CYIL vol. 12 (2021)
jana petrková – zuzana trávníčková CYIL 12 (2021) average of this score is 33% for all treaties, i.e., one-third of State Parties do not deliver their reports (no matter whether initial or periodic) on time. As table 3 demonstrates, the share decreases between 1969 (53% of missing reports for the CERD) and 1999 (29% missing reports for the CRC) with only one deviation – CCPR (only 10% of State Parties have a reporting issue). For treaties adopted after 2000, the share lies slightly below the overall average and varies between 22% and 32% without an obvious trend. What do these findings tell us about the compliance? Most State Parties - two-thirds - submit their reports to responsible organs on time or with an acceptable delay of several weeks or months (such minor delays are even not reflected in the OHCHR dataset). As the most accessible tool of compliance, reporting is practically respected by the prevailing majority of states, say that it works. Although not perfectly smoothly and fully representatively, but it works. Within the realm of universal human rights treaties, the degree of compliance with particular treaties differs. The depth of compliance issues can appear in two forms. The first one is the high share of states with reporting issue. Four treaty bodies – the CERD, CESCR, CEDAW, and the CAT – register more missing reports than the average isAlbeit all these treaties were adopted before 1985 and entered in force before 1988, we cannot conclude that states’ compliance deficiency is characteristic for human rights treaties adopted earlier; more trustworthiness seems to be the explanation, that it is the topic of the treaty what matters. The second compliance problem relates to the bad structure of missing reports when a substantial number of reports are owed for a longer time. The last three columns of Table 4 characterize the percentage of missing reports that are overdue for less than 5 years, between 5 and 10 years, and more than 10 years. The higher the number of long-time overdue reports, the deeper the problem with reporting. Whereas short-term delays in reporting can be explained by many temporary limitations on the side of a State Party (usually insufficient personal capacity or a currently tense attitude to particular human rights topic, which glances off in the late reporting), long-term delays cannot have any other explanation than the unwillingness of a state to submit the report. An unhealthy structure of delays, when a number of reports are overdue for more than five years prevail over reports due for less than five years, can be observed in the case of the CERD; CESCR, although in this case, it is very close); and both Optional protocols to the CRC. Definitely, the CERD’s and CESCR’s defective structure delays prove reluctance of a non-negligible group of states to fulfill their reporting obligation and contests reporting as a meaningful tool of compliance in their case. What is incomprehensible seems to be the situation with the optional protocols to the Convention on Rights of the Child; although the absolute number and share of overdue reports on all reports do not look dramatic, a high percentage of long-term delays in connection with the fact that both protocols entered in force only 20 years ago (and the space for creating long- lasting delays was limited) is frightening. On the other hand, only a minor (less than 10%) share of long-term (over 10 years) delays is recorded for the CEDAW. The low value for the CRPD and zero values for the CED and the CMW should not arouse optimism. Both the later mentioned conventions have attracted only limited attention of states yet, the numbers of State Parties are relatively small, grow only gradually, and likewise gradually appear with the reporting obligation.
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