UN Treaty Body reform: Strengthening access to remedies for violations of international human rights

A coalition of leading human rights NGOs, coordinated by the Human Rights Law Centre, the Mental Disability Advocacy Center and the Open Society Justice Initiative, has prepared a major statement for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on strengthening access to remedies for violations of international human rights. The Joint NGO Statement sets out a range of concrete recommendations to strengthen the individual complaints mechanisms of UN human rights bodies so as to:

  • enhance the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights;
  • assist States to properly understand and discharge their human rights obligations;
  • contribute to the accountability of perpetrators of human rights violations; and
  • secure access to effective remedies for victims of human rights violations.

The Joint NGO Statement has been prepared as a key input to the process of reform to strengthen the UN human rights treaty bodies initiated by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2009. The strengthening process is intended to make the work of treaty bodies more coordinated and effective and to enhance the fulfilment of human rights on the ground. The High Commissioner has invited inputs and proposals from states, NGOs, human rights experts and NHRIs in this regard.

The HRLC's work coordinating the Joint NGO Statement on Strengthening Individual Communication Procedures builds on our work contributing to the Pretoria Statement of June 2011, another joint NGO paper which contains over 60 concrete and practical recommendations to improve the work of human rights bodies at the international level and the fulfilment of human rights on the ground.