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Human Rights Committee to hold one hundred and twentieth session in Geneva from 3 to 28 July 2017

Human Rights Committee  
BACKGROUND RELEASE

29 June 2017

Committee to Consider Reports of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Honduras, Mongolia, Madagascar and Pakistan, and Situation in Swaziland in the Absence of a Report

The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundred and twentieth session in Geneva from 3 July to 28 July 2017, during which it will review the efforts of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Honduras, Mongolia, Swaziland, Madagascar and Pakistan to implement the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  The situation in Swaziland will be reviewed in the absence of a report but in the presence of a delegation.

At its opening meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, 3 July, the Committee will hear an address from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or his representative, and adopt its agenda and programme of work.

The Committee will discuss the situation in the countries under review with United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations in closed meetings, and will also consider individual communications. 

On Thursday, 20 July the Committee will meet with States parties to the International Covenant in a public meeting.  In other public meetings that will be held during the session, the Committee will continue discussing a draft General Comment on article 6 on the right to life, consider the progress report of the Special Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations, and discuss draft Rules of Procedures and its methods of work.

The Committee’s dialogues with the delegations will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the ground floor conference room at the Palais Wilson, and will be webcast live.  Detailed meetings coverage in English and French can be found on the United Nations Information Service’s webpage

Switzerland is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/CHE/4); the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on its third periodic report, discussed in October 2009, are available here: CCPR/C/CHE/CO/3.

Liechtenstein is presenting its second periodic report (CCPR/C/LIE/2).  The concluding observations on Liechtenstein’s initial report, considered in July 2004, can be found here: CCPR/CO/81/LIE.

Honduras is presenting its second periodic report (CCPR/C/HND/2), while the Committee’s concluding observations on its initial report, discussed in October 2006, are available in this document: CCPR/C/HND/CO/1.

Mongolia is presenting its sixth periodic report (CCPR/C/MNG/6), and the concluding observations on its  fifth periodic report, which the Committee considered in April 2011, can be read here: CCPR/C/MNG/CO/5.

Madagascar is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/MDG/4).  The concluding observations on Madagascar’s third periodic report, considered in March 2007, can be found here: CCPR/C/MDG/CO/3.

Pakistan is presenting its initial report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR/C/PAK/1).

The situation in Swaziland will be reviewed in the absence of a report, but in the presence of a delegation.

Further information about the session including the country reports and other documents before the Committee are available on the session’s webpage, where the concluding observations of the Committee on each State party will also be published after 28 July 2017.

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 169 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, Sao Tome and Principe, 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 116 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, Sao Tome and Principe, 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 84 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, Dominican Republic, 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, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

Membership of the Committee


The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts who are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights.  Members are elected for a term of four years by States parties.  They serve in their personal capacity and may be re-elected if nominated.  The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Ms. Tania María Abdo Rocholl (Paraguay); Mr. Yadh Ben Achour (Tunisia); Mr. Koita Bamariam (Mauritania); Ms. Sarah Cleveland (United States of America); Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France); Mr. Ahmad Amin Fathalla (Egypt); Mr. Christof Heyns (South Africa); Mr. Yuji Iwasawa (Japan); Ms. Ivana Jelić (Montenegro); Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris (Latvia); Marcia Kran (Canada); Mr. Duncan Laki Muhumuza (Uganda); Ms. Photini Pazartis (Greece); Mr. Mauro Politi (Italy); Mr. José Manuel Santos Pais (Portugal); Ms. Anja Seibert-Fohr (Germany); Mr. Yuval Shany (Israel); and Ms. Margo Waterval (Suriname).

Yuji Iwasawa is the Committee Chairperson, Ahmad Amin Fathalla, Ivana Jelić and Yuval Shany are Vice-chairpersons, and Margo Waterval is the Rapporteur.

Programme of Work

Monday, 3 July
10 a.m.         Opening of the session, adoption of the agenda
10.45            Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Report of Switzerland CCPR/C/CHE/4
Tuesday, 4 July
10 a.m.         Switzerland (continued)
3 p.m.          Report of Liechtenstein CCPR/C/LIE/2
Wednesday, 5 July
10 a.m.         Lichtenstein (continued)
3 p.m.          Report of Honduras CCPR/C/HND/2
Thursday, 6 July
10 a.m.         Honduras (continued)
3 p.m.          Report of Mongolia CCPR/C/MNG/6
Friday, 7 July
10 a.m.         Mongolia (continued)
3 p.m.          Swaziland (in the absence of a report)
Monday, 10 July
10 a.m.         Swaziland (continued)
12 p.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Report of Madagascar CCPR/C/MDG/4
Tuesday, 11 July
10 a.m.         Madagascar (continued)
3 p.m.          Report of Pakistan CCPR/C/PAK/1
Wednesday, 12 July
10 a.m.         Pakistan (continued)
3 p.m.          Pakistan (continued)
Thursday, 13 July
Closed meetings
 
Friday, 14 July
10 a.m.         General Comment on Article 6
3 p.m.          Closed meeting
Monday, 17 July
10 a.m.         Follow-up to Concluding Observations (public); Draft Rules of Procedure (public); Methods of Work (closed)
3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Tuesday, 18 July
Closed meetings
 
Wednesday, 19 July
10 a.m.         General Comment on Article 6
3 p.m.          Closed meeting
 
Thursday, 20 July
10 a.m.         General Comment on Article 6
3 p.m.          Methods of Work
4.30 p.m.      Meeting with States parties (Palais des Nations Room XVII)
 
Friday, 21 July
Closed meetings
 
Monday, 24 July
Closed meetings
 
Tuesday, 25 July
Closed meetings
Wednesday, 26 July
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Methods of Work
4 p.m.          Draft Rules of Procedure
 
Thursday, 27 July
Closed meetings
 
Friday, 28 July
10 a.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.          Methods of Work and public closing of the meeting
 
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For use of the information media; not an official record

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