This section provides information on the importance of working and coordinating with other NGOs and other relevant actors to maximise the impact of your interaction with Treaty Bodies.
Working in coalitions and collaborating with other NGOs and relevant actors, such as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), UN country teams or National Mechanisms on Reporting and Follow Up (NMRFs), is vital for many human rights mechanisms, but especially for Treaty Bodies.
NGO coalitions can be formed on an ad-hoc basis to coordinate inputs to specific Treaty Body sessions or processes, or they can be permanent. Such coalitions can be local, national, regional or international. They can also be focused on specific themes.
NGO coordination is important to maximise the limited space and time given to NGOs to interact with the Treaty Bodies. It also gives added weight to information submitted by NGOs to Treaty Bodies.
Joint NGO reports and submissions can also be very useful for the Treaty Body members, notably by increasing coverage of a wide range of rights and issues included in the treaties.
TB-Net is an informal group of seven international NGOs and networks which work in partnership with the UN Treaty Bodies. This group aims to strengthen the participation of civil society and rights holders in the work of the Treaty Bodies by bridging the gap between local NGOs and UN mechanisms through the following types of activities:
Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Child Rights Connect works with over 60 international NGOs to promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, coordinate NGO written submissions, and undertake other tasks to assist the work of the Committee.
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
IWRAW-Asia Pacific convenes training sessions for NGOs in parallel to the sessions of CEDAW in Geneva and coordinates and supports the submission of NGO reports to the Committee.
Human Rights Committee (CCPR)
The Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR Centre) assists NGOs in making submissions to the CCPR and organises in-country workshops with NGOs to facilitate coordination of stakeholder reports to the Committee.
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides support to NGOs engaging with CESCR through identifying opportunities for engagement and assisting with drafting and coordinating submissions.
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) provides support to NGOs engaging with the CRPD through capacity building and supporting submissions.
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) provides support to NGOs engaging with the CERD at all stages of the review process.
Committee Against Torture (CAT)
The World Organisation against torture (OMCT) provides support and assistance to human rights defenders and organisations engaging with the CAT.
Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers (CMW)
Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED)
The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) works for the global ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and can provide advice on the designation and functioning of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) or country visits by members of the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT).
National Human Rights Institutions
In countries where NHRIs are independent, you can engage and collaborate effectively with such institutions both ahead of and after periodic reviews of your country.
There are many examples of effective NGO-NHRI cooperation in relation to Treaty Body reviews.
NHRI-NGO cooperation on the periodic review of Denmark by CESCR Prior to the 2019 review of Denmark by the CESCR, the NHRI Danish Institute for Human Rights brought together civil society actors with both experience reporting to Treaty Bodies and those working directly on economic, social and cultural rights. The aim of these consultations was to encourage collaboration and civil society participation in the upcoming periodic review of Denmark. The meeting also involved representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting contributed to a significant increase in the submission of shadow reports to the Committee by domestic civil society organisations.
Coordination with other national actors
You can also cooperate with a range of other actors at the national level, not only in preparation for your country’s periodic reviews, but also as part of the follow-up. Some relevant actors you may want to reach out to in preparation for periodic reviews may include:
An effective way to identify relevant actors is to undertake a mapping ahead of periodic reviews. Engagement with relevant actors ahead of periodic reviews can be useful also to prepare for the follow up after the review.
See also ISHR Academy: Following up with Treaty Bodies: Engagement with NHRIs and NMRFs
Go to the next section for an exploration of Treaty Body periodic reviews and why they are useful.