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At its thirtieth session in May 2003 (A/58/44, para. 12), the Committee against Torture adopted a procedure to follow-up to its concluding observations. The procedure consists of the Committee identifying, among the recommendations in the concluding observations, those for which implementation is a priority and requesting additional information from the States parties, as established under rule 72, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Committee’s rules of procedure. That follow-up procedure has become an important means of assessing the degree to which compliance with the Committee’s recommendations has had an impact. It has also become an integral part of the reporting cycle.
Since then, the Committee has periodically revised its follow-up procedure. At its fifty-third session, in November 2014, the Committee decided to establish a working group to review the procedure and present proposals on ways to strengthen it. At the fifty-fifth session, the working group, composed of three Committee members (Felice Gaer, Jens Modvig and Sapana Pradhan-Malla), presented a document aimed at identifying both old and new elements that would strengthen the procedure, thus contributing to harmonizing the treaty bodies’ methods of work (see A/65/190, para. 33, and annex I, para. 40 (e) to (g)).
In accordance with rule 72 of its rules of procedure, the Committee has at least one mandate holder in charge of the follow-up procedure. To date there has been one Rapporteur for follow-up to concluding observations at any given time.
The Rapporteur’s responsibilities range from the adoption of concluding observations to the discontinuation of the follow-up procedure, which may coincide with the adoption of concluding observations made during the subsequent reporting cycle, when compliance by the State party under review with the procedure is assessed.
The Rapporteur analyses the information provided by States parties on the recommendations made in the framework of the follow-up procedure and assesses it in consultation with the country rapporteurs. That may include an assessment of the implementation plan prepared by the State party, if it has been provided. The Rapporteur shares his or her views on the assessment with the State party concerned.
At each session of the Committee, the Rapporteur presents, in public session, a progress report, a summary of which is included in the Committee’s annual report to the General Assembly.
The recommendations identified for follow-up by the Committee, the information submitted by States parties, the letters sent by the Rapporteur for follow-up and the information submitted by national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders are part of the public procedure framing the submission of reports prepared under article 19 of the Convention and shall be posted on the Committee web page on the follow-up to concluding observations.