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Petitions Before The United Nations Treaty Bodies: Focus On The Human Rights Committee'S Optional Protocol Procedure

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Chapter Summary

The United Nations receives thousands of petitions concerning alleged violations of human rights from individuals, groups and organizations. These are screened by the Secretariat of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, which channels them into the appropriate procedures, whether treaty- or resolution-based. The treaty-bodies consider petitions and issue Views, Opinions, or Decisions of a quasi- judicial nature. This chapter focuses on the Optional Protocol procedure of the Human Rights Committee (OP), which is similar to the procedures of Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and Committee against Torture (CAT) with respect to working methods, admissibility criteria, examination of the merits and formulation of conclusions. It highlights some success stories of the HRC and indicates where jurisprudential development is possible and necessary, notably concerning the right to identity, the human right to peace, and the right to a remedy.

Keywords: CERD; committee against torture (CAT); human rights committee; OHCHR; optional protocol procedure; United Nations treaty bodies



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