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HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HOLDS ITS ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVENTH SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 7 TO 25 JULY 2014
Experts to Review Reports of Chile, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Malawi and Sudan
3 July 2014

The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundred and eleventh session in Geneva from 7 to 25 July, during which it will review the reports of Chile, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Malawi and Sudan on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

On Monday, 7 July, the Committee will hear an address by the High Commissioner for Human Rights or her representative and will also adopt its agenda and programme of work.  During the session, the Committee will 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.

In addition, the Committee will discuss its methods of work.  The Committee will also consider a number of individual communications in closed meetings – a total of 388 communications are pending before the Committee - and will continue its discussion on a draft General Comment on Article 9 on the right of everyone to liberty and security of person and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention.

Five out of the six States parties presenting reports during this session have been previously reviewed by the Committee.  Chile is presenting its sixth periodic report (CCPR/C/CHL/6), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the fifth periodic report, which was considered in March 2007, can be found in (CCPR/C/CHL/CO/5).  Georgia is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/GEO/4), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the third periodic report, which was considered in October 2007, can be found in  (CCPR/C/GEO/CO/3).  Ireland is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/IRL/4), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the third periodic report, which was considered in July 2008, can be found in (CCPR/C/IRL/CO/3).

Japan is presenting its sixth periodic report (CCPR/C/JPN/6), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendation on the fifth periodic report, which was considered in October 2008, can be found in (CCPR/C/JPN/CO/5).  Sudan is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/SDN/4), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the third periodic report, considered in July 2007, can be found in (CCPR/C/SDN/CO/3). 

Malawi is presenting its initial report (CCPR/C/MWI/1) The situation of civil and political rights in Malawi was considered by the Committee at its 103rd session (October 2011) in the absence of a report, as the State party had not submitted its initial report, due on 21 March 1995. These concluding observations can be found in (CCPR/C/MWI/CO/1).

Further information on the one-hundred and eleventh session can be found via this link.

Background on the Covenant

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted by the General Assembly and opened for signature in 1966 and entered into force in 1976.  The 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 115 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, Guinea-Bissau, 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  81 States have ratified or acceded to the Second Optional Protocol: Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, 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:

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

Mr. Rodley is the Chairperson. The Vice-Chairpersons are Mr. Ben Achour, Ms. Waterval and Mr. Vardzelashvili. Mr. Flinterman is the Rapporteur.


Programme of Work

Monday, 7 July

10 a.m.         Opening of session, adoption of the agenda, report
of the working group
3 p.m.          Sixth periodic report of Chile (CCPR/C/CHL/6)

Tuesday, 8 July

10 a.m.         Sixth periodic report of Chile (continued)
3 p.m.         Fourth periodic report of Sudan (CCPR/C/SDN/4)

Wednesday, 9 July
10 a.m.         Fourth periodic report of Sudan (continued)
 3 p.m.          Initial report of Malawi (CCPR/C/MWI/1)

Thursday, 10 July

10 a.m.         Initial report of Malawi (continued)
3 p.m.         Fourth periodic report of Georgia (CCPR/C/GEO/4)

Friday, 11 July

10 a.m.        Fourth periodic report of Georgia (continued)
3 p.m.          communications (closed)

Monday, 14 July

10 a.m.         Methods of work (public)      
3 p.m.          Fourth periodic report of Ireland (CCPR/C/IRL/4)

Tuesday, 15 July
10 a.m.         Fourth periodic report of Ireland (continued)
3 p.m.          Sixth periodic report of Japan (CCPR/C/JPN/6)

Wednesday, 16 July

10 a.m.         Sixth periodic report of Japan (continued)

Thursday, 17 July

10 a.m.         Draft General Comment on Article 9
3 p.m.          Communications (closed)

Friday, 18 July

10 a.m.         Draft General Comment on Article 9
3 p.m.          Communications (closed)

Monday, 21 July
10 a.m.         Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Concluding Observations
11:30 a.m.   Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Views
3 p.m.           Communications (closed)

Tuesday, 22 July
10 a.m.         Draft General Comment on Article 9
3 p.m.          (closed)

Wednesday, 23 July
10 a.m.         (closed)
11:00 a.m.    (closed)

Thursday, 24 July
10 a.m.         Draft General Comment on Article 9

Friday, 25 July
10 a.m.        (closed)
3 p.m.          Methods of work and announcement of bureau decisions
                   Closing of the session



Live webcasts of the public sessions can be viewed on http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/

A news conference is scheduled for Thursday 24 July at 13.30 at Palais des Nations, when the Committee will discuss its concluding observations.

The country reports and full list of issues can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=625&Lang=en

The concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee on each of the States under review will also be posted on the above link on Thursday 24 July.

To learn more about the Human Rights Committee, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CCPR/Pages/CCPRIndex.aspx

To learn more about the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx
                                                                     
To arrange an interview with a Committee member, please contact Kate Fox (+41 (0) 22 917 9398/ kfox@ohchr.org)

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For use of the information media; not an official record

CT14/015E