Professor Changrok Soh, the first South Korean member to be elected as the Vice-chair of the UN Human Rights Committee, has been part of the Committee since 2021. He participated in the 140th Session, in which he was responsible for the State Review of Namibia, the LOI on Vietnam, and the LOIPR on Mali. Below you can find an overview of the session published by the NGO Center for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR Centre).

Overview of the 140th Session of the Human Rights Committee (04 - 28 March, 2024)

The Committee reviewed seven countries on the application of the ICCPR. The review of Somalia finally took place, while Guyana was changed to hybrid mode at the very last moment.

State Reviews of Seven Countries and Adoption of LOIs

The Human Rights Committee conducted seven reviews of periodic reports and adopted Concluding observations on the seventh report of Chile, the third report of Namibia, the initial report of Somalia, the second report of Indonesia, the eighth report of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, the fourth report of Serbia, and the third report of Guyana. The Committee also adopted the List of Issues in relation to Mongolia and Vietnam, and the List of issues prior to reporting of Andorra, Azerbaijan, Djibouti and Mali.

This session was marked by the new decision of the United Nations Offices at Geneva (UNOG) to remove the option to participate remotely in the formal briefings due to budget cuts, and so only pre-recorded videos were allowed. Due to the worrisome impact this can have on civil society participation, especially for those who cannot afford to travel to Geneva, the Centre is more committed than ever to maintaining its hybrid informal briefings with the Committee, in which human rights defenders can participate both online or in person.

Moreover, after being rescheduled in the 138th session, Somalia was finally reviewed by the Committee for the first time, more than 34 years after its ratification of the ICCPR. Human rights defenders from Somalia aimed to come to Geneva to participate in person, but unfortunately their visas were rejected by the Swiss embassy of Nairobi. Their online participation was still facilitated by the Centre.

Lastly, the review of the UK report came along with the significant participation of British NGOs who attended the formal and informal briefings with the Committee. The four National Human Rights Institutions of the UK were also present and made significant contributions.

Follow-up to Concluding Observations and Views

The Committee adopted a report on Follow-up to Concluding Observations concerning Finland, Paraguay, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan.

The reports on Follow-up will be available soon here.

Decisions Adopted on Individual Communications

The Committee adopted 43 decisions, 19 were decided on the merits, 9 cases were declared inadmissible, and 15 communications were discontinued.

Regarding the cases which were decided on the merits, the Committee found: 19 violations.

In addition to this, unfortunately the presentation and adoption of the Follow-up report on Views was postponed to the next Committee session.

Next on the Agenda

The next 141st session will take place from 1 July to 2 August 2024. The Committee will review Croatia, Honduras, India, Maldives, Malta, Pakistan, Suriname, Syria. It will also adopt the List of Issues of Chad and the List of Issues Prior to Reporting of Austria, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Latvia, and Sierra Leone.

The contents are as follows: