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Treaty Bodies

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

Understanding the Treaty Bodies

Introduction

Overview of what you will learn in this module

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The Basics (including acronyms and webpages)

An introduction to UN Treaty Bodies, the committees of independent experts that monitor how State parties are implementing the core international human rights treaties and their optional protocols

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What can the Treaty Bodies do for you?

Explore the various ways the Treaty Bodies can support your advocacy

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QUIZ! What the Treaty Bodies can / cannot do

Gain a deeper understanding of the Treaty Bodies through our quiz

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Periodic reviews - What do the Treaty Bodies do?

Understand the nature and purpose of the periodic review process, one of the main outputs of the Treaty Body system

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Individual communications - What do the Treaty Bodies do?

Explore how Treaty Bodies take up individual communications or complaints

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General comments - What do the Treaty Bodies do?

Learn about general comments and recommendations and what they mean to defenders

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Inquiries - What do the Treaty Bodies do?

Understand the nature of inquiries undertaken by Treaty Bodies

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Early warnings and urgent actions - What do the Treaty Bodies do?

Discover how Treaty Bodies can act to prevent and address specific human rights violations

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Follow-up - What do the Treaty Bodies do?

Examine the ways that Treaty Bodies follow-up on their own actions to push for change

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The Role of OHCHR

Learn about the crucial role of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the work of the Treaty Bodies

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Why engage with the Treaty Bodies?

Reflect on whether a particular Treaty Body is the right tool to help you achieve your advocacy goals

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QUIZ! Understanding the Treaty Bodies

Bring it all together and see what you’ve learnt!

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Treaty Bodies: Going Deeper

How Treaty Body members are nominated and elected

Gain a deeper understanding of how individuals are selected to become Committee members

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Treaty Body follow up and grading system

Learn how to use the grading system or assessments in your follow up activities

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Third-party interventions (individual communications)

Explore how you can engage in the process of individual complaints as an amicus curiae

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Country visits

Learn how Treaty Body members can visit specific countries, and what you can do to get involved

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Inter-state complaints

Discover the process for state-to-state complaints to a Treaty Body and how you might engage

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Strengthening the Treaty Bodies

Understand the purpose and status of the current ‘Treaty Body strengthening process’

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Lobbying for ratification of treaties

Learn what you can do to push for the ratification of treaties by your country

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Opportunities for You to Engage

Introduction

Overview of how you can work with the Treaty Bodies, depending on what you want to achieve

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Managing expectations

Remind yourself of what you need to invest to get the biggest impact out of the Treaty Bodies

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NGO coalitions and coordination with other actors

Understand the importance – and necessity - of working with others when engaging with Treaty Bodies

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Periodic reviews – Why are they useful?

Discover the nature and purpose of periodic reviews and how they hold States to account

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Engaging prior to the Treaty Body review

Find out when and how you can engage in national consultations, contribute to the list of issues, and prepare shadow reports

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Participating in the Treaty Body review and post-review follow up

Learn how to get the most out of your participation during Treaty Body sessions and in follow up

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Individual communications – Why are they useful?

Explore the potential impact of individual communications or complaints

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Submitting an individual communication

Get information on developing an individual communication or complaint to a Treaty Body

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General comments – Why are they useful?

Discover why general comments and recommendations are useful to understand and implement a treaty

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Providing input to general comments

Learn how to push for a general comment or recommendation and influence its contents

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Inquiries – Why are they useful?

Find out more about the nature and purpose of Treaty Body inquiries

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Engaging in inquiries

Learn how to request and participate in Treaty Body inquiries

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Early warnings and urgent actions - Why are they useful?

Explore whether an early warning or urgent action by a Treaty Body would be useful in your advocacy

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Requesting an early warning or urgent action

Find out what you need to do in order make such a request

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Following up with Treaty Bodies

Explore how you can follow up on the actions of the Treaty Bodies

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Working from home

Discover the different ways you can engage with the Treaty Bodies without travelling to Geneva

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QUIZ! Opportunities to engage with the Treaty Bodies

Reflect on what you have learnt and take the quiz!

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Feedback on the module

Share your thoughts on this module about the Treaty Bodies

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