Dominicans for Justice and Peace works closely with the different mechanisms of the UN human rights system. The advocacy programme aims to enhance and support the participation of Dominicans and other civil society members from the ground in the various UN mechanisms.
Human Rights Council
Dominicans have participated in the Human Rights Council and its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, since 1998. The Human Rights Council is a multilateral forum where human rights themes and issues are addressed. The advocacy of Dominicans for Justice and Peace covers both country situations and thematic issues. Through oral and written declarations, the organisation of side events and engagement with permanent missions (individual states); Dominicans for Justice and Peace hopes to increase the visibility of contemporary challenges and problematic situations and to boost local efforts to promote and defend human rights.
The treaty bodies are made up of committees of independent experts who monitor the implementation of the core international human rights treaties. They provide one of the best opportunities for civil society actors to raise concerns at the UN about the human rights records of States Parties. Civil society members can make contributions at all stages of the committees’ activities, including the submission of parallel reports on the human rights record of the state under review.
Dominicans for Justice and Peace is particularly active in the review process of two committees: the Human Rights Committee (focused on civil and political rights) and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In close collaboration with Dominicans on the ground, the organization submits substantial reports on the human rights situation of the country under review and actively participates in the Committees’ sessions.
Universal Periodic Review
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State-driven process, which involves the review of the human rights records of all UN Member States every four to five years. Civil society members can participate in the UPR and assess the States’ implementation of their human rights obligations.
Dominicans for Justice and Peace participates in this process by drawing upon the experience and expertise of Dominicans and other civil society members with whom they collaborate in different countries. With this engagement, Dominicans for Justice and Peace hopes to strengthen the assessment of the human rights record in the revised country and to improve collaboration between states and civil society members on specific projects related to the promotion and protection of human rights.
The Special Procedures is another UN human rights mechanism composed of independent experts (either Special Rapporteurs, Working Groups or Independent Experts) mandated to monitor the human rights situation in specific countries (country mandates) or a human rights phenomenon at the global level (thematic mandates). Members of civil society can work with the Special Procedures in a variety of ways. Upon receiving reports from Dominicans and other partners on the ground, Dominicans for Justice and Peace brings specific cases of human rights violations to the attention of the concerned Special Procedures mandate holders.