The way forward

CCPR Centre staff meet with members of civil society to discuss a road map for the implementation of Treaty Bodies' priority recommendations in Kinshasa, DR Congo, in September 2021

2022 will be a pivotal year for the Centre. It will be the year of an established ‘new normal’; one that combines the advantages of in-person engagement with the added value of virtual engagement discovered during COVID-19: reduced costs, increased inclusiveness, suppression of geographical barriers and increased exchanges between regions and continents.

The Centre will continue to adapt its strategy to the human rights situation of each country we work in. In locations new to the work of the Centre and the Human Rights Committee, we will continue to advocate for the respect of civil and political rights and assist civil society in engaging with the UN Human Rights Committee. This will be our approach in locations such as Cambodia, as a State party scheduled for review at the Committee’s March session and where we have recently appointed a new national coordinator.

We will also continue our engagement in countries such as Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, and many others in which the presence of the Centre is well established and civil society networks are operational, as we remain convinced that a long term approach is most effective. In these areas, increased focus will also be placed upon conducting training and activities at the regional level, allowing stakeholders from different countries to engage, share challenges and best practices and learn from each other. We will also strengthen our thematic work. For instance, we will conduct a regional roundtable in Africa focused on the need to preserve civic space, a theme that comes across often in the Committee’s Concluding Observation to the States in the region. In Latin America, we will continue to empower local and grassroots organisations and strengthen the interaction between the regional system of protection and the Human Rights Committee. In Asia, the Centre will continue work advocating against restrictions placed on civil and political rights and actors who perpetuate human rights abuse. In particular, we will work to build civic spaces where possible, especially where they are limited due to oppressive authorities, political instability or armed conflict through deeper utilisation of the UN human rights frameworks and special procedures.

A key part of operationalising our strategy will be to continue engagement with countries that are still not party to the ICCPR, or those that are failing to meet the requirements enshrined by the ratification of the Covenant. In countries that have still not ratified the ICCPR, the Centre will work with stakeholders on the ground to increase their knowledge of the content of the Covenant and provide them with information sharing tools and advocacy materials. In countries where citizens continue to suffer violations of their civil and political rights despite the ratification of ICCPR by the State, the Centre will continue to engage with and support human rights defenders, and ensure their voices are heard within the UN human rights framework.

In order to continue building capacity with human rights defenders and authorities, the Centre will continue to explore new interactive tools to support civil society and government authorities in their efforts to uphold and protect civil and political rights in their respective countries.

2022 will also be the year that the Centre embarks on our new strategic ambition that will inform our work in the coming years. However, strengthening our presence on the ground, continuing to act as a link between local, regional, and international bodies and building capacity for actors on the ground and improving their engagement with UN bodies will stay at the core of the Centre’s purpose and activities. In our view, this remains the best way to promote respect for civil and political rights on a global scale.