New discussion paper with key proposals regarding the follow-up on views issued by UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

Publish Date: 
Friday, June 9, 2017

The Strategic Litigation Working Group (SLWG) has launched a discussion paper with eight key proposals regarding the follow-up on views issued by United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies (UNTBs). ESCR-Net’s SLWG recognizes the significance of decisions issued by UNTBs under the complaints procedures (Views) in the advancement of human rights enjoyment by people around the world, and welcomes the past action and willingness of the UNTBs to continue developing constructive practices regarding the impact and implementation of such Views.

Three principles underpin the SLWG’s proposals: the principle of non-repetition (consistently applied by the HRC in its views and by the CESCR in its General Comments); the principle of reasonableness (developed by the CESCR through its General Comments and 2007 Statement on Maximum Availability of Resources, and made explicit in the OP-ICESCR); and the principle of participation (recognized under a number of UN human rights treaties). Taking into account the practice of different international and regional human rights bodies, the SLWG proposes that the three principles should be applied during the consideration of a case, follow up and implementation, in order to maximize the effectiveness of human rights remedies.

The Strategic Litigation Working Group (SLWG) is composed of 78 leading human rights organizations, advocates and academics, located in 30 countries, and seeks to provide a space for members to share resources and information, discuss key issues, and explore possibilities for collective efforts to support the effective litigation and enforcement of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) globally. The SLWG engages directly in strategic litigation and implementation, including in regard to UN treaty bodies (UNTBs), and also focuses on institutional development to support participatory and effective realization of ESCR in practice. The SLWG is part of a larger network, the International Network on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), which is composed of over 280 social movements, NGOs and advocates across 75 countries—seeking to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all. Please see a list of SLWG members at the end of this document.In order further to increase the visibility and implementation of UNTBs’ Views, the SLWG presents eight key proposals for consideration by the UNTBs themselves and by the UN system more broadly. These are informed by the expertise and experience of the members of the SLWG in litigating and engaging in implementation activities across a range of jurisdictions, and also include (non-exhaustive) reference to current practices and recommendations by international and regional bodies, including UNTBs, as well as other commentators.

The discussion paper is available here

Working Group(s):