CYIL vol. 12 (2021)
CYIL 12 (2021) States ’ reports under UN hr treaties: how to read overdue reports? protection. Nevertheless, there are also difficulties addressed at the end of the 20th century, and some are still valid. 28 Through the practice, it is possible to observe: – Delays in processing reports and communications – delays in processing reports within committees, delays between submitting reports, and their consideration. Committees need time to evaluate each report, and it is not easy or possible to do so with so many reports in due time. – Resource constraints – constraints are connected foremost with human resources, when staff in committee secretariats is undersized, there is also a lack of experts. The others are financial constraints. Earlier, the limited technology and internet access represented a form of constraint as well. – Procedural issues – the system of human rights protection has its own weaknesses as it enables states to view the compliance “only in the context of rather sporadic reporting procedure”. A more selective approach (focused only on cases of severe violation of human rights) could be seen as unbalanced. And there is still an effort to ensure the cooperation of states. – Composition of committees – in the process of committee members’ appointment and other personal issues, the origin of the candidate and the fact they represent a particular state may be more important than their professional competence. The greater involvement of NGOs that could address this issue is offered as a possible solution. – Problems with reforms – the more complex the reporting system is, the more difficult it is to find an acceptable way to optimize and reform it. States’ political support for the reform efforts is limited; they can be afraid of the costs of such a reform and a more rigorous view of respect for human rights. – Delay or non-delivering of state reports is considered to be one of the most serious problems. One of the reasons for such a situation can be the absence of other measures than noting the delay. The effectiveness of the committees is perceived as an issue. Mainly, their broad or common recommendations are mentioned as the other objection. 2. Late and overdue reporting phenomenon The reporting system is a part of a much broader problem of efficiency of the entire human rights treaty bodies system. Its efficiency is one of the crucial targets for the UN, the Secretary General, OHCHR, the Human Rights Council, and the General Assembly. The efficiency of the system has two sides. The first one is the efficiency of the respective committees created under main human rights treaties. Each committee needs sufficient time to translate the text of the submitted report into the official languages of the committee, 29 time for examination of the report, formulation of a list of issues for the state party, and the ongoing and formal dialogue with state representatives. It usually takes about 24 months. 30 28 CRAWFORD, J. in ALSTON, Ph., CRAWFORD, J., eds. The Future of UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring . Cambridge University Press. 2000. pp. 1–12. 29 UNGA Doc A/RES/68/268. Strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system. (9 April 2014). The resolution set the maximum number of possible official languages used at three. 30 KÄLIN, W. Examination of state reports., in KELLER, H., ULFSTEIN, G. UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012, p. 42.
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