ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HOLDS ITS ONE-HUNDREDTH AND SIXTH SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 15 OCTOBER TO 2 NOVEMBER

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HOLDS ITS ONE-HUNDREDTH AND SIXTH SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 15 OCTOBER TO 2 NOVEMBER
Experts will review Reports of the Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal
11 October 2012

The Human Rights Committee will hold its one hundredth and sixth session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 15 October to 2 November during which it will review the reports of the Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  

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 adopt its agenda and programme of action.

In addition to reviewing the reports of five States parties during its 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.  On 25 October, it will hold a half day general discussion in preparation for a General Comment on article 9 of the Covenant concerning liberty and security of person.  During the session, the Committee will consider a number of individual communications in closed meetings.  It will also hold meetings to discuss its methods of work and to hear the progress report of the Special Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations. 
 
The Committee is scheduled to examine the fourth periodic report of the Philippines on 15 October in the afternoon and 16 October in the morning.  It will take up the initial report of Turkey all day on 17 October and on 18 October in the morning.  It will consider the sixth periodic report of Germany on 18 October in the afternoon and 19 October in the morning.  The Committee will examine the second periodic report of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 22 October in the afternoon and 23 October in the morning; and the fourth periodic report of Portugal on 23 October in the afternoon and 24 October in the morning. 

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

With the exception of Turkey, all the countries under review during this session have presented reports to the Committee before.  Information on the one-hundredth and sixth session can be found via the 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 combined second and third periodic report of the Philippines (CCPR/CO/79/PHL); the fifth periodic report of Germany (CCPR/CO/80/DEU); on the initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CCPR/C/BHI/CO/1); and on the third periodic report of Portugal (CCPR/CO/78/PRT/Add.1).

The five 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 right 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); Iulia Antoanella Motoc (Romania); Gerarld Neuman (United States); Michael O'Flaherty (Ireland); Rafael Rivas Posada (Colombia); Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom); Fabian Omar Salvioli (Argentina); Marat Sarsembayev (Kazakhstan); Krister Thelin (Sweden) and Margo Waterval (Suriname). 

The Committee Chairperson is Zonke Zanele Majodina; and the Vice-Chairpersons are Mr. Iwasawa, Mr. O'Flaherty and Mr. Salvioli.
 

Programme of Work

Monday, 15 October

10 a.m.         Opening of session, adoption of agenda, report of working group                  

3 p.m.          Fourth periodic report of the Philippines (CCPR/C/PHL/4)

Tuesday, 16 October

10 a.m.         The Philippines (continued)

3 p.m.          Meeting with CEDAW

Wednesday, 17 October

10 a.m.         Initial report of Turkey (CCPR/C/TUR/1)

p.m.             Turkey (continued)

Thursday, 18 October

10 a.m.         Turkey (continued)

3 p.m.          Sixth periodic report of Germany (CCPR/C/DEU/6)

Friday, 19 October

10 a.m.         Germany (continued)

4 p.m.          Methods of work

Monday, 22 October

10 a.m.         Progress report of Special Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations

3 p.m.          Second periodic report of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CCPR/C/BIH/2)

Tuesday, 23 October

10 a.m.         Bosnia and Herzegovina (continued)

3 p.m.          Fourth periodic report of Portugal (CCPR/C/PRT/4)

Wednesday, 24 October

10 a.m.         Portugal (continued)

3 p.m.          (closed)

Thursday, 25 October

10 a.m.         (closed)

3 p.m.          Half day General Discussion on General Comment on Article 9


Monday, 29 October

10 a.m.         Methods of work
 
3 p.m.          (closed)

Tuesday, 30 October

12 p.m.         Progress report of Special Rapporteur on follow-up to views

3 p.m.          (closed)

Friday, 2 November

10 a.m.         (closed)

5 p.m.          Methods of work and announcements of bureau decisions


For use of the information media; not an official record

CT12/014E