GENEVA (1 November 2018) — The UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, today published a new general comment: a comprehensive text providing legal guidance on article 6, the right to life. 

“The right to life is the prerequisite for the enjoyment of all other human rights,” explained Yuval Shany, Chair of the Human Rights Committee. “The general comment provides a rich and authoritative statement of the obligations deriving from the right to life, which the Committee defines as ‘the supreme right.’” 

The Human Rights Committee, made up of 18 independent experts, is charged with watching over the Covenant by examining the human rights situation in each of the 172 countries that ratified it. Those countries are also referred to as States parties. In addition to reviewing the human rights situation in the States parties, the Committee also examines, discusses and writes guidance on how States parties ought to interpret and apply the Covenant on a practical level. The Human Rights Committee speaks for itself, not for the United Nations.