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Human Rights Committee holds its one hundred and seventeenth session in Geneva from 20 June to 15 July 2016

BACKGROUND RELEASE
 
Experts to Review Reports of Denmark, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Ecuador, Burkina Faso and Argentina  
 
GENEVA (16 June 2016) - The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundred and seventeenth session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 20 June to 15 July 2016, during which it will review the reports of Denmark, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Ecuador, Burkina Faso and Argentina on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
 
On Monday, 20 June, 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 bodies, specialized agencies, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations on the situation in the countries that it will review.
 
During the session, the Committee will continue discussing a draft General Comment on Article 6, on the right to life, and address its methods of work.  It will consider the progress report of the Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Concluding Observations and hold a discussion on Follow-up to Views.  The Committee will also consider a number of individual communications in closed meetings. 
 
On 23 June in the afternoon, the Human Rights Committee will hold a joint meeting with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  More information on the year-long campaign entitled “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always" is available at the following link:www.ohchr.org/2covenants
 
Denmark is presenting its sixth periodic report (CCPR/C/DNK/6), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its fifth periodic report, which was considered in October 2008, are available here: CCPR/C/DNK/CO/5.
 
Kuwait is presenting its third periodic report (CCPR/C/KWT/3), and the concluding observations on its second periodic report, which was considered in October 2011, can be access here:  CCPR/C/KWT/CO/2.
 
Kazakhstan is presenting its second periodic report (CCPR/C/KAZ/2), while the Committee’s concluding observations on its initial report, considered in July 2011, are available here: CCPR/C/KAZ/CO/1.
 
Ghana is presenting its initial report (CCPR/C/GHA/1).
 
Ecuador is also presenting its sixth periodic report (CCPR/C/ECU/6).  The concluding observations on Ecuador’s fifth periodic report, presented in October 2009, can be read in this document: CCPR/C/ECU/CO/5.
 
Burkina Faso is presenting its initial report to the Committee (CCPR/C/BFA/1).
 
Finally, Argentina is presenting its fifth periodic report (CCPR/C/ARG/5), while the concluding observations of the Committee on its fourth periodic report, presented in March 2010, can be found here: CCPR/C/ARG/CO/4.
 
The country reports and other documentation relating to the session can be found at the webpage of the hundred and seventeenth session.
 
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. Dheerujlall 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 – Public Sessions
 
Monday, 20 June
 
10 a.m.         Opening of session, adoption of the agenda, report of the working group
                  3 p.m.          Report of Denmark (CCPR/C/DNK/6)
 
Tuesday, 21 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Denmark (continued)
3 p.m.           Report of Kuwait (CCPR/C/KWT/3)
 
Wednesday, 22 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Kuwait (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Kazakhstan (CCPR/C/KAZ/2)
 
Thursday, 23 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Kazakhstan (continued)
 3 p.m.          Joint meeting with Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
 
Friday, 24 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Ghana (CCPR/C/GHA/1)
 3 p.m.          Report of Ghana (continued)
 
Monday, 27 June
 
10 a.m.         Methods of work
 3 p.m.          Report of Ecuador (CCPR/C/ECU/6)
 
Tuesday, 28 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Ecuador (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Burkina Faso (CCPR/C/BFA/1)
 
Wednesday, 29 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Burkina Faso (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Argentina (CCPR/C/ARG/5)
 
Thursday, 30 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Argentina (continued)
 3 p.m.          General Comment on article 6
 
Monday, 4 July
 
10 a.m.         Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Concluding Observations
 3 p.m.          Discussion on Follow-up to Views
 
Tuesday, 5 July
 
10 a.m.         General Comment on Article 6
 
Wednesday, 6 July
 
UN Holiday
 
Thursday, 7 July
 
10 a.m.         General Comment on Article 6
 
Tuesday, 12 July
 
10 a.m.         General Comment on Article 6
 
Friday, 15 July
 
3 p.m.          Methods of Work, announcement of bureau decisions and closing of the session  
 
For more information and media requests, please contact: Liz Throssell +41 (0) 22 917 9466 / +41 79 752 0488 / ethrossell@ohchr.org

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

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