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Consideration of individual complaints under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Обновлено 19.04.2024 15:49


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As already noted in the section on the content of the Optional Protocol to the Covenant, persons who claim that their rights and freedoms enshrined in the Covenant have been violated can hold the State concerned accountable for its actions if it is a party to the Covenant or the Optional Protocol. As at the beginning of June 2004, the Committee had registered 1,295 such complaints, 362 of which were declared inadmissible in accordance with the criteria provided for in articles 3 and 5 of the Protocol, and 452 were considered on the merits. Violations of the Covenant have been identified in 349 cases; 178 complaints have been dismissed, and 305 are under consideration. Additional new information regarding these quantitative data can be obtained at: . As a rule, it may take several years from the initial submission, followed by a series of document exchanges between the parties, to the final decision of the Committee.

In some circumstances, a final decision can be reached in a much shorter time frame.

Where can I find detailed information about the procedure for submitting an individual complaint?

The process of submitting a communication and its consideration by the Human Rights Committee is described in detail in Fact Sheet No. 7 (Rev.1), entitled "Complaint procedures"; it is also the subject of a publication by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a copy of which is available upon request or available at: . We suggest that you refer to this source for a full review of the following elements, which are summarized in this document.


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