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Reporting guidelines

Committee against Torture

All States parties submit regular reports to the Committee on the measures being taken to implement the rights undertaken under the Convention. Read more about the process and the Committee’s working methods.

States must report within one year of ratifying the Convention. After submitting their initial report, States parties have to present periodic reports every four years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations”.

Simplified reporting procedure

The Committee against Torture has pioneered a simplified reporting procedure, enabling States to submit more focused reports on time, thus fulfilling their obligations in a timely manner. This practice was encouraged by the General Assembly in the context of the treaty body strengthening. At the same time, this procedure facilitates a more focused dialogue with the Committee, enhancing the Committee’s ability to identify specific areas in its concluding observations.

In the simplified procedure, the CAT sends States parties a list of issues (a ‘list of issues prior to reporting’, or ‘LOIPR’) and considers their written replies in lieu of a periodic report (a ‘focused report based on replies to a list of issues’).

List of States and their reporting status using the simplified reporting procedure

The history of the Optional Reporting procedure

At its 38th session (May 2007), the Committee against Torture, further to consulting with States parties, adopted a new optional reporting procedure (A/62/44, paras. 23 and 24) which consists in the preparation and adoption of lists of issues to be transmitted to States parties prior to the submission of their respective periodic report (such lists are known as list of issues prior to reporting - LOIPR).

The Committee is of the view that this procedure will assist States parties to prepare and submit more focused reports. These LOIPR, transmitted to States parties prior to the submission of their reports, will guide the preparation and content of their periodic report, facilitate the reporting process of States parties and strengthen their capacity to fulfil their reporting obligation in a timely and effective manner.

These LOIPR will be prepared and adopted, depending on the respective due date of each State party's report, and transmitted to the State party concerned, at least one year in advance of the due reporting date. The State party's response to the LOIPR will constitute its report under article 19 of the Convention.

After the submission of the State party's response to the LOIPR, no further list of issues will be submitted to the States party before the consideration of its report. For that reason, reports received under this procedure will be scheduled by the Committee for consideration as a matter of priority.

In 2007, the Committee initiated this procedure on a trial basis in relation to periodic reports falling due in 2009 and 2010.

Considering the positive feedback received and the high rate of acceptance of this new procedure by States parties, the Committee decided (See A/64/44, para. 27), at its 42nd session (May 2009), to continue with this procedure, on a regular basis.

At its 46th session (May 2011), the Committee did a preliminary evaluation of this optional reporting procedure for the period of reports due from 2009 to 2012. It considered the procedure as a positive cooperation step, as indicated by many States parties, decided to continue with the procedure and, starting with reports due in 2013, to seek the prior acceptance of States parties - that have not yet agreed to avail themselves of the procedure - before preparing and submitting them such list.

The Committee is currently evaluating the procedure and discussing possible options for its improvement, on the basis of the following report on the status of the procedure: CAT/C/47/2.