Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Reflections on the General Assembly’s Recent Resolution on Human Rights Treaty Body Reform

By Fiona McGaughey,

University of Western Australia

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

After more than 30 years of discussions and reports on the human rights treaty system, the latest statement from the UN General Assembly is contained in its resolution on reform passed on 9 April. ‘Strengthening and Enhancing the Effective Functioning of the Human Rights Treaty Body System’ includes measures that should improve the efficiency of the system, but it is not self-evident that these measures will improve its effectiveness. Ultimately, the effectiveness of human rights treaties can only be improved by better promotion and protection of human rights for the people who seek to exercise them, and this broader aim of human rights treaties has not been adequately addressed by the UN.

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