APF Community Contact us

Human rights treaty bodies

Graphic: CEDAW Committee in session in Geneva

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights LogoOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

There are nine core international human rights treaties.

Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, all UN Member States have ratified at least one core international human rights treaty, while 80 per cent have ratified four or more.

Human rights treaty bodies are committees of independent experts that monitor the implementation of these treaties. They are created by the treaty that they monitor and their main function is to consider the reports of States Parties.

Some treaty bodies allow NHRIs opportunities to participate in the reporting process, such as:

  • Holding a private meeting with the treaty body
  • Submitting information to assist with drafting the written list of issues sent to the State before the session
  • Making a statement during the plenary session.

NHRIs also have a key role to play in the follow-up to the reporting process, particularly through encouraging their government to implement the recommendations made by the treaty bodies and to monitor progress in this area.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has prepared an information note for NHRIs on opportunities for engaging with the treaty bodies.

Graphic: Woman walking past flags at UN in Geneva

International Human Rights and the International Human Rights System: A Manual for NHRIs

This manual outlines the practical ways that NHRIs can engage with the international human rights system to highlight issues and advocate for change.

Image credits

  1. CEDAW Committee in session in Geneva - UN Photo, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1P0kC2L