Follow-Up to Concluding Observations
What is the follow-up procedure?
All treaty bodies request State parties to provide information in their periodic report on implementation of the recommendations contained in previous concluding observations. To monitor more closely the implementation of some of their recommendations that they consider urgent, priority or protective, and implementable within one or two years, several treaty bodies (Human Rights Committee, Committee Against Torture, Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and Committee on Enforced Disappearances) have adopted written follow-up procedures.
Pursuant to follow-up procedures, States parties are requested to report back to the Committee within one year (two years in the case of CEDAW), on measures taken to give effect to the “follow-up recommendations”. These recommendations are clearly identified in a paragraph at the end of the concluding observations. When the follow-up information is provided, the Follow-up Rapporteur will assess whether the issues identified by the Committee for follow-up have been addressed by the State party, and, whether the information provided responds to the Committee’s concern and recommendations.
To assess the follow-up report provided by the State party, the Rapporteur will consider all available sources of information, including originating from other treaty bodies, special procedures, the Universal Periodic Review, the United Nations system, as well as from regional human rights mechanisms, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
With regard to States parties that have not supplied their follow-up report, the Rapporteur will send reminders requesting the outstanding information.
The links to follow-up information submitted by States parties, and the information received from other sources, as well as the Rapporteur’s letters, can be found below.
Which treaty bodies have follow-up procedures?
Six treaty bodies have follow up-procedures:
The Human Rights Committee applies a follow-up procedure whereby it identifies two to four specific recommendations in its concluding observations that require immediate attention and can be implemented within a year. The Committee therefore requests the State party to provide additional information on the measures taken to implement these recommendations one year after the adoption of the concluding observations. The Follow-up Rapporteur analyses the follow-up report, presents his or her analysis to the Committee, and a decision is taken in plenary as to the follow-up measure to be taken. Various options are available. In all cases, the Follow-up Rapporteur will send a letter informing the State party on the decision adopted by the Committee:
- The reply of the State party is satisfactory.
- Progress has been made by the State party for the implementation of the FU recommendations, but additional action and /or information remains necessary.
- The measures taken by the State party do not implement the FU recommendations.
- The measures taken go against the recommendations of the Committee. In case further information is required, the Rapporteur sends a request for additional clarification.
Each of these options is reflected in the criteria of evaluation applied by the Committee that can be found in the document attached at the following link:
All the follow-up decisions adopted are made public through the follow-up progress reports that are adopted at each session and can be found at the following link and in the annual reports of the Human Rights Committee.
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination applies a follow-up procedure whereby it may request further information within one year or an additional report concerning action taken by the State party to implement the Committee’s recommendations. Two members of the Committee, who are appointed by the Committee as follow-up coordinators for a two year-period, work in cooperation with the respective country rapporteurs in assessing responses received from the State party.
The Committee against Torture applies a follow-up procedure whereby it identifies a limited number of recommendations that warrant a request for additional information following review and discussion with the State party. Such recommendations are identified because they are serious, protective, and are considered feasible to be accomplished within one year. The Committee has appointed a Rapporteur to monitor compliance with these follow-up requests and analyse the information and clarifications provided by the State party.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women applies a follow-up procedure whereby it requests the State party to provide information within a period of one or two years on steps taken to implement specific recommendations. Such recommendations are selected because it is considered that their lack of implementation constitutes a major obstacle for the implementation of the Convention and implementation is seen as feasible within the suggested time frame. The Committee has a Rapporteur on follow-up and a Deputy Rapporteur who review and assess the follow-up information.
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has adopted a follow-up procedure whereby it identifies a number of specific recommendations of concern in its concluding observations and requests the State party to provide additional information, within a period of up to one year, on implementation of those. The Committee may appoint one of its members to serve as rapporteur to follow up, who will then submit a follow-up report to the Committee within two months of receiving the information from the State party.
The Committee on Enforced Disappearances has adopted a follow-up procedure whereby it requests States parties to provide information within one year on the steps taken to implement specific recommendations of its concluding observations. Such recommendations are identified because they are particularly serious, urgent, protective, and/or can be achieved within short periods of time. The Committee has appointed a Follow-up Rapporteur, who shall assess, in consultation with the country rapporteurs, the information provided by the State party and report at every session to the Committee on her/his activities.