ms. Seibert-Fohr. Mr. Vardzelashvili is the Rapporteur.

Programme of Work

Monday, 19 October

10 a.m. Opening of session, adoption of the agenda, report of the working group

10:45 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Ground floor - Review of the second periodic report of Greece
CCPR/C/GRC/2

First floor – Review of third periodic report of San Marino CCPR/C/SMR/3

Tuesday, 20 October

10 a.m. Ground floor – Greece (continued)

First floor – San Marino (continued)

3 p.m. Review of fifth periodic report of Austria CCPR/C/AUT/5

Wednesday, 21 October

10 a.m. Austria (continued)

3 p.m. Review of third periodic report of Suriname CCPR/C/SUR/3

Thursday, 22 October

10 a.m. Suriname (continued)

3 p.m. Review of the fourth periodic report of the Republic of Korea CCPR/C/KOR/4

Friday, 23 October

10 a.m. Republic of Korea (continued)

3 p.m. Closed meeting

Monday, 26 October

10 a.m. General Comment on Article 6

3 p.m. Review of fifth periodic report of Iraq CCPR/C/IRQ/5

Tuesday, 27 October

10 a.m. Iraq (continued)

3 p.m. Review of second periodic report of Benin CCPR/C/BEN/2

Wednesday, 28 July

10 a.m. Benin (continued)

3 p.m. Methods of work

4 p.m. General Comment on Article 6


Thursday, 29 October

10 a.m. Closed Meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

Friday, 30 October

10 a.m. Closed meeting

4 p.m. General Comment on article 6

Monday, 2 November

10 a.m. Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Concluding Observations

11:30 a.m. Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Views

3 p.m. Closed meeting

Tuesday, 3 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

Wednesday, 4 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

Thursday, 5 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

Friday, 6 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Methods of work and public closing of the session


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More information on the Human Rights Committee: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CCPR/Pages/CCPRIndex.aspx

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx

Protecting your rights – pdf guide to the UN human rights committees: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/TB/TB_booklet_en.pdf


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