Overview of the 137th Session of the Human Rights Committee (27 February 2023 - 24 March 2023)

Published on 17 Mar 2023, 12:46 PM

The Committee reviewed six countries on the application of the ICCPR. The review of Sri Lanka, previously postponed twice, finally took place.

137th session of the Human Rights Committee in Palais Wilson, Geneva.

State reviews of six countries and adoption of LOIs

The Human Rights Committee conducted six reviews of periodic reports and adopted Concluding observations on the fifth report of Egypt, the third report of Turkmenistan, the fourth report of Zambia, the sixth report of Peru, the sixth report of Sri Lanka, and the fourth report of Panama. Peru, Sri Lanka, and Panama were reviewed with part of the State delegation present in Geneva, and another part in the capital of the State party. This could be a worrisome development for the Committee, if State parties do not find necessary to appear before the Committee in physical format.

The Committee also adopted the List of Issues in relation to Namibia, Serbia, Syrian Arab Republic, and the List of issues prior to reporting of Kazakhstan.

In total, the Centre facilitated the engagement of 114 human rights defenders with the Committee, including several who participated remotely. No less than nine civil society organization briefings were organized by the Centre in addition to the two formal briefings.

New Chair of the Committee and new Bureau

On the first day of the session, Tania Abdo Rocholl was elected as the new Chair of the Committee, replacing Photini Pazartzis. José Santos Pais, Changrok Soh, and Kobauyah Tchamdja were elected as Vice Presidents, while Farid Ahmadov was named Committee Rapporteur. Imeru Yigezu was appointed as Rapport for the follow-up on the Concluding Observations and Jose Santos Pais continued his mandate of Rapporteur for the follow-up on the Views.

Moreover, this was the first session for new seven Committee members, them being Farid Ahmadov, Rodrigo A. Carazo, Yvonne Donders, Laurence R. Helfner, Bacre Waly Ndiaye, Tijana Šurlan, and Koji Teraya.

Follow-up to Concluding Observations and Views

The Committee adopted a report on Follow-up to Concluding Observations concerning Belarus, Estonia, The Netherlands, and Tajikistan.

The reports on Follow-up will be available soon here.

Decisions adopted on Individual communications

The Committee adopted 56 decisions, 30 were decided on the merits, 6 cases were declared inadmissible, and 20 communications were discontinued. 

Regarding the cases which were decided on the merits, the Committee found:

  • 29 violations

Next on the agenda

The next 138th session will take place from 26 June to 28 July 2023; the Committee will review Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Cyprus, Lesotho, Somalia, State of Palestine, and Uganda. It will also adopt the List of Issues of Honduras and Suriname, and the List of Issues Prior to Reporting of Jamaica and the Republic of Moldova.

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