1966 Covenant on Civil & Political Rights


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In force from 23 March, 1976
Commits parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including:
-The right to life
-Freedom of religion
-Freedom of speech
-Freedom of assembly
-Electoral rights
-Rights to due process and a fair trial

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1966 Covenant on Civil & Political Rights

  1. 1. COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS (1966) M. Thorn Saturday, 3 August 13
  2. 2. General ‣In force from 23 March, 1976 -Commits parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including: -The right to life -Freedom of religion -Freedom of speech -Freedom of assembly -Electoral rights -Rights to due process and a fair trial ‣As of May 2013, 74 signatories, 167 ratifications ‣Part of the International Bill of Human Rights ‣Monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (separate body to United Nations Human Rights Council) Saturday, 3 August 13
  3. 3. Non-signatories Signed but not ratified 1.  People's Republic of China (1998) 2.  Comoros (2008) 3.  Cuba (2008) 4.  Nauru (2001) 5.  Palau (2011) 6.  Sao Tome and Principe (1995) 7.  Saint Lucia (2011) (a number of states have signed, and have ratified with altered conditions/ disclaimers) Neither signed nor ratified 1.  Antigua and Barbuda 2.  Bhutan 3.  Brunei 4.  Burma (Myanmar) 5.  Fiji 6.  Kiribati 7.  Malaysia 8.  Marshall Islands 9.  Federated States of Micronesia 10. Oman 11.  Qatar 12.  Saint Kitts and Nevis 13.  Saudi Arabia 14.  Singapore 15.  Solomon Islands 16.  Tonga 17.  Tuvalu 18.  United Arab Emirates Saturday, 3 August 13
  4. 4. Parties and signatories to the ICCPR Dark green: signed and ratified Light Green: signed but not ratified Orange: signed, ratified but has stated it wishes to leave the covenant. The UN has stated that no member may leave the covenant except by the concurrence of all other members. It is unclear if North Korea still considers itself bound by the agreement   neither signed nor ratified Grey: neither signed, nor ratified Saturday, 3 August 13
  5. 5. History ‣Roots in the same process that lead to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ‣1945 San Francisco Conference proposed a "Declaration on the Essential Rights of Man" ‣Lead to formation of the UN ‣Economic and Social Council was given task of drafting the "Declaration…" ‣Early on, the document was split into: ‣Declaration setting forth general principles of human rights ‣Convention/ covenant containing binding requirements ‣Evolved into the UDHR (adopted 10 Dec, 1948) Saturday, 3 August 13
  6. 6. History (cont.) ‣Realisation by UN members of two general areas of rights: ‣negative Civil and Political ‣positive Economic, Social and Cultural ‣"one to contain civil and political rights and the other to contain economic, social and cultural rights" ‣each would contain an article on the right of all peoples to self-determination ‣First document became the: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ‣Second became the: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ‣presented to the UN General Assembly for discussion in 1954, adopted in 1966 Saturday, 3 August 13
  7. 7. Summary The Covenant follows the structure of the UDHR and ICESCR, with a preamble and fifty-three articles, divided into six parts. Part 1 (Article 1) Recognises the right of all peoples to self-determination, including: • the right to "freely determine their political status" • pursue their economic, social and cultural goals • manage and dispose of their own resources. • It recognises a negative right of a people not to be deprived of its means of subsistence • Imposes an obligation on those parties still responsible for non-self governing and trust territories (colonies) to encourage and respect their self-determination Part 2 (Articles 2 – 5) Obliges parties to legislate where necessary to give effect to the rights recognised in the Covenant, and to provide an effective legal remedy for any violation of those rights. Saturday, 3 August 13
  8. 8. Summary Part 3 (Articles 6 – 27) Lists the rights themselves. These include rights to physical integrity, in the form of the right to life and freedom from torture and slavery (Articles 6, 7, and 8); ‣ liberty and security of the person, in the form of freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention and the right to habeas corpas (Articles 9 – 11); ‣ procedural fairness in law, in the form of rights to due process, a fair and impartial trial, the presumption of innocence, and recognition as a person before the law (Articles 14, 15, and 16); ‣ individual liberty, in the form of the freedoms of movement, thought, conscience and religion, speech, association and assembly, family rights, the right to a nationality, and the right to privacy (Articles 12, 13, 17 – 24); ‣ prohibition of any propaganda for war as well as any advocacy of national or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence by law (Article 20); ‣ political participation, including the right to join a political party and the right to vote (Article 25); ‣ Non-discrimination, minority rights and equality before the law (Articles 26 and 27). ‣ Many of these rights include specific actions which must be undertaken to realise them. Saturday, 3 August 13
  9. 9. Summary Part 4 (Articles 28 – 45) Governs the establishment and operation of the Human Rights Committee and the reporting and monitoring of the Covenant. Part 5 (Articles 46 – 47) Clarifies that the Covenant shall not be interpreted as interfering with the operation of the United Nations or "the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources". Part 6 (Articles 48 – 53) Governs ratification, entry into force, and amendment of the Covenant. Saturday, 3 August 13
  10. 10. Breaches ‣ Syria (Syrian General Military Directorate, Political Security Branch, Military Intelligence Branch and Air Force Intelligence Branch) ‣ Unlawful killing (including children), medical personnel and patients ‣ Amnesty was also in the possession of 10,000 names, mainly men and boys, who had been killed since February 2011 ‣ Torture, including of children, hospital patients (sexual and psychological torture) ‣ Human Rights Watch documented more than 20 different methods of torture used against detainees, including: ‣ Prolonged and severe beatings, often with objects such as batons and wires ‣ Painful stress positions ‣ Electrocution ‣ Burning with car battery acid ‣ Sexual assault ‣ Pulling out fingernails ‣ Mock execution ‣ Sexual violence ‣ Arbitrary arrest “on a massive scale”*= UN reported 10,000 persons arbitrarily detained between mid-March and the late June 2011 (number officially doubled in 2012) ‣ Seidnaya jail, north of Damascus, 2,500 military officers and lesser ranks being held after they disobeyed orders/ attempted desertion ‣ Heavy and indiscriminate shelling on civilian areas ‣ Enforced disappearances Saturday, 3 August 13
  11. 11. Breaches ‣ Wide scale and systematic destruction and looting of property ‣ Systematic denial of food and water and prevention of medical treatment, including to children *Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, UN Human Rights Council. 15 September 2011. Periodic Update of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. UN Human Rights Council. 24 May 2012. ‣ Chad’s failure to protect the rights of women and girls ‣ Chad Denies Girls the Right of Full Consent to Marry and Permits Inequality of Rights At and During Marriage ‣ Chad Deprives Women and Girls of the Right to Life and Denies Them Freedom from Torture ‣ Chad Deprives Women of the Equal Right to Political Participation and Representation ‣ Chad Unlawfully Discriminates by Denying Education to Women and Girls ‣ http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/IHRLS_Chad_95.pdf Saturday, 3 August 13
  12. 12. Breaches ‣ Deportation of Stephan Nystrom, from Australia to Sweden (2007) http://www.theage.com.au/national/deport-order-violated-rights-20110906-1jvzt.html ‣ Allegedly,Australia’s offshore processing regime (present) ‣ “Too many have lost their lives at sea when seeking asylum. However, punishing those who survive is not a necessary, humane or lawful policy response” -HRLC Executive Director Phil Lynch ‣ http://www.hrlc.org.au/offshore-processing-regime-breaches-fundamental-human-rights-hrlc-tells-parliamentary-inquiry Saturday, 3 August 13