GENEVA (16 March 2020) - The United Nations Human Rights Treaties Branch has postponed all upcoming treaty body committee sessions until the end of May in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The wellbeing of all treaty body committee members, delegates from State parties, members of NGOs, and our staff is our priority. We must implement special arrangements now that are responsible and in line with the objective of containing COVID-19,” said Ibrahim Salama, Chief of the Human Rights Treaties Branch.
“We are coordinating closely with the World Health Organization and our host country, Switzerland, to check when we can return to normal scheduling,” Salama added, “Despite the postponement of the meetings, we will continue our support for the work of the treaty bodies to safeguard the basic rights of everyone, in particular the most vulnerable.”
The 10 UN human rights treaty bodies are committees of independent experts who monitor implementation of nine human rights international treaties, and optional protocols signed by state parties.
Five treaty body sessions, which had been scheduled in April and May, are affected by the latest arrangements. These include the 18th session of The Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), the 32rd session of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW), the 101st session of The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the 69th session of The Committee Against Torture (CAT), and 85th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). On Friday 13 March, the Human Rights Committee suspended its ongoing 128th session, with two weeks outstanding.
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