• International Processes and Initiatives

The work of the UN Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

The human rights treaty bodies[1] are the committees of independent experts in charge of monitoring the implementation by state parties of the rights protected in international human rights treaties. There are nine core international human rights treaties that deal with civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; torture; discrimination against women; child rights; migrant workers’ rights; persons with disabilities; and enforced disappearances. The main functions of the treaty bodies are to examine periodic reports submitted by state parties, adopt concluding observations and consider individual complaints.[2] Concluding observations contain a review of both positive and negative aspects of a state’s implementation of the provisions of a treaty and recommendations for improvement.

Treaty bodies also adopt general comments or recommendations which are interpretations of the provisions of the treaties. A large number of these interpretative documents makes reference to Indigenous Peoples’ rights. So far, only the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) have adopted general comments specifically addressing Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

This article contains a non-exhaustive overview of the reference made by the treaty bodies in their concluding observations, general comments, decisions, views and opinions to Indigenous Peoples or to groups who are otherwise self-identifying as Indigenous Peoples with a special focus on the rights of Indigenous women/girls.[3]

[1] For more information on the treaty bodies: United Nations. OHCHR. “Monitoring the core international human rights treaties.” https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/Pages/Overview.aspx

[2] For more information on the activities of the treaty bodies: United Nations. OHCHR. “Monitoring the core international human rights treaties.” https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/Pages/WhatTBDo.aspx

[3] This article primarily focuses on the activities of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Some relevant concluding observations and views from the Committee against Torture (CAT), and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) as well as draft general comments of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are also included. The activities of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) and of the Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) as well as the list of issues and follow-up on concluding observations are not included.

Tags: Global governance

The Indigenous World 2022: The work of the UN Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

The human rights treaty bodies[1] are the committees of independent experts in charge of monitoring the implementation by state parties of the rights protected in international human rights treaties. There are nine core international human rights treaties that deal with civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; torture; discrimination against women; child rights; migrant workers’ rights; persons with disabilities; and enforced disappearances. The main functions of the treaty bodies are to examine periodic reports submitted by state parties, adopt concluding observations and consider individual complaints.[2] Concluding observations contain a review of both positive and negative aspects of a state’s implementation of the provisions of a treaty and recommendations for improvement.

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Indigenous World 2020: The work of the UN Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples Rights

The treaty bodies are the committees of independent experts in charge of monitoring the implementation by state parties of the rights protected in international human rights treaties. There are nine core international human rights treaties that deal with civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; torture; discrimination against women; child rights; migrant workers’ rights; persons with disabilities; and enforced disappearances.

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The Indigenous World 2021: The work of the UN Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples Rights

The treaty bodies are the committees of independent experts in charge of monitoring the implementation by state parties of the rights protected in international human rights treaties. There are nine core international human rights treaties that deal with civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; torture; discrimination against women; child rights; migrant workers’ rights; persons with disabilities; and enforced disappearances. The main functions of the treaty bodies are to examine periodic reports submitted by state parties, adopt concluding observations and consider individual complaints. Concluding observations contain a review of both positive and negative aspects of a state’s implementation of the provisions of a treaty and recommendations for improvement. Treaty bodies also adopt general comments which are interpretations of the provisions of the treaties. A large number of treaty bodies’ general comments makes reference to Indigenous Peoples’ rights. However, so far, only the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) have adopted general comments specifically addressing Indigenous Peoples’ rights. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is preparing a general recommendation on the rights of Indigenous women and girls for adoption in 2022.

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Indigenous World 2019: The work of the UN Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples Rights

The treaty bodies are the committees of independent experts in charge of monitoring the implementation by state parties of the rights protected in international human rights treaties. There are nine core international human rights treaties that deal with civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; torture; discrimination against women; child rights; migrant workers rights; persons with disabilities; and enforced disappearances.

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