Over 120 periodic reviews of States parties to the core international human rights treaties to date have not taken place due to the suspension of onsite sessions of the 10 UN human rights Treaty Bodies, which is attributable to a negative combination of the global pandemic and a serious financial crisis which affects all UN human rights mechanisms. The joint NGO letter underlines that the suspension of reviews is having a disproportionate impact on the work of the Treaty Bodies, with the postponement, cancellation and scaling-down of nearly all sessions scheduled for 2020.
“Reviews of Nicaragua by several international human rights bodies have been delayed for up to seven years due to the failure of state authorities to submit reports on time” said Juanita Jiménez Martínez, from Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres Nicaragua. “With a domestic human rights situation that has considerably deteriorated in recent years, the independent scrutiny of UN Treaty Bodies is urgently needed”. Nicaragua is one of the countries which is worst affected by the suspension of periodic reviews, with five such reviews postponed and no clear timeline for reviews in sight.
The joint NGO letter, which is endorsed by 523 NGOs, calls for the Committees and their OHCHR Secretariat to take steps to plan for reviews to take place no later than 2021, if necessary online given travel restrictions globally. It is crucial that NGOs are provided with clear, accessible and timely information with regards to the upcoming reviews of states parties, as well as means and procedures that enable full civil society access through online means.
523 NGOs urge the #HumanRights Treaty Bodies and @UNHumanRights Office to schedule country reviews no later than 2021, supporting online/hybrid reviews during the pandemic and asking for clear and advance communications to civil society. https://t.co/Ed36G5A8Em @mbachelet pic.twitter.com/9SGuCiy0sY
— TB-Net (@UNTBNet) October 5, 2020
Photo: Flickr / Jorge Mejía Peralta