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COVID-19 | NGOs concerned with suspension of Treaty Body sessions

With all sessions of the UN Treaty Bodies suspended until the end of August 2020, NGOs are concerned that much needed human rights scrutiny could be hindered.

A joint letter to the High Commissioner and Treaty Body chairpersons initiated by the coalition TB-net and endorsed by ISHR and over 40 organisations calls for urgent measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the regular operation of UN Treaty Bodies.

“Many national and local NGOs have been preparing and were keenly awaiting the reviews which were supposed to take place during the suspended sessions,” says Taisuke Komatsu, from the International Movement against all forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), who initiated the process. “Our letter urges the UN Treaty Bodies and the Office of the Hight Commissioner for Human Rights to explore all possible options for ensuring maximum implementation capacity for the Treaty Bodies during the crisis”.

The letter recognises that the need to find solutions must balance pragmatic approaches and existing rules of procedures, including by ensuring adequate communications technologies, interpretation services, accessibility requirements, as well as privacy and security for both Treaty Body members and those engaging with the Treaty Bodies.

Access the full letter here: https://www.ishr.ch/sites/default/files/documents/joint_ngo_letter_un_hu…

 

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