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College Associate, Dalia Leinarte, has been nominated as joint candidate to the Human Rights Committee for the Baltic States.

Each United Nations human rights treaty body, including the Human Rights Committee  (CCPR), is composed of independent experts who are nominated and elected for the term of four years by States parties.

Lithuania has adopted a national policy and process for conducting the nomination of candidates with the required independence, expertise and work experience in the area of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, also  taking into consideration gender diversity and balance. The Government of Lithuania issued an open and public call for candidates and established a Commission which consisted of the relevant state and non-governmental  bodies, including representatives of civil society and the National Human Rights Institution which fully complies with the Paris Principles and is accredited with A status. I was selected and nominated as Lithuania's candidate to the Human Rights Committee for the term 2025-2028. The elections will take place in New York in May this year in which I participate as a joint candidate of the Baltic States.

More than a decade’s service to the United Nations human rights treaty body system, as well as academic work examining human rights in historical contexts have given me unique opportunities to contribute to and promote the universal application of human rights. As a former Chair and member since  2013 of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), I have actively participated in establishing legal international norms and standards for the protection of women’s human rights and the prevention of gender-based discrimination and violence. If elected to the Human Rights Committee as a joint candidate of the Baltic States, I will offer knowledge and experience gained during a decade-long service working towards the implementation of the core human rights treaty.

My work is especially focused on human trafficking and all forms of slavery. I was appointed to take a lead on the issue of human trafficking by chairing the Working Group in charge of drafting the CEDAW General Recommendation No. 38 Trafficking in Women and Girls in the Context of Global Migration (adopted in 2020).

My leadership was informed by knowledge acquired on the ground by engaging with human trafficking victims, including survivors of sexual exploitation. I am also deeply concerned that limiting or denying freedom of expression is an emerging problem on a massive scale which has especially harmful and detrimental effects on human rights defenders, including their surveillance and detention. This was precisely the reason I took over the role of Rapporteur on reprisals in 2018, to work towards the implementation of the San José Guidelines against Intimidation or Reprisals, which most treaty bodies have endorsed.

Strengthening the human rights treaty body system and its impact on States Parties is also crucial. It is essential to continue to assist States Parties to perform reporting obligations efficiently by implementing a predictable reporting calendar and avoiding duplications or direct contradictions between the treaty bodies, as well as enabling harmonisation of working methods through practice-based evaluation. Towards this goal, I assumed the role of the Focal point for coordination with UN human rights mechanisms, including the Human Rights Committee, while preserving the institutional memory of the treaty body system since 2013.