Reporting under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance: Training Guide (Part I – Manual) – Global

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A BACKGROUND

In January 2015, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 68/268, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) established the Treaty Body Capacity-Building Program to assist States parties to build their capacity to implement their treaty obligations. The program is based at OHCHR headquarters in Geneva, with a core team supporting capacity building staff in its regional offices in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Bishkek, Dakar, Panama, Pretoria, Santiago, Suva and Yaoundé.

In paragraph 17 of resolution 68/268, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General, through OHCHR, to assist States parties in strengthening their capacity to meet their treaty obligations and to provide advisory services, technical assistance and capacity building, in accordance with the mandate of the Office, in consultation and with the consent of the State concerned.

The capacity-building program aims to transform the perception of reporting from a burden to a tangible benefit for States Parties and, ultimately, for rights holders. The program provides assistance to States parties for treaty-specific reporting, including the preparation of common core documents and the establishment or effective operation of national reporting and monitoring mechanisms. Initially, the program organized regional train-the-trainer events each year to equip potential trainers among State officials with the knowledge and skills to support States parties in strengthening their engagement with treaty bodies and other human rights mechanisms.

In 2017, to underpin all activities, the program developed a training guide on reporting to United Nations treaty bodies.

The training guide is the first part of a comprehensive training program on human rights treaty reporting, which focuses on the procedural aspects of reporting. The training guide is divided into two complementary parts. Part One is a handbook that provides an overview of the United Nations human rights system and detailed information on treaty body reporting processes, including procedures, requirements and roles of different parties. stakeholders. It also includes chapters on the preparation of State party reports and on national reporting and follow-up mechanisms, in accordance with the guidance provided in a practical guide and a study on these mechanisms by OHCHR.

There is also a specific section and checklist on the role of other stakeholders – the UN system, the national human rights institution and civil society organizations – in the reporting process. Part II is a guide for facilitators on preparing and delivering training courses on treaty reporting. It includes facilitator notes, session plans, presentation slides, videos, quizzes, and more. The training guide has been transformed into an interactive online course on reporting to treaty bodies.

The training guide will be complemented by specific training materials on each core international human rights treaty, focusing on the substantive articles of each treaty. In addition to a training guide on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the capacity-building program has developed a practical guide on the role of national preventive mechanisms in the prevention of torture and a training guide on establishing reports under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

This training guide on reporting under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance has been developed in this context.

B. MANUAL OVERVIEW

1. WHAT IS THE MANUAL?

The handbook aims to provide States Parties with details of the Convention, which was adopted on December 20, 2006 and entered into force on December 23, 2010, and the relevant information needed to engage with the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. Its purpose is to facilitate understanding of the rights enshrined in the Convention and the corresponding obligations of States parties to respect, protect and fulfill these rights.

The handbook is based on the provisions of the Convention, substantive statements issued by the Committee, its case law on individual communications, urgent actions and concluding observations on State party reports, as well as its annual reports, guidelines on reporting, rules of procedure, working methods and other documents. The handbook should be understood as a practical tool, bearing in mind the constantly evolving practice of the Committee in interpreting the Convention.

This manual also serves as a reference document for trainers who intend to design and deliver training courses on the Convention and engage with the Committee. The manual can be used in conjunction with the training guide on reporting to treaty bodies, which covers all procedural aspects of the reporting process.

2. WHO IS THIS MANUAL FOR?

The Handbook is a source of reference for States Parties to understand the content of the Convention and the obligations arising therefrom and to engage with the Committee, whether by submitting reports or dealing with urgent actions, individual and inter-State communications. or country visits. The handbook may also be useful to various other stakeholders, such as United Nations specialized agencies and country teams, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations who wish to learn about the Convention. and the functioning of the Committee.

3. HOW TO USE THE MANUAL

The handbook has been designed to help States Parties to implement the Convention and to engage meaningfully with the Committee. It provides them with condensed information, organized by chapters, on the provisions of the Convention, the Committee and its functioning, and other relevant topics, including the guiding principles for the search for missing persons and the Working Group on Disappearances. forced or involuntary and its relation to the Committee.

The handbook begins with a general discussion of issues such as signature and ratification, reservations and declarations and briefly explains the current status of the Convention, what States must do to become parties and fully recognize the competence of the Committee, providing the reasons for becoming a State Party to the Convention.

Sections of the manual include: (a) a detailed overview of States Parties’ obligations, including an article-by-article analysis of the Convention; (b) an explanation of the composition, mandate and functions of the Committee, with clear guidelines on how to engage with it in the reporting process; urgent measures (called “urgent actions”); individual and interstate communications; country visits and referral to the General Assembly; (c) the content and scope of the guiding principles for the search for missing persons; (d) non-exhaustive examples of the provisions of the Convention reflected in other international treaties; (e) a presentation on the Working Group, its functions and its relationship with the Committee; (f) a non-exhaustive summary of the links between the Convention and the recommendations issued within the framework of the Universal Periodic Review or those of the special procedures. Finally, the manual includes a section on the links between the Convention and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Throughout the manual, examples of good practice and lessons learned from implementing the Convention and engaging with the Committee will be provided.

Where appropriate, reference will be made to general comments or reports of the Working Group, as well as general comments, views on individual communications and concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee. In this regard, it should be noted that to date, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances has not adopted any general comments. This is partly due to the fact that the Committee must expand its jurisprudence before precisely formulating its exact position on the provisions of the Convention.

As mentioned earlier, this manual is complemented by another tool, namely the notes for facilitators, which form part II of the training guide and closely follow the structure of part I. The notes have been designed to help animators to prepare and deliver training courses. on the content of the Convention and the Committee and its functions, which are ideally intended for relatively small groups up to a maximum of 25 participants. The notes will be posted online on the OHCHR website and will be updated as necessary. Training sessions can include a mix of slide presentations and group activities, and include different training elements: facilitators’ notes, session plans, slide presentations, videos, quizzes, etc. The training sessions are based on the OHCHR training methodology, which is based on a participatory approach. It is important that facilitators respect and use this approach to encourage meaningful discussions and exchanges of information and experiences with and between participants. The sessions are designed in such a way that, if necessary, the training can take place entirely online.

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