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 139th Session, in which he was responsible for the state review of the United States (Special Rapporteur) and Iran, and the LOIPR on Pakistan. Below you can find an overview of the session published by the NGO CCPR Center.

Overview of the 139th Session of the Human Rights Committee (09 October - 03 November 2023)

The Committee reviewed six countries on the application of the ICCPR. The review of Haiti was postponed once again, while the civil society of the US made an outstanding contribution.

  • 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 fourth report of Iran, the fourth report of Kuwait, the fifth report of the Republic of Korea, the fifth report of Trinidad and Tobago, the fifth report of the United States of America, and the fifth report of Venezuela.

The review of the second report of Haiti, was postponed once again due given the extremely fragile situation in the country. This time around, the closing of the border with the Dominican Republic and the publication of the Findings of the appointed expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti were of particular relevance for considering a postponement. A new date is still unknown.

The review of the United States of America was particularly intense. A record number of NGO representatives came to Geneva to participate in the numerous formal and informal briefings accommodated with both the Committee members and the State delegation. Given the high number of participants, the dialogue took place in Room XX of Palais des Nations rather than in the usual room of Palais Wilson, and the dialogue started with a minute of silence for all the civilian victims in hospitals and schools during the previous days.

The Committee also adopted the List of Issues in relation to Pakistan, and the List of issues prior to reporting of San Marino and Slovakia.

In total, the Centre facilitated the engagement of 90 human rights defenders with the Committee, including several who participated remotely. Seven CSO briefings were organized by the Centre in addition to the two formal briefings organized by the Secretariat.

  • Follow-up to Concluding Observations and Views

The Committee adopted a report on Follow-up to Concluding Observations concerning Belgium, Czech Republic, Mauritania and Nigeria.

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

  • Decisions Adopted on Individual Communications

The Committee adopted 55 decisions: 25 were decided on the merits, 16 cases were declared inadmissible, and 14 communications were discontinued.

Regarding the cases which were decided on the merits, the Committee found: 22 violations, and 3 non-violations.

  • Next on the Agenda

The next 140th session will take place from 4 to 28 March 2024. The Committee will review Chile, Guyana, Indonesia, Namibia, Serbia, Somalia, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It will also adopt the List of Issues of Mongolia and Pakistan and the List of Issues Prior to Reporting of Azerbaijan, Djibouti and Mali.

The contents is as follows: