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  • Parallel Report
  • All ten UN core human rights treaties provide for authoritative treaty bodies (committees of independent experts) to monitor treaty implementation, including periodically reviewing states parties’ adherence to their treaty obligations. The review process normally begins with the state party submitting a report produced by its government. That report should detail the measures adopted by the state to respect, protect and fulfil the rights enshrined in the treaty, including updates from the previous monitoring sessions. A parallel report is a submission by other relevant parties, most often civil society organizations, that provides additional information about the implementation of the treaty in question.

    By following the reporting guidelines [Arabic], civil society submissions to the treaty bodies should be “parallel” in both format and content. The parallel nature of the civil society reports aids the treaty body members in comparing the government information side-by-side the civil society information.

    The parallel report critiques, contradicts and/or fills gaps left by the government report. The parallel reporting process also gives an opportunity for civil society to apply the human rights treaty and its methodology in a country assessment, or an assessment of certain rights and aspects of the state’s performance.  Credible parallel reports help civil society hold states accountable to their human rights obligations by assisting the treaty bodies in their review and constructive dialog with the state party.

     A collective parallel report is the ideal type, because many authors sharing a single submission demonstrates a wide endorsement and, therefore, a more-compelling analysis, while avoiding repetition and contradictions likely across several individual parallel reports. Consolidated reports also minimize the committee members’ workload.

    To follow the human rights treaty monitoring and reporting process, search the Treaty Bodies Database and go to the following treaty body links:

    For more specific guidance:

     Sandra Epal, Parallel Reporting before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Heidelberg: FIAN International, October 2003);

    Diplomacy Training Program, Guide to Parallel Reporting, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales (2011).

     



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