Participation of civil society organisations in UN treaty review processes at risk

Date: 9th February 2024
Category: General measures of implementation, Civil Rights and Freedoms


It is no longer mandatory for the UN to provide online participation for official UN meetings, including those held by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which will limit the direct participation of civil society organisations, children and young people in the UN Treaty Review process. The International Service for Human Rights has gathered over 220 signatures from civil society organisations including Together, endorsing a letter that advocates for ensuring live online mechanisms of participation are maintained.

The UN Office at Geneva has received instructions from its headquarters in New York not to give them the necessary mandate to continue providing hybrid services for official meetings, and to cease doing so immediately. This means no civil society organisations will be able to take part in Treaty Reviews like the Committee on the Rights of the Child Review of the UK, unless they can afford to attend in person in Geneva, undermining direct participation of civil society and children and young people.

Civil society organisations including Together are extremely concerned about this decision taken by the UN and are advocating to ensure a hybrid approach is taken for all UN human rights bodies and mechanisms.