Treaty Body Reform

In 2020, the United Nations (UN) will review the functioning of the ten human rights treaty bodies. While the issue has received some attention from the academic community, there has been only limited interest from states and international NGOs, and no engagement or consultation of national and local actors. The treaty bodies are far from perfect, but they have contributed to far-reaching changes and improvements in human rights protection. For many victims of human rights violations, they continue to constitute a last hope for justice. Their improvement and effective functioning is critical to the global human rights movement.

In advance of the UN review, OpenGlobalRights and the International Service for Human Rights want to stimulate more discussion on ways to improve the work of the treaty bodies. What are the main challenges facing the treaty bodies? What innovations have been tried to meet these challenges? What more can be done? What examples are there of the impact of the treaty bodies, and what lessons emerge from such cases? This series address these and related questions.

Strengthening treaty bodies, protecting human rights has been produced in collaboration with the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), and was launched in 2019.


Collaborating Editors: David Petrasek, senior editor at OpenGlobalRights, and Vincent Plotondirector of UN treaty body advocacy at the International Service for Human Rights