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HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HOLDS ITS ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEENTH SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 17 OCTOBER TO 4 NOVEMBER 2016

Experts to Review Reports of Slovakia, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Jamaica, Colombia, Azerbaijan and Morocco
13 October 2016

The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundred and eighteenth session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 17 October to 4 November 2016, during which it will review the reports of Slovakia, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Jamaica, Colombia, Azerbaijan and Morocco on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

On Monday, 17 October, the Committee will hear an address by the High Commissioner for Human Rights or his representative and will also adopt its agenda and programme of work. During the session, the Committee will hear, in closed meetings, from United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations on the situation in the countries that it will review.

The Committee will also continue discussing a draft General Comment on Article 6, on the right to life, and address its methods of work. It will consider the progress report of the Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Concluding Observations and hold a discussion on Follow-up to Views. The Committee will also consider a number of individual communications in closed meetings.

From 17 to 19 October, the Committee will consider reports submitted by States parties in double chambers: on 17 and 18 October, it will review the report of Slovakia in Chamber I, and the report of Poland in Chamber II; and on 18 and 19 October, it will examine the report of the Republic of Moldova in Chamber I and the report of Jamaica in Chamber II.  The Committee will consider the report of Colombia on 19 and 20 October, the report of Azerbaijan on 20 and 21 October, and the report of Morocco on 24 and 25 October 2016.

Slovakia is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/SVK/4), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its third periodic report, which was considered in March 2011, are available here: CCPR/C/SVK/CO/3.

Poland is presenting its seventh periodic report (CCPR/C/POL/7), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its sixth report, which was considered in October 2010, are available here: CCPR/C/POL/CO/6.

The Republic of Moldova is presenting its third periodic report (CCPR/C/MDA/3), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its second periodic report, which was considered in October 2009, are available here: CCPR/C/MDA/CO/2.

Jamaica is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/JAM/4), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its third periodic report, which was considered in October 2009, are available here: CCPR/C/JAM/CO/3.

Colombia is presenting its seventh periodic report (CCPR/C/COL/7), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its sixth periodic report, which was considered in July 2010, are available here: CCPR/C/COL/CO/6.

Azerbaijan is presenting its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/AZE/4), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its third periodic report, which was considered in July 2009, are available here: CCPR/C/AZE/CO/3.

Morocco is presenting its sixth periodic report (CCPR/C/MAR/6), and the Committee’s concluding observations on its fifth periodic report, which was considered in October 2004, are available here: CCPR/CO/82/MAR.

Other documents relating to the Committee’s work can be found at the webpage of the hundred and eighteenth session.

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 168 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, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, 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, State of Palestine, 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, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, 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, Cabo Verde, Canada, 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:

Mr. Yadh Ben Achour (Tunisia); Mr. Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria); Ms. Sarah Cleveland (United States of America); Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France); Mr. Ahmad Amin Fathalla (Egypt); Mr. Yuji Iwasawa (Japan); Ms. Ivana Jelić (Montenegro); Mr. Duncan Laki Muhumuza (Uganda); Ms. Photini Pazartis (Greece); Mr. Mauro Politi (Italy); Mr. Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom); Mr. Victor Manuel Rodriguez-Rescia (Costa Rica); Mr. Fabian Omar Salvioli (Argentina); Mr. Dheerujlall B. Seetulsingh (Mauritius); Ms. Anja Seibert-Fohr (Germany); Mr. Yuval Shany (Israel); Mr. Konstantine Vardzelashvili (Georgia); and Ms. Margo Waterval (Suriname).

Mr. Salvioli is the Chairperson. The Vice-Chairpersons are Mr. Iwasawa, Mr. Seetulsingh and Ms. Seibert-Fohr. Mr. Vardzelashvili is the Rapporteur.


Proposed Programme of Work


      Monday, 17 October
      10 a.m.
      Opening of the session, adoption of the agenda, organizational matters
      10.30
      Briefings on Slovakia, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Jamaica, Colombia and Azerbaijan (closed meeting)
      3 p.m.
      Tuesday, 18 October
      10 a.m.
      Chamber I: Fourth periodic report of Slovakia (continued)
      Chamber II: Seventh periodic report of Poland (continued)
      3 p.m.
      Chamber I: Third periodic report of Republic of Moldova CCPR/C/MDA/3
      Wednesday, 19 October
      10 a.m.
      Chamber I: Third periodic report of Republic of Moldova (continued)
      Chamber II: Fourth periodic report of Jamaica (continued)
      3 p.m.
      Consideration of the seventh periodic report of Colombia CCPR/C/COL/7
      Thursday, 20 October
      10 a.m.
      Consideration of the seventh periodic report of Colombia (continued)
      3 p.m.
      Consideration of the fourth periodic report of Azerbaijan CCPR/C/AZE/4
      Friday, 21 October
      10 a.m.
      Consideration of the fourth periodic report of Azerbaijan (continued)
      3 p.m.
      Communications (closed meeting)
      Monday, 24 October
      10 a.m.
      Methods of Work
      12.30
      Briefings on Morocco (closed meeting)
      3 p.m.
      Consideration of the sixth periodic report of Morocco CCPR/C/MAR/6
      Tuesday, 25 October
      10 a.m.
      Consideration of the sixth periodic report of Morocco CCPR/C/MAR/6
      3 p.m.
      General Comment on Article 6
      Wednesday, 26 October
      10 a.m.
      Closed meeting
      3 p.m.
      General Comment on Article 6
      Thursday, 27 October
      10 a.m.
      Communications (closed meeting)
      3 p.m.
      Communications (closed meeting)
      Friday, 28 October
      10 a.m.
      Communications (closed meeting)
      3 p.m.
      Communications (closed meeting)
      Monday, 31 October
      10 a.m.
      Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Concluding Observations
      11.30
      Progress report of Special Rapporteur on Follow-up to Views
      3 p.m.
      Closed meeting
      Tuesday, 1 November
      10 a.m.
      Closed meeting
      3 p.m.
      Closed meeting
      Wednesday, 2 November
      10 a.m.
      General Comment on Article 6
      3 p.m.
      Closed meeting
      Thursday, 3 November
      10 a.m.
      Closed meeting
      3 p.m.
      Closed meeting
      Friday, 4 November
      10 a.m.
      Closed meeting
      3 p.m.
      Methods of Work and announcement of bureau decisions

For use of the information media; not an official record

CT16/033E