Author: Aastha Singh From Chanakya National Law University, Content Writer BACKGROUND: The General Assembly through its resolution in 1996 established International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (herein after ICCPR) in view to protect the civil and political rights across globe in United National. It was enforced in the year 1976, almost 10 years after the resolution was passed. It is often addressed as the key to Intentional Rights de to its two protocols: 1. International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights 2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Together forms International Bill of Human Rights. It is a multilateral treat which binds the state parties to protect and preserve the basic human rights including the right to life, freedom of speech, equality before law and equal protection of law, freedom of religion and gender equality etc. In addition to these rights it also protect the minorities rights and rights of family. It can be broadly diving into following heads for simply learning. · freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment · fair trial rights · freedom of thought, religion and expression · privacy, home and family life · equality and non-discrimination It positive binds the State Parties to take positive steps through its Legislative, judicial and administrative organs to ensure protection of these rights and mitigate infringement by way of adopting effective measures. There are a total 173 signatories of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. One of the important features of ICCPR is that it mandates all the government of the State Parties including the local givernmentsto take affirmative actions in order to maintain the objectives enshrined in the treaty. In addition to this, it also binds all the private conyractor as well who carry out the governmental function or assist Government.  When any State ratifies the treaty an understanding is established between UN and the State parties that the treaty "shall be implemented by the Federal Government to the extent that it exercises legislative and judicial jurisdiction over the matters covered" by the treaty, "and otherwise by the state and local governments" with support from the federal government for the fulfillment of the Covenant. PURPOSE: The purpose of ICCPR is to actively ensure that the each individual hasdignity and basic human rights. Secondly, ensure that the States are taking active measure to mitigate such issues which may pose a threat to the rights of the Humans due to which they are unable to enjoy their civil and political rights Moreover, the preamble itself puts an obligation on States to take effective measures though action of Judiciary, legislative and administration to protect the basic human rights enshrined in the Covenant. What is the Human Rights Committee? The objective of establishment of human rights committee was to administer and check the implementation of ICCPR. 18 experts universally recognized for their imminent contribution in the field of Human Rights, are elected for a period of four years to from the body of the committee. However, these experts must essentially be from the countries which has signed and ratified the Covenant. In 2019, experts from Albania, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Mauritania, Paraguay, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia, and Uganda formed the part of the Committee. Function of the Human Rights Committee The Human Rights Committee assembles at Geneva Switzerland thrice a year for general discussion and submission of reports from the State Parties. The State Parties are mandated to report to Committee at the UN Headquarter once in every four years. In cases of conflicts, the committee passes general statement or observation retailing to a question of law on Human Rights which are binding in the States. It is also published and usually live steamed.. Some important judgment of Human Rights Committee The Human Rights Committee has contributed enormously in expanding the right to life in various context. It stated that it is essential on the part of the State to take measures in order to protect the health of the citizen from beng deteriorated and thus, should take steps in order to reduce reduce infantmortality and to increase life expectancy. In addition to this measures should be adopted to eliminate malnutrition and epidemics.”Further more, the case of EHP v. Canadaproves helpful in further understanding theextent of Right to life where the Committee observed that the temporary disposal site for radioactivewaste raised serious issues with regard to the obligation of States parties to protect human life. InLantsova v. The Russian Federation the Committee found even if there is no actual“killing”, the failure to provide medical care is enough to constitute aviolation of the right to life. Furthermore, Carlos Cabal and Marco PasiniBertran v. Australiainvolved a decision on admissibility on failure to separate detainees with communicable diseasesfrom other detainees could be covered under Right to life. The rights protected under the ICCPR include: Summary of the Constitution of ICCPR Rights Article 6 – Right to life Article 8 – Right to not be enslaved Article 9 – Right to liberty and security of the person. Article 10 – Rights of detainees. Article 11 – Right to not be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation Article 13 – Rights of aliens. Article 16 – Right to recognition as a person before the law. Article 18 – Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Article 19 – Right to hold opinions without interference. Article 21 – Right of peaceful assembly. Article 22 – Right to freedom of association with others. Article 23 – Right to marry. Article 24 – Children’s rights Article 25 – Right to political participation. Freedom .
Article 7 – Freedom from torture. Article 12 – Freedom of movement and choice of residence for lawful residents.
Article 14 – Equality before the courts and tribunals. Right to a fair trial. Article 15 – No one can be guilty of an act of a criminal offence which did not constitute a criminal offence. Article 17 – Freedom from arbitrary or unlawful interference. Article 20 – Propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law. Article 26 – Equality before the law. Article 27 – Minority protection. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-human-rights-work/monitoring-and-promoting-un-treaties/international-covenant-civil-and
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". United Nations Treaty Collection. 24 August 2018.
General comment 6/16 of 27 July 1982.
E. H. P. v. Canada Communication no. 67/1980.
Lantsova v.The Russian Federation Communication No.763/1997.
Carlos Cabal and Marco PasiniBertran v. Australia Communication 1020/2001.