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United Nations: Proposals to Strengthen the Human Rights Treaty Bodies

, Index number: IOR 40/018/2003

The "concerted effort" to ratify the treaties and their protocols, called for ten years ago by the World Conference on Human Rights, has yielded some positive results - every member state of the United Nations (UN) has ratified at least one of the seven international human rights treaties, and over 81% of member states have ratified four. However, the committees charged with monitoring implementation of the treaties - the treaty bodies - have struggled to perform this function effectively. Today, the number of overdue reports from states parties stands at well over 1,000 and it is clear that many do not possess the political will to meet their reporting obligations, while for some, reporting is simply not a priority. Amnesty International has contributed to the treaty system for many years, from campaigning for the elaboration of the treaties, to reporting on their implementation. In this document it highlights some elements which are critical to the success of the treaty system and provides recommendations for strengthening the treaty body regime.

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