Together and partners urge UN Treaty Bodies to keep up with reviews during COVID-19

Date: 9th October 2020
Category: Reporting to and monitoring the UNCRC

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A total of 523 NGOs signed a joint letter to show support to the Treaty Bodies, express concerns at current delays and highlight the importance of Treaty Bodies performing their monitoring functions given the human rights impact of COVID-19.

The letter, prepared by TB-Net, outlined that the work of the UN Treaty Bodies has been severely impacted by COVID-19 – including work of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The pandemic has prevented members of these Bodies from meeting in person in Geneva and caused the delay of 2020 reviews to assess countries’ human rights records.

The joint letter highlights the growing backlog of reviews and urges the UN Treaty Bodies and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to take all necessary measures to reschedule the delayed 2020 country reviews for no later than 2021. The letter suggests these reviews could take place either online or in a hybrid manner.

The ongoing disruption may have an impact on the UK’s next review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The UN Committee is expected to publish its List of Issues Prior to Reporting in February 2021, asking for specific information on how children’s rights are being implemented and progressed in the UK.