International Human Rights Mechanisms

The core international human rights treaties form the cornerstone of all efforts to promote and protect human rights at the national and international level. The increased ratification of these treaties provides a firm ground for human rights protection. Furthermore, the individual complaints procedures opened new avenues for individuals to pursue remedies and justice for violations of their rights. The Treaty Bodies, as a part of the UN human rights mechanisms, monitor the implementation of human rights obligations by State Parties globally and translate universal norms into guidance and practical measures to achieve fuller realization of rights for all stakeholders. The Treaty Body system provides guidance on implementation and serves as an early warning mechanism for States and the international community. The expansion of UN human rights mechanisms bears testimony to the global recognition of their primary importance. At the same time, this rapid growth has put significant strains on the system and created challenges for their work. Ratification rates for both the main treaty as well as the individual communication and inquiry procedures of several treaties remain modest, in particular in South-East Asia. Moreover, the full implementation of treaties continues to be hindered by reservations made by States Parties regarding key articles.

OHCHR is mandated to support and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the UN machinery in the field of human rights. The key activities of the Regional Office for South-East Asia include advocacy on the implementation of human rights treaties including a review of relevant reservations, increasing compliance and engagement of Member States with international human rights mechanisms, facilitating dialogue and engagement of the UN human rights mechanisms with States, UN entities, national institutions and civil society as well as enhancing synergies and coherence within and between human rights mechanisms.