Treaty bodies | Individual communications must be addressed in the 2020 review


A new report highlights the critical importance to urgently address the situation of the Treaty Bodies individual communications procedure as part of the 2020 review.

The report, published by the Hertie School Centre for Fundamental Rights in Berlin, is based on inputs from a range of NGOs and academia, including ISHR. It draws seven major recommendations on UNTB individual communications in the context of the review of GA resolution 68/268

  1. Improve basic and essential knowledge for victims of human rights violations to effectively access the complaint mechanisms before the UN human rights treaty bodies
  2. Improve communication with complainants during the examination of the complaint
  3. Improve coherence, transparency and quality of Views on individual complaints
  4. Improve coherence, and clarity on the remedies recommended by the Treaty Bodies
  5. Improvement to follow up procedures to the Views
  6. Ensure effective dissemination of Views to user-end communities
  7. Urgently improve funding of the UN Petitions Unit and Urgent Action Section

ISHR contributed to the study and recommendations, including with a focus on the issue of dissemination of public information related to the UNTB individual communications. The ISHR submission provides a range of practical recommendations related to two stages in the review process:

  1. Prior to the adoption of views
  • Public information on the procedure
  • Communication between the parties
  • Accessibility of information regarding cases pending review
  1. Following the adoption of views
  • Visibility of the adopted views
  • Access to jurisprudence
  • Visibility at the national level

Finally, as part of the joint ISHR and Open Global Rights series of opinion editorials on the 2020 review of UN Treaty Bodies, the following post from Irina Crivet addresses specifically the issue of follow up to the UNTB individual communications.


Contact: Vincent Ploton

Photo credit: Hertie school


  • Treaty body strengthening process
  • UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies