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All States parties submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of women are being implemented. States submit their first report one year after acceding to the Covenant, and then periodically whenever the Committee requests, in line with the Predictable Review Cycle. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations”.

Guidelines for reporting to CEDAW

These reporting guidelines advise State parties on the form and content of their reports, to ensure reports to the CEDAW Committee are comprehensive and presented in a uniform manner.

Tips and advice

States should consider the reporting process, including the preparation of their reports, as a way to ensure compliance with their international obligations.

Reports benefit from broad-based consultation and constructive engagement. States parties should encourage and facilitate the involvement of civil society organizations and other civil society actors in the preparation of their reports.

Simplified reporting procedure

CEDAW uses a simplified reporting procedure whereby the pre-sessional working group sends States parties a list of issues (a ‘list of issues prior to reporting’, or ‘LOIPR’). The replies of the State party to the LOIPR constitute its periodic report under article 18, paragraph 1 (b), of the Convention. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/268, paragraph 16, the periodic report must not exceed 21,200 words.

After the State party's replies to the LOIPR are received, no further list of issues will be sent by the Committee before the State party’s report is considered. For that reason, reports received under this procedure are scheduled for consideration by the Committee as a matter of priority.

This procedure aims to facilitate the reporting by States parties; strengthen their capacity to fulfil their reporting obligations in a timely and effective manner; provide the Committee with more targeted reports; improve the effectiveness of the treaty monitoring system by reducing the need to request supplementary information before considering a report; and to allow the Committee to plan its work in advance.

The use of the simplified reporting procedure is in line with General Assembly resolution 68/268 on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system, the recommendations of the co-facilitators to the 2020 Treaty Body Review and the conclusions of the 34th annual meeting of the Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies (New York, 30 May to 3 June 2022). General Assembly resolution 68/268 ‘…encourage[d] States parties to consider the possibility of using the simplified reporting procedure, when offered, to facilitate the preparation of their reports and the interactive dialogue on the implementation of their treaty obligations’ (A/RES/68/268, OP2).

As per its decision at the 82nd session (13 June to 1 July 2022), the Committee applies the simplified reporting procedure to all States parties, unless these opt out from the simplified reporting procedure and indicate their wish to instead maintain the standard reporting procedure.

History of the simplified reporting procedure

At its sixty-ninth session in March 2018, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women decided to reinstate the simplified reporting procedure (decision 69/V; see A/73/38, Part Three), which had been suspended in November 2016 (decision 65/V, see A/72/38, Part Two) after the procedure had initially been made available from 1 January 2015 on a pilot basis (decision 58/II; see A/70/38, Part One). In decision 69/V, the Committee decided to make the simplified reporting procedure available to all States parties, upon their request.

At its 82nd session (13 June to 1 July 2022), the Committee decided to shift from an opt-in model for the simplified reporting procedure to an opt-out model (decision 82/3 on the harmonization of working methods; see CEDAW/C/2022/II/CRP). This means that henceforth, the simplified reporting procedure is applied to all States parties that by 20 September 2022, do not opt out from the simplified reporting procedure and indicate their wish to instead maintain the standard reporting procedure.

For a transitional period, the simplified reporting procedure does not apply to States parties that have already submitted a report to the Committee under the standard reporting procedure, which has not been reviewed yet. These reports will still be reviewed under the standard reporting procedure. For future reporting cycles, those States parties are also reviewed under the simplified reporting procedure, unless they notify the Secretariat by 20 September 2022 of their decision to maintain the standard reporting procedure.