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Policy and methodological publications

Handbook for Human Rights Treaty Body Members


01 December 2015


Treaty Bodies

Being a human rights treaty body member is a highly rewarding and significant commitment. The treaties and the work of the treaty bodies underpin the international human rights system. A treaty body member is at the centre of the interpretation and application of international human rights treaty law, and contributes to the promotion, protection and implementation of human rights at the national level. Through the review of State party reports, treaty body members assist States in the implementation of treaty provisions, which helps to improve the overall human rights situation nationally and across the globe. Inquiries and country visits, as well as the examination of petitions from individuals, help to resolve disputes over human rights questions and promote victims’ right to a remedy, in turn strengthening the rule of law nationally. Moreover, the formulation of general comments clarifies the meaning of particular provisions and themes related to treaties. General comments have proved invaluable to courts, human rights practitioners, national policymakers and many others. This Handbook is primarily designed as a basic guide for candidates as well as current treaty body members. It is also intended to help States parties, national human rights institutions and civil society to understand the role and responsibilities of treaty body members.

Print format:

A5 soft cover