The ICJ today made an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council, welcoming the presentation of UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the right to challenge detention, and a report on forced labour and slavery in supply chains.
The statement was made during an Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.
The ICJ said that the implementation of the Basic Principles and Guidelines would help prevent governments from depriving people of liberty solely for exercising freedoms of opinion and expression; peaceful assembly and association; thought, conscience and religion; or on the basis of discrimination. Such violations are often achieved by circumventing or suspending essential legal procedural protections such as habeas corpus.
The ICJ noted that the right to challenge detention is also a key safeguard against incommunicado or secret detention, enforced disappearance, and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
The ICJ welcomed the attention the Working Group has given to the challenging contexts of counter-terrorism and armed conflicts, where such concerns are particularly acute.
The ICJ also welcomed the report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, addressing the issue of modern slavery and forced labour in supply chains, and the Rapporteur’s emphasis on the right to an effective remedy. In addition to the international legal and policy frameworks and continuing efforts by States and businesses outlined in the report, the ICJ noted that UN treaty-bodies have produced useful guidance and recommendations, such as the General Comment adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2013, on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights.
The full statement may be downloaded in PDF format here: UN-Advocacy-Oral statementWGADandSRslavery-2015
Earlier in the week, the ICJ published a legal commentary on certain aspects of the Principles and Guidelines, related to situations of armed conflict. The commentary is available here.