Treaty Bodies

The treaty bodies are international committees of independent experts that monitor State parties’ implementation of the core international human rights treaties and their optional protocols.

The treaty bodies’ functions include considering State parties’ periodic reports, adjudicating individual complaints, conducting country inquiries, adopting general comments interpreting treaty provisions, and organising thematic discussions related to the treaties.

In carrying out their work, treaty bodies consider information provided by the State parties but also from other actors including UN agencies, national human rights institutions and NGOs. For further information on working with the treaty bodies, see the module on UNTBs at the ISHR Academy.

ISHR supports human rights defenders and NGOs to access and leverage the treaty bodies to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground. We also monitor and report on the treaty bodies’ examination of State reports and provide case notes on recent decisions on individual communications. ISHR is actively involved in advocacy around the ongoing treaty body strengthening process to ensure that the system is enhanced for the benefits of rights holders.

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Treaty Bodies

Treaty Bodies

Discover how the UN Treaty Bodies work and how you can use them to increase the impact of your advocacy.

Visit the ISHR Academy to find out more!

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The Human Rights Committee, Hong Kong and Macau's reviews

Ahead of Hong Kong and Macau's review by the Human Rights Committee in July 2020, ISHR has prepared an explainer summarising the Committee's work to oversee the implementation of civil and political rights, and opportunities for civil society engagement in its review process. Civil society plays a vital role in informing the Committee's assessment, and pointing to key areas of concern.