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Reporting guidelines

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

All State parties submit regular reports to the Committee on how economic, social and cultural rights are being implemented. Read more about this process in the Committee’s Working Methods.

States must report within two years of ratifying the Convention. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of ‘concluding observations’. The reporting process is as follows:

  1. Adoption of lists of issues (LOIs) (Pre-sessional Working Group)
    At the meeting of the pre-sessional working groups, CESCR adopts lists of issues relating to the reports of State parties in advance of the dialogue. State parties are in turn expected to submit replies to the lists of issues.
  2. Adoption of lists of issues prior to reporting (LOIPRs) (Pre-sessional Working Group)
    CESCR has made the simplified reporting procedure available, on a pilot basis, to a number of State parties on the basis of a set of criteria. Under the simplified procedure, the State party’s reply to the list of issues prior to reporting (LOIPR) constitutes its report to the Committee.
  3. Adoption of concluding observations (Session)
    Following the consideration of the State parties’ reports, CESCR adopts concluding observations in a closed meeting that will assist the State parties in the implementation of the Covenant. These concluding observations outline positive aspects, principal subjects of concern and the Committee’s recommendations on how to address challenges faced by the State parties. Once adopted, the concluding observations are posted on the CESCR webpage under the relevant session.
Guidelines for reporting to the CESCR

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

Participation

Throughout the process of examination of State parties’ reports, the participation of victims, civil society organizations, NHRIs and other stakeholders is highly encouraged. Their contribution can be made through written inputs and oral briefings to the Committee. To this end, State parties’ reports and information about the deadlines and requirements for contributions are shared on the session pages.

Simplified reporting procedure

CESCR uses a reporting procedure whereby it 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’).

At its 68th session in October 2020, the Committee decided to introduce, subject to availability of resources, starting from 2022 at the earliest, a predictable review cycle in order to improve predictability in reporting and to facilitate regular reporting by all State parties, in line with the General Assembly resolution 68/268.

The predictable review cycle will be based on an eight-year calendar, which includes periods for the submission of reports and constructive dialogue with the Committee. At this stage, to facilitate planning, the secretariat would appreciate receiving feedback only from any State not wishing to avail itself of this procedure, if such would be the case, and an indication of this. Any State thus wishing to opt-out and maintain the standard reporting procedure is kindly invited to notify the secretariat by 1 March 2021.

Those State parties that have already accepted the simplified reporting procedure for the ICESCR during the pilot phase are not expected to take any further action. State parties preparing reports or with reports overdue or due in 2021 are invited to submit the reports as planned.