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HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HOLDS ITS ONE-HUNDREDTH AND SEVENTH SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 11 TO 28 MARCH
Experts to Review Reports of Paraguay, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Angola, Macao Special Administrative Region of China and Peru
7 March 2013

The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundredth and seventh session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 11 to 28 March during which it will review the reports of Paraguay, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Angola, Macao Special Administrative Region of China and Peru on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  It will also consider the situation of civil and political rights in Belize in the absence of a report.

On the first day of the session, the Committee will hear an address by the High Commissioner for Human Rights or her representative.  It will also hear the newly elected members of the Committee make their solemn declaration, elect a new Chairperson and Bureau, and adopt its agenda and programme of action.

In addition to reviewing the five reports during the session, the Committee will also hear, in closed meetings, from United Nations organizations, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions on the situation in the countries that it will review.

During the session, the Committee will discuss in public a draft General Comment on Article 9 of the Covenant on the right of everyone to liberty and security of person.  It will discuss its methods of work and hear progress reports from its Special Rapporteurs on follow-up to concluding observations and follow-up to views.  It will also consider a number of individual communications in closed meetings. 

The Committee is scheduled to examine the third periodic report of Paraguay on Monday, 11 March in the afternoon and Tuesday, 12 March in the morning; the third periodic report of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China on Tuesday, 12 March in the afternoon and Wednesday, 13 March in the morning; the initial report of Angola all day Thursday, 14 March, and on Friday, 15 March in the morning; the initial report of Macao Special Administrative Region of China on Monday, 18 March in the afternoon and Tuesday, 19 March in the morning; and the fifth periodic review of Peru on Tuesday, 19 March in the afternoon and Wednesday, 20 March in the morning.  It will discuss the situation in Belize in the absence of a report on Friday, 15 March in the afternoon.

The Committee will adopt its concluding observations on the implementation of the Covenant by these countries towards the end of its four-week session.

With the exception of Angola and the Macao Special Administrative Region of China, the other countries and territory under review during this session have presented reports to the Committee before.  Information on the one-hundredth and seventh session can be found via this link, and all the documentation from previous sessions, including the Committee’s concluding observations, can be accessed via the Committee’s website.  The Committee’s previous concluding observations and recommendations can be accessed via the following links: on the second periodic report of Paraguay, reviewed in 2006 (CCPR/CO//PRY/CO/2); on the second periodic report of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, reviewed in 2006 (CCPR/C/HKG/CO/2); on the fourth periodic report of Peru, reviewed in 2000 (CCPR/CO/70/PER).

The countries presenting reports are among the 167 States parties to the Covenant, which was adopted in 1966 by the General Assembly.  The Committee, as a monitoring body, periodically examines reports submitted by States parties on the promotion and protection of civil and political rights.  Representatives of these Governments introduce the reports and respond to oral and written questions from Committee members.

Under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant, 114 States parties recognize the competence of the Committee to consider confidential communications from individuals claiming to be victims of violations of any rights proclaimed under the treaty.  At present, 380 communications are pending before the Committee.  Seventy-five States parties have ratified or acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant, which aims to abolish the death penalty.

Background on the Covenant

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted by the General Assembly and opened for signature in 1966, together with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  Both entered into force in 1976.

The Civil and Political Rights 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 167 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, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, 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, 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 114 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, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, 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, 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 75 States have ratified or acceded to the Second Optional Protocol: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, 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:

Ben Achour Yadh (Tunisia); Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria); Christine Chanet (France);   Ahmad Amin Fathalla (Egypt); Cornelis Flinterman (the Netherlands); Yuji Iwasawa (Japan); Mr. Walter Kalin (Switzerland), Zonke Zanele Majodina (South Africa); Kheshoe Parsad Matadeen (Mauritius); Iulia Antoanella Motoc (Romania); Gerarld Neuman (United States); Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom); Victor Manuel Rodriguez-Rescia (Costa Rica); Fabian Omar Salvioli (Argentina); Anja Seibert-Fohr (Germany); Yuval Shany (Israel); Konstantine Vardzelashvili (Georgia); and Margo Waterval (Suriname). 



Programme of Work

Monday, 11 March

10 a.m.         Opening of session, adoption of agenda, report of working group                  
3 p.m.          Third periodic report of Paraguay (CCPR/C/PRY/3)
 
Tuesday, 12 March

10 a.m.         Paraguay (continued)
3 p.m.          Third Periodic Report of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (CCPR/C/CHN-HKG/3)

Wednesday, 13 March

10 a.m.         Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (continued)
4 p.m.          Methods of work

Thursday, 14 March

10 a.m.         Initial report of Angola (CCPR/C/AGO/1)
3 p.m.          Angola (continued)

Friday, 15 March

10 a.m.         Angola (continued)
3 p.m.          Consideration of situation in Belize in absence of a report

Monday, 18 March

10 a.m.         Closed meeting
3 p.m.           Initial report of Macao Special Administrative Region of China (CCPR/C/CHN-MAC/1)

Tuesday, 19 March

10 a.m.         Macao Special Administrative Region of China (continued)
3 p.m.          Fifth periodic report of Peru (CCPR/C/PER/5)

Wednesday, 20 March

10 a.m.         Peru (continued)
3 p.m.          (closed)

Thursday, 21 March

11 a.m.         Discussion on draft General Comment on Article 9 on the right of everyone to liberty and security of person
3 p.m.          Closed

Friday, 22 March

10 a.m.         Closed
3 p.m.          Progress report of Special Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations
4 p.m.           Progress report of Special Rapporteur on follow-up to views

Monday, 25 March

10 a.m.         Closed
3 p.m.          Adoption of annual report

Tuesday, 26 March

11 a.m.         Discussion on draft General Comment on Article 9 on the right of everyone to
                     liberty and security of person

Thursday, 28 March

10 a.m.         (closed)
4 p.m.          Methods of work and announcements of bureau decisions


For use of the information media; not an official record

CT13/001E