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Human Rights Committee
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Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee is a group of 18 experts who meet three times a year to consider periodic reports submitted by member States on their compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Those states that have signed the optional protocol, such as Canada have agreed to allow persons within the member state to obtain an opinion from the Committee regarding violations of the Covenant.

Members of the Human Rights Committee are elected by member states, but do not represent any State. The Human Rights Committee should not be confused with the more high-profile United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a Charter-based mechanism. Whereas the Commission on Human Rights is a political forum where States debate all human rights concerns, the Human Rights Committee is a quasi-judicial treaty based mechanism where a group of experts hear reports and rule on individual communications pertaining only to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.