28 January 2013
to the Committee against Torture
All States Parties to the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) must
submit regular reports to the Committee against Torture (CAT). When a
State Party is reviewed by the CAT, the State must describe how it has
implemented the obligations of the Convention and the Committee will
make recommendations for further necessary reforms to enable better
Alternative (or shadow) reporting is a means by which NGOs can make
written submissions to participate in the review process of their country by
the CAT and thus facilitate the enforcement of treaty obligations. The
purpose of the alternative report is not to replace the report of the State, but
to act as an analytical supplement during the reporting process.
1. How can NGOs participate?
The Committee provides NGOs with specific opportunities to participate in the
reporting cycle (Article 19 UNCAT), both in the standard and optional reporting
procedure. States Parties are required to submit an initial report one year after
ratification and periodic reports every four years thereafter, each demonstrating
how the State has implemented the provisions of the UNCAT into their domestic
law and practice. The reporting cycle commences from the time of ratification and
NGOs can participate from this point forward.
Standard reporting procedure
In the standard procedure, after submission of the State report, the CAT will adopt
a List of Issues (LOIs) to send to the State Party which will respond with written
submissions to be discussed during the dialogue in the CAT session. The CAT will
then adopt concluding observations and recommendations, some of which will be
followed up with the State Party within a year.