Guidelines for the submission of individual communications to the UN treaty bodies

Заголовок: Guidelines for the submission of individual communications to the UN treaty bodies Сведения: 2024-04-01 16:25:30
Committees that can receive individual communications

Please specify only one treaty body (the "Committee") to which you are sending your communication. Treaty bodies that may consider individual communications: the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CNI).

  1. The State party against which the complaint is being filed

Please ensure that the State party concerned has recognized the competence of the Committee to consider individual complaints by ratifying the relevant Optional Protocol to the human rights treaty or by making a declaration under the relevant article of the treaty, which establishes the procedure for the consideration of individual communications by the Committee. You can check whether the State has recognized the competence of the Committee here: .

Please verify that the events underlying the alleged violation occurred after the State party's recognition of the Committee's competence to receive individual communications (through the State's ratification of the relevant Optional Protocol or declaration), or that such violation continued after that date.

3-7. Applicants and victims

An applicant is a person who submits a communication to the Committee concerning, as a rule, violations of his/her own rights. In such cases, this person is both the applicant and the victim. When making final decisions, most Committees refer to the applicant as the "author". The applicant may also act on behalf of another person who is unable to file a complaint for objective reasons (for example, in connection with death, disappearance or incommunicado detention), if the applicant is a member of the victim's family or can otherwise substantiate a legitimate interest.

8-9. Representative

A representative of a person may participate in the preparation of a case, which may be either a lawyer (lawyer) or a non-lawyer (for example, a human rights organization). The participation of a lawyer in the preparation of the case is not mandatory, although legal advice can improve the quality of the submitted materials. Applicants should be aware of the fact that the United Nations does not provide legal assistance under these procedures.

  1. Anonymization of the name of the applicant/victim

The message should not be anonymous. The identity of the victim and the author of the communication, as well as their contact information, must be provided to the Committees and are generally necessary in order for the State party to respond to the allegations. Anonymous messages are not accepted. However, the victim(s) and/or the author may request that their identity not be disclosed in the final decision of the Committee. The final decisions taken by the Committees are made public. Therefore, if applicants do not wish their identity to be disclosed in the final decision, they should indicate this at the earliest opportunity. Due to the fact that decisions tend to be widely publicized (including dissemination via the Internet, which makes it almost impossible to correct and/or delete data), the United Nations will not be able to satisfy requests for anonymity submitted after the publication of the final decisions.

  1. Use of other international mechanisms

If the same case has been submitted to other treaty bodies or to regional mechanisms such as the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights or the African Commission or the Court of Human and Peoples' Rights, then most committees will not be able to consider the communication. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Committee may consider such a case if it is no longer under consideration by another instance of international settlement, and if the State party concerned did not oppose such reconsideration at the time of ratification of the treaty or accession to it.

This rule does not apply to individual communications submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

  1. Temporary and protective measures

Interim measures may be applied in urgent cases, requesting the State concerned to take measures to prevent irreparable harm to the alleged victim while the case is still under consideration by the Committee. "Irreparable harm" is damage that, by its nature, cannot be compensated. The author requesting temporary measures must justify that the risk is real, and that if it is realized, the damage will be irreparable. The author must also demonstrate the individual nature of the threat (and not just refer to a general danger). Typical temporary measures include, for example, suspension of execution of the death sentence or deportation to a country where the author is at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

The applicant may apply to the Committee for interim measures at any time pending the adoption of a final decision or "Considerations". Such a request should be received by the Secretariat as early as possible, before the actions that the applicant seeks to prevent are implemented.

The applicant has the right at any stage of the process to request that measures be taken to protect persons related to the communication, including lawyers, witnesses and family members of the victim, from reprisals. The risk must be associated with the presentation of the message. This request may even be directed to the status of the follow-up procedure (execution of Considerations by the State).

  1. The facts of the case, including the exhaustion of domestic remedies

Applicants should state the main facts of the case in chronological order, including a description of the remedies that have been used at the domestic level and the decisions that have been taken by the national authorities. Before filing a complaint with the Committee, applicants must first exhaust all available remedies available in the State party. This usually involves filing a claim through the national judicial system all the way to the highest instance, unless the applicants can justify that such remedies are unreasonably prolonged or ineffective, or that they are inaccessible to the applicant. Detailed reasons should be provided for which the applicant believes that the general rule cannot be applied. The existence of doubts about the effectiveness of a particular remedy does not exempt from the obligation to exhaust it. Please do not include the complaint itself in this part, it should be formulated in paragraph 14 below.

It is important to submit a communication as soon as possible after domestic remedies have been exhausted. Delays in this process may make it difficult for the State party to provide an appropriate response, as well as for the Committee to conduct a thorough analysis of the facts. In some cases, submitting a communication after a long period may lead to the case being considered an abuse of the right to petition and, therefore, be declared inadmissible.

The time frame for submitting communications from the moment of exhaustion of domestic remedies varies depending on the Committee:

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD): 6 months

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC): 1 year

UN Human Rights Committee (HRC): 5 years

There is no fixed time limit for submitting communications to other Committees.

  1. Complaint

Applicants should indicate why they believe that the facts described constitute a violation of their rights under a specific contract. Applicants are encouraged to refer to specific articles of the agreement, especially if their interests are represented before the Committee by lawyers. Applicants must indicate the rights set out in the treaty that were allegedly violated and how the State party violated these rights on the basis of the facts presented. In addition, it is also desirable to indicate the specific remedies that the author would like to receive from the State party if the Committee concludes that the facts presented to it indicate a violation.

Insufficiently substantiated facts and statements may be the reason for refusal to register a message.

15 – 17. Submission of messages

The message must be submitted in writing, it must be legible, preferably printed and signed. Communications sent in electronic form must be electronically signed or manually signed, scanned and attached to an e-mail addressed to the OHCHR Petitions and Urgent Action Section (Этот адрес электронной почты защищён от спам-ботов. У вас должен быть включен JavaScript для просмотра. ). An unsigned version of the message, executed using Word, must also be presented. Paper messages will not be processed unless it is justified that it is not possible to submit the message in electronic form.

Only those communications prepared in one of the working languages of the Secretariat (English, French, Russian and Spanish) will be accepted. If the appendices to the communication are not presented in any of these languages, they should be accompanied by an informal summary with a translation. Applicants should send only copies of documents, not their originals. The documents are not returned to the senders.

The annexes should include any decisions taken at the national or international level, as well as other official documents relevant to the case, such as medical reports.

If the description of the facts/complaint is unclear, or if there is no material information necessary to process the complaint as part of the individual communications procedure, the Petitions and Urgent Measures Section may contact the applicant with a request for additional information or re-submission of the communication. Authors should be conscientious in their communication with the Section, and the requested information should be sent promptly. If the information is not received within two years from the date of the request, the case is closed.

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