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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Part II. International Human Rights System. 10/11previousTable of Contentsnext

9. Other International Mechanisms


PART I. National Frameworks for the Protection of Rights of Persons with Disabilities
PART II. The International Human Rights System
1. Introduction to the International Human Rights System
1.1 Exhaustion of Local Remedies
1.2 Disability Rights at the International Level
2. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
2.1 Review of provisions
2.2 Reporting Procedure Under the ICCPR
2.3 Emergency procedure Under the ICCPR
2.4 Individual Communication Procedure
3. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
3.1 Review of provisions
3.2 1503 Procedure Under the ICESCR
4. The Convention on the Rights of the Child
4.1 Review of provisions
4.2 Reporting Procedure
4.3 Thematic Consideration of Issues
4.4 Missions
5. The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
5.1 Review of Provisions
5.2 Reporting Procedure
5.3 Exceptional Reporting Procedure
5.4 Complaint Procedure
6. The Convention Against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment
6.1 Review of provisions
6.2 Reporting Procedure
6.3 Investigative procedure
6.4 Individual Complaints Procedure
7. The International Labour organization (ILO)
7.1 The Complaint Procedure
7.2 ILO Provision on the Rights of the Migrant Worker
8. Other International Norms and standards
9. Other International Mechanisms
10. Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
10.1 Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflicts
10.2 Human Rights in Times of Emergency
10.3 Civilian Persons Hors de Combat
10.4 Special Protection for the Wounded and Sick
10.5 Victims of Land Mines and Armed Conflicts
PART III. The Regional Human Rights System
PART IV. Towards a Rights Based Perspective on Disability
PART V. Rights of Special Groups with Disabilities

9.1 The Commission on Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights is the most important human rights body established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is composed of representatives of Member States and it meets yearly for six weeks. It receives reports on and discusses human rights situations in specific countries and also specific human rights issues. It is assisted in its work by the Sub-Commission, a body of independent experts who serve in their individual capacities. Under Resolution 1235 the Commission can examine information relevant to gross violations of human rights in specific countries. There needs to be a consistent pattern of violation. The procedure is public and widely used. This procedure has allowed the establishment of Special Rapporteurs or Representatives to carry out fact-finding missions. Information can be received by any individual, group or state in any form. Another procedure is that established by Resolution 1503. This procedure is also designed narrowly to address situations which appear to reveal a widespread pattern of gross human rights abuses, but the examination is confidential. Communications cannot be anonymous; they cannot be politically motivated; they cannot be based exclusively on mass media reports; they must explain how the domestic remedies have been exhausted; and they must be submitted within reasonable time of the exhaustion of domestic remedies.
The Commission's thematic mechanisms are Special Rapporteurs, such as the Special Rapporteur on Disability, and Working Groups. They analyse a particular human rights question by examining information which they receive and visiting countries. They submit annual reports to the Commission, informing it of their activities.

9.2 The Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission on the Status of Women was established by the ECOSOC in 1946. The 32 members are representatives of their Governments. Its original charge was to prepare recommendations and reports to ECOSOC on promoting women's rights in different fields.

Currently, the Commission's major function is to promote the role of women in economic and social development adopted by the world conferences. It regularly adopts resolutions on topics such as elimination of discrimination against women and exercise of all their rights, women and development, elderly women, etc. A second function of the Commission is to make recommendations, via ECOSOC to the Secretary-General and appropriate UN-Bodies concerning increased participation of women within the UN system and implementation and co-ordination of UN programs to advance the rights of women. Since 1987, the Commission assumes a third function, namely, making policy recommendations to ECOSOC concerning priority themes of the Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, Adopted by the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the UN Decade for Women, held in Nairobi in July 1985.

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United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development