How ILGA engages with the Treaty Bodies
ILGA provides member organisations with support and guidance on all the activities of the Treaty Bodies, where NGOs get to contribute in different moments.
State periodic review
Every 3-5 years, State parties are obliged to report to relevant committees about their implementation of human rights treaties.
Apart from such “official” reports, the committees welcome “alternative” (or “shadow”) reports by civil society actors. LGBTI defenders may describe the situation of their communities and suggest questions, as well as recommendations for their governments. NGO representatives may also attend the committees’ sessions.
In 2016, ILGA supported more than 50 groups and organisations from all regions in their engagement with Treaty Bodies.
We are happy to provide guidelines and examples of SOGIESC shadow reports, to help LGBTI defenders elaborate their submissions, to support them during their visits to Geneva, and to advise them on follow-up activities to ensure that recommendations are implemented.
ILGA was greatly helpful not only logistically but also emotionally because lobbying at the UN sometimes can make one feel helpless and intimidated in front of experts.
Apart from examining country-specific situations, the committees also develop general interpretations of the human rights treaties in their general comments. Such documents may cover specific articles, rights or type of violations. Civil society actors usually have the opportunity to submit their written proposals on draft general comments, and sometimes also participate in General Discussion Days.
ILGA informs defenders about upcoming opportunities, and is happy to coordinate submissions on SOGIESC issues.
In 2017, for example, we submitted joint comments on equality and non-discrimination to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Most of the committees may examine individual cases of human rights violations. Two of the committees, the Human Rights Committee and the Committee against Torture, have already made decisions on sexual orientation and gender identity cases. Bringing an individual case to the UN Treaty Bodies could help achieving justice for a specific person, but also to foster more systemic changes affecting the whole community. If you are thinking of bringing a case to the UN Treaty Bodies, or if your case has been communicated already, contact us to get support.
But that is not all.
ILGA also analyses practices of the committees to identify gaps and recent developments from a broader prospective, and engage with committee members to ensure that they have general information about SOGIESC issues.