International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

Basic facts
The reporting process
Guidance for NGO submissions on the ICCPR
Useful guides & Links

Basic facts

  • The ICCPR is monitored by the Human Rights Committee (HRC)
  • The HRC was created in 1976 and meets tri-annually
  • The ICCPR is obliged to provide periodic reports every 4 years, but the HRC varies the periodicity in accordance with its follow-up procedure
  • HRC is in period of follow-up activity at the moment

The reporting process

There are several stages to reporting on ICCPR:

  • Phase 1:
    • Preparation of the state report at the national level
      • Broad consultation and input from civil society  
      • NGO submissions and reports
    • Pre-sessional preparation by the treaty bodies for the examination of the report
      • Adoption of a List of Issues (LOI) or a List of Issue Prior to Reporting (LOIPR)
  • Phase 2:
    • Consideration of the report in a public meeting through a constructive dialogue with the state party
    • Issuing of concluding observations and recommendations
  • Phase 3:
    • Follow-up on implementation of the concluding observations
      • NGOs also play an important role in this process (pressure states into acting)
Image taken from here.

Guidance for NGO submissions on the ICCPR

NGOs are important for the implementation of the ICCPR: they complement the information provided by states, highlight human rights issues, and monitor implementation of the concluding observations.

How do I make a submission?

  • Deadlines for submitting information:
    • for the list of issues: six weeks prior to the meeting to the country task force
      • List of Issue Prior to Reporting for the UK will be discussed at the 128th session in March 2020
    • for submitting information: at any time, but preferably two weeks before the relevant session
  • How to submit NGO reports:
    • NGOs must submit their reports in electronic format and provide 7 hard copy formats
    • NGO reports should be sent by post to:
      • Kate Fox
        Secretary of the Human Rights Committee
        Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies Division Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
        UNOG-OHCHR
        CH-1211 Geneva 10
        Switzerland
    • Electronic copy should be sent to:
      • Kate Fox (Secretary of the Human Rights Committee): kfox@ohchr.org
      • Sindu Thodiyil (Human Right Committee Administrative Assistant): sthodiyil@ohchr.org
  • Structure and Content
    • Introduction including a presentation of involved NGOs & methodological information 
    • Substantive part should include objective information on the implementation of ICCPR articles and/or related issues(it is important to ensure that information is up to date)
    • Conclusion and suggested recommendations
      • Recommendations must be concrete, realistic and where appropriate include time frames for their implementation
    • References should be made to the sources of information, documents, legislation, policies and other relevant information
      • references to the state report are very important
      • Direct references to the state report should include the paragraph number in the state report
      • HRC’s concluding observations should also be considered

It might be handy to know that:

  • The Committee often prefer coalition reports
    • There is no limitation on length but 30-40 pages is advised for a comprehensive report
    • The report must be in one (or more) of the HRC’S working languages (English, French, Spanish)
    • Usually NGO reports are made public and posted on the OHCHR website. Under exceptional circumstance the information sent may be kept confidential (but you must clearly state this at time of submission).

Useful guides & Links

Guidelines on the reporting process to the HRC for NGOs.
NGO submissions and official documentation submitted to the HRC on the UK.
State report by the UK to the HRC for the seventh periodic report due in July 2012.
Concluding observations on the seventh periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland adopted by the HRC at its 114th session (August 2015).
Simple guide to the UN treaty Bodies.
A handbook for civil society by the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights.