Centre for Civil and Political Rights
How will the Human Rights Committee address corruption in 2019?

Overview and timeline of the possibilities to engage with the Committee prepared by the Centre for Civil and Political Rights


This newsletter presents the latest developments on the  Human Rights Committee's approach towards corruption and its negative impact on the enjoyment of civil and political rights. The analysis is based on the Lists of Issues (LOIs) adopted during the 122nd, 123rd and 124th session of the Human Rights Committee. 

In 75% of the LOIs that were adopted in 2018, the Committee asks information about the measures taken to eradicate corruption. This proves that this issue has become a prominent concern for the Human Rights Committee. 

These LOIs form the basis of the review, after which the Concluding Observations will be adopted. 
The reviews of Guinea and Gambia already took place in October 2018. The Concluding Observations that were adopted afterwards, are available here and here. The Human Rights Committee adopted recommendations on corruption for Guinea and even considered this an urgent issue, asking the State to report on the implementation of the recommendation within two years. 

Angola, Niger and Vietnam will be reviewed in March 2019. The Human Rights Committee asks more information about illicit financial flows in Angola. It also requests more information on natural resource exploration, bribing of security forces and the independence of the judiciary in Niger. In Vietnam, the Committee is concerned about the consequences of the anti-corruption bill to the freedom of association. 

Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Mauritania and Tajikistan will be reviewed in July 2019. The main questions for Tajikistan were to fully criminalize corruption, to investigate high-level corruption cases and to provide information on the Act on Fighting Corruption. The Committee asked Equatorial Guinea to guarantee transparent natural resources management. The Committee had multiple questions on corruption for Nigeria: to specify the anti-corruption legal framework, to ensure transparent natural resources management, to provide information on the detention of activists who expose corruption and on corruption among law enforcement officials. Lastly, the Committee asked Mauritaniato guarantee the independence of the judiciary. 

In This Issue
Admissible Lists of Issues
Angola 
 
The State should provide information on: 
  • Corruption and illicit financial flows
  • Widespread corruption in the judiciary
Deadline NGO Submissions 4 February 2019
Deadline Registration NGOs 22 February 2019
Review 7-8 March 2019

Corruption (arts. 2 and 25)

15. Please provide information on allegations of corruption and illicit financial flows in the State party. Please provide information on the process and outcomes of challenging the propriety of the 2017 elections, including allegations regarding the counting of provisional voting and the use of State resources to promote the election campaign of the governing party. 
 
Administration of justice (art. 14)

29. Taking into account the Committee's previous concluding observations, please respond to the following concerns and provide information on the steps taken to address them: (a) the problem of widespread corruption in the judiciary; (b) the reportedly large number of cases in which lack of independence and impartiality has been denounced; (c) a reported lack of adequately trained judges and lawyers; (d) the limited number of courts and tribunals (both municipal and provincial) throughout the country and; (e) the generally high cost of legal fees, which may prevent many citizens from accessing justice. 
 
The LOI is available here
Niger 
mauritania
The State should provide information on: 
  • Measures taken to fight corruption
  • Lack of transparency in natural resource exploration contracts
  • Security forces taking bribes
  • Independence of the judiciary 
Deadline NGO submissions 4 February 2019
Deadline registration NGOs 22 February 2019
Review 6-7 March 2019

Anti-corruption measures and natural resource management (arts. 1, 2 and 25)

3. Please indicate all measures taken to combat corruption, which undermines the rule of law and leads to violations of the Covenant. In the light of paragraph 23 of the second periodic report submitted by the Niger (CCPR/C/NER/2) and the provisions under Title VII of the Constitution, please specify all measures taken to ensure the transparent management of natural resources in accordance with article 1 (2) of the Covenant. In particular, please respond to allegations that natural resource and subsoil exploration and production contracts concluded with foreign companies: (a) are or have been negotiated and executed without transparency; and (b) award the companies financial conditions and tax advantages that prevent the population of the State party from reasonably enjoying the benefits of its national resources. 

Prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, conduct of the security forces and treatment of persons deprived of their liberty (arts. 6, 7 and 10)

16. Please respond to allegations that officers of the defence and security forces subject migrants travelling through the Niger to inhuman and degrading treatment, for example robbing them or requiring them to pay bribes, particularly on the Agadez-Arlit-Assamakka and Agadez-Dirkou-Madama routes. (...)

Liberty and security of person and administration of justice (arts. 9 and 14)

21. In the light of the national consultations on the justice system held in November 2012, please describe the measures taken to strengthen the capacity and independence of the judiciary, especially in order to: (a) combat political influence and corruption; and (b) reduce delays in the administration of justice and ensure access to justice for all, particularly outside the capital. Please provide information on: (a) the budget allocated to the justice sector for the past five years and the staffing of the judiciary by region; (b) the procedures for appointing judges and prosecutors and the authorities who have powers of appointment; and (c) the functioning of the Supreme Council of Justice and the safeguards aimed at ensuring its freedom from any pressure or interference.

The LOI is available here
Vietnam 
mauritania
The State should provide information on: 
  • Consequences of the anti-corruption bill to the freedom of association
  • Measures taken to fight corruption 
Deadline NGO submissions 4 February 2019
Deadline registration NGOs 22 February 2019
Review 11-12 March 2019

Freedom of association and peaceful assembly (arts. 7, 9, 21 and 22)

24. (...) Please comment on concerns that the proposed amendments to the anticorruption bill and the decree on the management and use of non-governmental foreign aid could place further restrictions on and control over the operation of associations. Please provide information on the number of national associations working on the protection and promotion of human rights.

