MDAC coordinates NGO statement on bringing legal cases to UN

24 October 2011, Geneva and Budapest. “Individual communications procedures” are mechanisms for individuals to being their cases to United Nations (UN) treaty bodies where they believe their human rights have been violated and where they have already gone through a country’s legal system. Such cases can play a critical and constructive role in closing gap  between human rights rhetoric and reality and can enhance the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights. They can assist States to properly understand and discharge their human rights obligations. They can hold human rights perpetrators to account, securing access to effective remedies for victims. And they can advance global human rights jurisprudence which can impact on us all.

There is a process in place looking at reforming UN treaty bodies. This is called the “Dublin process” and it aims to strengthen the UN treaty body mechanisms. So far, it has inadequately addressed the need to strengthen, streamline and coordinate the individual communications procedures. MDAC took the lead in writing the joint NGO statement, a document which aims fills the lack of attention in the Dublin process to individual complaints procedures. The statement refocus attention on individual communications by addressing recommendations to States, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and treaty bodies themselves. The statement deals with the following themes: accessibility and responsiveness of the individual communications procedures; the right to an effective remedy; implementation and follow up of views; and dissemination of information and awareness-raising.

For more information on the Individual Communications procedures under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) see here. If you believe your rights under the CRPD have been violated and think you have a case that could be brought to the CRPD Committee, please contact Ngila Bevan, MDAC Project Manager: UN Advocacy and Litigation, or fill out this form. MDAC’s work on CRPD Optional Protocol cases is kindly funded by the Disability Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations.  

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