23 July 2021
The Human Rights Committee this afternoon adopted its concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of Togo and closed its online one hundred and thirty-second session.
Committee Chairperson Photini Pazartzis said the Committee had completed yet another productive online session, which included its important role of reviewing States parties. Members, especially those from Asia and the Americas, had continued to navigate difficult time zone differences in order to complete their work, and all had sacrificed their time, energy, and personal comfort for yet another online session. The Committee had completed the review of Togo and adopted concluding observations. The Committee looked forward with much optimism to its return to in-person sessions at the upcoming one hundred and thirty-third session starting on 11 October. However, they would continue to refine their process going forward, and any online review of States parties at the next session would continue to be strictly on a trial and exceptional basis due to COVID-19, should they go back to lockdown and the in-person session not take place. Lists of issues prior to reporting had been adopted for Albania, Canada, Ecuador, France, Mozambique, Timor Leste, and Turkey, as well as a list of issues for Burundi.
The Committee had adopted 47 decisions; 32 were decided on the merits, so-called views, 7 cases were declared inadmissible, and 8 communications were discontinued. Regarding the cases decided on the merits, the Committee found violations in 27 of them. The consideration of only one communication had to be postponed to the next session. The Committee had also adopted a progress report on follow-up to concluding observations for Bangladesh, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, and Switzerland. The Committee noted the remarkable progress by these States parties in the implementation of its focused recommendations, and noted where applicable its concerns.
The Chair said she had also represented the Committee at the thirty-third annual meeting of the Chairpersons of the treaty bodies. She had had an opportunity to consult the Committee and to reflect its continued support to the strengthening of the treaty body system, in particular through the operation of the predictable review cycle calendar since 2020, and through its efforts to harmonise working methods with other treaty bodies.
Before concluding the fourth online session, the Chair said she wanted to take the opportunity to place the work of this session in the context of the work this Committee had done throughout the pandemic. Despite the online setting and the difficult circumstances it had entailed, they had adopted three concluding observations following the constructive dialogues with the delegations of Finland, Kenya and Togo; 42 lists of issues and lists of issues prior to reporting; and 247 individual communications. The Committee had also adopted five follow-up reports to concluding observations and four follow-up reports to views; one substantive statement on derogations from the Covenant during COVID-19; and General Comment 37 on the right of peaceful assembly.
The one hundred and thirty-third session of the Human Rights Committee is scheduled to be held from 11 October to 5 November 2021.
For use of the information media; not an official record