Right to participate in public life and combating corruption (art. 25)

26. (...) Please elaborate on the measures aimed at combating corruption, in particular bribery of public officials, that influences the conduct of public affairs and undermines the rule of law, and comment on allegations that current anti-corruption measures are selective, and misused in order to target and discredit certain individuals. 

The LOI is available here
Equatorial Guinea 
mauritania
L'Etat partie devrait: 
  • Indiquer toutes les mesures destinées à lutter contre la corruption
  • Garantir une gestion des ressources naturelles transparente
Deadline NGO Submissions June 2019
Deadline registration NGOs June 2019
Review July 2019

Lutte contre la corruption et gestion des ressources naturelles (arts. 1, 2 et 25)

4. Eu égard à l'article 15 alinéa 2 de la Constitution, indiquer toutes les mesures destinées à lutter de manière effective contre la corruption qui a pour effet d'affaiblir l'Etat de droit et de mener à des violations des dispositions du Pacte. Préciser toutes les mesures destinées à garantir une gestion des ressources naturelles transparente, conforme aux dispositions de l'article 1 paragraphe 2 du Pacte. 

The LOI is available here
Nigeria 
mauritania
The State party should provide information on 
  • The anti-corruption legal framework
  • Measures to ensure transparent natural resources management
  • Independence of the judiciary
  • Detention and torture of activists who expose corruption
  • Law enforcement officials taking bribes from detainees
  • Extortion by law enforcement officials of LGBT persons
Deadline NGO Submissions June 2019
Deadline registration NGOs June 2019
Review July 2019

The fight against corruption and natural resources management (arts. 1, 2 and 25)

3. Please provide information on the anti-corruption legal framework, on measures to ensure its enforcement and on any other measures aimed at combating corruption that weakens the rule of law and leads to violations of provisions of the Covenant. Specify all measures to ensure transparent natural resources and in particular oil management in compliance with art. 1 para. 2 of the Covenant. 

Administration of justice, independence of the judiciary and the right to a fair trial (arts. 7, 9 and 14)

18. Please describe the measures taken to strengthen the capacity of the judicial system, in particular to: (a) combat political influence and corruption and ensure that the justice is free from any pressure or interference; (b) strengthen the role of the national Judicial Council and ensure the monitoring of judges and courts, at federal, state and local level; (...).

Freedom of expression, assembly and association and human rights defenders (arts. 6, 7, 19, 21 and 22)

22. (...) Respond to allegations that bloggers, journalists, activists and human rights defenders critical of government officials or activities are arrested, detained, tortured, especially when they cover corruption scandals, human rights violations, separatist and CCPR/C/NGA/Q/2 7 communal violence. With regard to human rights defenders, clarify whether the State party intends to adopt legislation or policy measures aimed at recognizing, promoting and protecting their work. 

Liberty and security of person (arts. 2, 9 and 14)

17. (...) Respond to allegations that: (a) law enforcement officials as well as Civilian Joint Task Force members often arbitrarily arrest persons without evidence and request bribes from detainees; (...). 

Non-discrimination (arts. 2, 3, 7, 9, 17 and 26)

5. (...) Comment on allegations on torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention and extortion committed by law enforcement agents on LGBT persons, based on their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The LOI is available here
Mauritania 
mauritania
L'Etat partie devrait: 
  • Décrire les mesures prises pour éradiquer la corruption 
  • Garantir l'indépendance du pouvoir judiciaire 
Deadline NGO Submissions June 2019
Deadline registration NGOs June 2019
Review July 2019

Administration de la justice (art. 14)

22. Décrire les mesures prises pour renforcer les capacités du système judiciaire, en particulier : a) garantir l'indépendance du pouvoir judiciaire ; b) mettre en place des procédures qui le prémunissent des influences et des ingérences du pouvoir exécutif et la corruption ; c) garantir, dans la pratique, l'inamovibilité des magistrats du siège et ; d) le doter de ressources suffisantes nécessaires à son fonctionnement. (...)

The LOI is available here (FR). 
Tajikistan 
mauritania
The State party should provide information on: 
  • The measures taken to combar corruption
  • The steps taken to fully criminalize corruption 
  • Effective investigations into high-level corruption cases
  • Corruption in the judiciary
  • The amendments to the Act on Fighting Corruption 
Deadline NGO submissions June 2019
Deadline registration NGOs June 2019
Review July 2019

Anti-corruption measures (arts. 2 and 25)

3. Please respond to reports that corruption, including bribe-seeking by public officials, remains widespread; report on the measures taken to combat corruption effectively and the impact thereof; and clarify inter alia whether steps have been taken to fully criminalize corruption in accordance with international standards and to strengthen legal and institutional capacity to ensure the effective investigation and prosecution of complex and high-level corruption cases. 

Freedom of association and participation in public affairs (arts. 22, 25 and 27)

24. (...) Please also comment on concerns that the amendments to the Act on Fighting Corruption, adopted on 30 May 2017, authorizing the State Agency for Financial Control and Combating Corruption to inspect the financial activities of political parties, international organizations and local public associations and requiring submission of annual corruption risk assessment reports, increase State control over their activities. 

Right to a fair trial and independence of the judiciary (art. 14)

16. In connection with the previous concluding observations (para. 18), please report on: (...) (b) the steps to eradicate corruption in the judiciary and to ensure adequate remuneration for judges; (...)

The LOI is available here.
Admissible Engaging with the Human Rights Committee
mauritania
The 125th session of the Human Rights Committee will take place in Geneva, Palais Wilson, from 4 to 29 March 2019. It will review the State reports of Angola, Estonia, Niger and Viet Nam, and evaluate Eritrea and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in absence of State report. 

The deadline for NGO reports on State reviews is 4 February 2019. 
The deadline to register to attend the session is 22 February 2019. 

For more information on engaging with the Human Rights Committee, please visit our website