Email letters from UN CAT

Tue, 10. Sep 19 - Thu, 10. Sep 20


Date: Tuesday, 10. September 2019 - Thursday, 10. September 2020

Time: 12 o'clock


Location: Canada


Zip and city:


Dear Sir or Madam,


We hereby acknowledge receipt of your communication dated 1 September 2019. We regret having to inform you that the Petitions Unit of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is not in a position to assist you in the matter you raise in the way they are currently presented.

The Petitions Unit receives individual complaints addressed to one of the Committees listed in the Fact Sheet you will find attached to this email. Each Committee may hear cases addressed to it under the International Human Rights Treaty by which it has been created (for example, the Committee Against Torture is competent to hear cases addressed to it in virtue of the Convention against torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment). These treaties are also listed in the attached Fact Sheet. For your complaint to be addressed, it is therefore necessary that you specify the treaty and the Committee to which you want to submit your complaint.

Furthermore, please also note that an individual complaint under this procedure must comply with the following requirements, amongst others:

(i) It must be brought against a State. For this it is necessary for the State to have ratified the relevant treaty. You may find up-to-date information as to the ratification status of the different treaties at the following address:

(ii) It must be brought by the victim or on his/her behalf, with his/her written consent. In certain cases, such consent is not required, for example when the alleged victim has been subject to enforced disappearance. In these cases, the author of the complaint should clearly indicate the reason why such consent cannot be provided.

(iii) Domestic remedies must have been exhausted. This usually includes pursuing the claim through the local court system up to the highest available instance, unless there is sufficient evidence that proceedings at the national level have been unreasonably prolonged or would be ineffective. Detailed reasons must be provided as to why the author of the complaint considers that the general requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies should not apply to his/her case. According to the Committee's jurisprudence, mere doubts about the effectiveness of a relevant remedy are not sufficient to dispense with the obligation to exhaust it.

These requirements are explained in more details in the attached Fact Sheet. May you wish to resubmit your complaint, please take them into account, as the Petitions Unit will not be able to treat your communication unless it complies with these requirements. Please also note that only communications presented in one of the official United Nations languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) can be accepted. Translations in one of these languages must also be provided of all documents you have submitted in relation with national judicial proceedings.

Alternatively, you may also consider submitting your case to the Complaint Procedure of the Human Rights Council. This procedure is confidential, and its aim is to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested human rights violations. It is therefore not suitable for individual cases; except when they are representative of a pattern of reliably attested human rights violations. Information as to this procedure may be found at the following link:

Yours sincerely,

Petitions and Inquiries Section (Section des requêtes et des enquêtes)

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Genève 10


Fax: +41 22 9179022

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