CYIL vol. 12 (2021)

jana petrková – zuzana trávníčková CYIL 12 (2021) of states “ to make an annual report to the International Labour Office on the measures which it has taken to give effect to the provisions of [ILO] Conventions to which it is a party .” 23 After 1945 and the rising of the UN system, many other UN specialized agencies included the obligation of State Parties to submit regular reports about their achievements in a particular field in the founding treaties (e.g., World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)). Nowadays, the most developed reporting systems relate to economic development, protection of the environment, and human rights protection. 24 In practice, the two ways of reporting can be distinguished. The first one is called active, where states themselves collect data and create reports (self-reporting) which are later examined by a specialized body or relevant international institution. The other way is the so-called passive reporting. When the organization itself or a specially created body under a treaty collects data, makes fact-finding visits, and uses other possible methods to evaluate a state’s compliance with a treaty. Active reporting is much more common nowadays, the state brings the burden of collecting and presenting information, and the capacity of the international body is saved. In the HR field, the self-reporting obligation is anchored in eleven universal documents (see Table 1): 2 covenants, 6 conventions, and 2 optional protocols and covers the broadest possible range of human rights guaranteed worldwide. At first sight, these eleven reporting regimes are very similar and have a lot in common. A closer look reveals various differences among them. Among the common aspects of all HR reporting regimes belong the treaty obligation to submit a report or reports on the measures taken to give effect to its obligations under the treaty on a regular basis and a denomination of the responsible treaty organ – committee (all treaties but optional protocols are closely linked to a particular committee. Optional protocols adopted in 2000 direct the reporting obligations of states towards the Committee on the Rights of the Child, set up by the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989). In practice, the requirement on the structure of the introductory part of each report is also unified. In 2009, a document called “Compilation of guidelines on the form and content of reports to be submitted by States Parties to the international human rights treaties” 25 divided the text of reports into two parts. The first part of reports – the so-called Common Core – is the same for all reports and should cover three groups of basic characteristics about the reporting state: 1. General information about the reporting state, 2. General framework for the protection and promotion of human rights, and 3. Information on non-discrimination and equality and effective remedies. Recently, a willingness of treaty bodies to deepen the coordinated approach was expressed in “Treaty Body Chairpersons Position Paper on the future of the human rights treaty body 23 Constitution of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Entry into force 28 June 1919. 24 The reporting obligation also applies, for example, to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or to the activities of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the World Trade Organization (WTO). An exception is the area of arms control, where the reporting system has not expanded, and states tend to exchange information directly with each other. See Keller, op. cit. 25 UN Doc HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6 Compilation of Guidelines on the Form and Content of Reports to be submitted by States Parties to the International Human Rights Treaties. Report of the Secretary-General. (3 June 2009).


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