GENEVA – South Africa’s human rights record will be reviewed for the first time by the UN Human Rights Committee on 7 and 8 March in Geneva. As one of the 168 States that have ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), South Africa is required to undergo review by the Committee on how it is implementing the Covenant. The Committee, which is composed of 18 international independent members, will discuss a range of issues relating to the ICCPR with a delegation from the South African Government. Members will also be briefed by NGO representatives and the South African Human Rights Commission.
The Committee’s meetings with the delegation are public and will take place on 7 March from 15:00 – 18:00 (16:00 – 19:00 in South Africa) and 8 March from 10:00 – 13:00 (11:00 – 14:00) at Palais Wilson in Geneva. The sessions will be webcast at www.treatybodywebcast.org.
South Africa has submitted a report to the Committee on the implementation of its human rights obligations, and non-governmental organisations have also sent reports for the Committee’s consideration. More information here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.
The Committee will publish its findings, officially termed concluding observations, on South Africa and the other countries being reviewed – Namibia, Sweden, New Zealand, Slovenia Costa Rica and Rwanda – on 30 March here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) are marking their 50th anniversary in 2016. The UN Human Rights Office is running a campaign, entitled “Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always”, throughout the year to promote and raise awareness of the two treaties. The campaign is focussing on the timeless themes of rights and freedoms, in particular freedom from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom from want, and the work that continues to secure and ensure them. . Check the campaign website at http://2covenants.ohchr.org