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Human Rights Committee dicusses methods of work and concludes one hundred and twentieth session

Adopts Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Honduras, Mongolia, Madagascar, Pakistan and Swaziland

GENEVA (28 July 2017) - The Human Rights Committee this afternoon concluded its one hundred and twentieth session after adopting concluding observations and recommendations on Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Honduras, Mongolia, Madagascar, Pakistan and Swaziland, and also adopting the first reading of General Comment on the right to life. The Committee reviewed Swaziland in the absence of a report. 

The Committee discussed its methods of work and in particular the one-year pilot program for repetitive communications procedure established in March 2016, and decided to extend it for another year. 

Concerning the review of the simplified reporting procedure, Yuji Iwasawa, Committee Chairperson recalled that the Committee had adopted in 2010 the list of issues prior to reporting procedure, on a pilot basis; it had also agreed to assess, after five years, the practicability and applicability of the procedure. The review, due in November 2016, had not been undertaken as yet, and the Chair proposed the setting up of a Working Group to undertake this review. Considering that the Committee was one of the two treaty bodies which had adopted this simplified procedure, the review was important as a learning exercise, not only for the Committee, but for other treaty bodies and State parties as well. 

The Committee decided to establish an open-ended Working Group to review the practicability and applicability of the simplified reporting procedure and to appoint Christof Heyns of South Africa as its Chair. 

Closing the Committee’s hundred and twentieth session, the Chairperson recalled that the Committee had reviewed 6 State reports and adopted concluding observations on Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Honduras, Mongolia, Madagascar and Pakistan. Swaziland had been reviewed in the absence of the report and, in light of the detailed written replies to the list of issues and the constructive dialogue with a high level delegation, the Committee decided to consider the written replies as the initial report and it requested Swaziland to submit a common core document in order to facilitate future discussions. 

The Committee had adopted decisions on 37 individual communications and had found that the violations of the Covenant in 17 cases, while no violations had been found in three cases. Eight cases had been declared inadmissible, two admissible, and seven cases had been discontinued. Five lists of issues had been adopted on Lebanon, Liberia, Chad, Czech Republic and Peru, and a follow-up report on concluding observations. Finally, Mr. Iwasawa was very pleased to announce the adoption of the first reading of General Comment on the right to life; its draft had been posted on a dedicated webpage for comments by all stakeholders. 

The concluding observations and recommendations on the seven States reviewed during the session, made public on 27 July, are available on the session webpage. 

The Committee will hold the one hundred and twenty-first session from 16 October to 10 November 2017, during which it will consider the reports of Australia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Mauritius and Romania. The Committee will also consider the situation in the Gambia and in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the absence of State reports. 

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For use of the information media; not an official record