New Paper Delves into Reporting Practices under International Treaties

13 November 2023

First introduced in 1919 by the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO), state reporting procedures have been developed to assist state parties in complying with their obligations under many international and regional treaties. This new working paper by our Geneva Human Rights Platform International Treaty-Based Reporting Practices Review Report provides an overview of more than 30 reporting practices, their specificities and good practices in this ever-growing field.

Written by Claire Callejon, Felix Kirchmeier and Domenico Zipoli, the paper digs into the current international and regional reporting systems in the fields of human rights, labour, environment, education, culture, health and crime/security.

‘This paper was produced in the context of our cooperation with the ILO secretariat and as a follow-up to our involvement in the 2020 Review of the UN treaty body system, This review is still underway at the UN General Assembly where states, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN treaty bodies struggle to implement its recommendations, including those related to reporting’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Right Platform.

Key Findings

The paper highlights that most reporting systems do face similar problems like under-reporting, backlog, as well as lack of visibility and consistency. Some enjoy excellent compliance, but this seems to come at the cost of lowered expert scrutiny.

The paper also identifies some good practices like combined reviews in the field of human rights reporting, regional approaches and prioritization at UNESCO and most notably the use of electronic systems to facilitate the flow of information both ways. These include enhanced visibility of review mechanisms’ outputs that encourage good practices, and diligence in reporting and facilitate engagement of stakeholders, as well as simplified online submission of information via secure portals.

‘State representatives in Geneva and New York are struggling to find the best ways to implement the recommendations of the 2020 TB Review report’ says Felix Kirchmeier

‘Our findings – which do not provide specific recommendations for any particular reporting system – allow for very valuable comparisons and to identify replicable good practices. They can thus help diplomats and staff of these reporting systems’ secretariats to look beyond the human rights field, see how and why other mechanisms function better and recognize shared shortcomings’ he adds.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Group photo of participants to the pilot review News

Successful Final UN Human Rights Treaty Body Pilot Took Place in Fiji

18 December 2023

In November, our Geneva Human Rights Platform – in partnership with the Pacific Community and the Commonwealth Secretariat – conducted its third and final UN human rights treaty body follow-up review pilot in Nadi, Fiji.

Read more

A general view of participants during the 54nd session of the Human Rights Council News

New Paper Unlocks the Potential of the UN Human Rights Council in Global Conflict Prevention

3 November 2023

Our new policy brief Delivering the Right to Peace: Towards a Reinforced Role of the Human Rights Council in the UN's Peace and Security Framework delves into the possibilities of enhancing the Human Rights Council's involvement in the UN's peace and security functions.

Read more

UNRWA school in Gaza Event

Gaza and the Battle for Humanity: How International Law Provides Meaning to Violence

6 March 2024, 18:00-20:00

At this event co-hosted by our Geneva Human Rights Platform, several UN experts will provide their perspective on what is at stake when framing the ongoing spectacular and slow violence against Palestinians in Gaza. 

Read more

Event

The Recovery Channel

13 March 2024, 18:30-21:30

This one-night-only film screening of The Recovery Channel will dissect this intersection and address the human rights violations witnessed in today's mental health care system and practices.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

11-15 November 2024

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

Garment workersto receive food from their factory during lunch time. This food is freely provided by their factory in order to ensure that workers eat healthy and hygienic food. Training

Business and Human Rights

2-6 September 2024

This training course will examine how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have been utilized to advance the concept of business respect for human rights throughout the UN system, the impact of the Guiding Principles on other international organizations, as well as the impact of standards and guidance developed by these different bodies.

Read more

Session of a UN Treaty Body Project

Treaty Bodies Individual Communications Procedures

Started in January 2019

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

published on January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

Read more

Cover page of the Research Brief Publication

The Evolving Neurotechnology Landscape: Examining the Role and Importance of Human Rights in Regulation

published on December 2023

Erica Harper

Read more