Follow-up to Concluding Observations
On Monday, 13th July 2015, the Special Rapporteur for the follow-up on concluding observations, Ms Cleveland, presented her report to the Human Rights Committee.
The text adopted contains grades ranging from the highest level of satisfaction (grade A) of the States’ responses to the lowest (grade E).
The report assesses the recent information received on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations in relation to Norway, Portugal, China Hong Kong, Bolivia, Djibouti and the USA.
The experts also discussed general issues with follow up including the word limit on reports and the potential introduction of a C3 grade for states which assert that they will not follow the recommendations of the Committee but do not take any active backwards steps.
More on the 114th session of the Human Rights Committee
Initial follow-up assessment
Bolivia had not provided new information in response to questions focusing on human rights violations during the 1964-1982 period (C2 to D1) or on the revision of the standards of proof (C2). The Committee welcomed the creation of the Service for the Prevention of Torture (B2) and information on the cases of Pando and Sucre (B2) but requested further information.
Djibouti was largely unresponsive, providing no new information on domestic violence (C2) and freedom of expression and assembly (C2) and maintaining allegations of torture were baseless (C2) but had made progress on training law enforcement officials on investigation of torture (B2).
United States of America
United States of America provided information on convictions of four Blackwater contractors for their crimes in Iraq, the Committee required information on investigations, prosecutions or convictions of United States’ Government personnel in Iraq (B2). The Committee noted limited replies on questions related to firearms (C1) and on surveillance (C1 to D1). The Committee regretted that no action had been taken to incorporate the doctrine of command responsibility into the criminal law (C1) and while welcoming some measures taken regarding transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay requested further information (B2 – C2).
Second Round assessment
China, Hong Kong
China, Hong Kong had not provided new or relevant information on universal suffrage (C1) and data on employee abuse (C1) but had provided additional information on Chinese languages education for non-Chinese speaking students (B2). However, the state had explicitly stated it would not change the “live-in” requirement of domestic workers (C2).
Third Round assessment
Norway had responded but had not always accurately on the issue of the use of coercive force and restraint of psychiatric patients (grades ranged from B1 to C1). The Committee also asked for more specific information on the restructuring of National Human Rights Institutions (B2).
Portugal had reduced the number of persons in pre-trial detention (A) and legislative and institutional steps to implement recommendations in the area of domestic violence (A). However the Committee regretted that no additional information had been provided on the amendment to the Criminal Procedural Code (C1), the average length of pre-trial detention over the previous three years (C1) or prison overcrowding (C1).