The actual review of a State party is carried out through an 6-hour Interactive dialogue between the Committee and the State representatives, based on information provided by the State as well as other stakeholders. This dialogue takes place in public meetings of the Committee conducted in Geneva, Switzerland, which are also live webcasted by the UN. Videos of the dialogue is archived and available at the UN website.
After the dialogue with State representatives, the Committee adopts its “Concluding observations”, which contain a series of recommendations specifying necessary actions to be taken by the State party in order to better implement the ICCPR.
14. The Committee takes note of the measures taken by the State party to combat hate speech and hate crimes, including the adoption of the national action plan for the prevention of violent radicalization and extremism and the introduction of so-called “Internet cops” to police departments. It is concerned, however, about the persistence of intolerance, prejudice, hate speech and hate crimes against vulnerable and minority groups, including women, African descendants, Muslims, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and Roma and Jewish communities, in particular in the media and on social networks. In that regard, the Committee regrets the lack of specific information about the impact and effectiveness of policy and awareness-raising measures on reducing incidents of hate speech and hate crimes and the insufficient data collection (arts. 2, 19, 20 and 26).
15. The State party should redouble its efforts to combat discrimination, hate speech and incitement to discrimination or violence on the grounds of, inter alia, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation and gender identity, in accordance with articles 19 and 20 of the Covenant and the Committee’s General comment No. 34 (2011) on the freedoms of opinion and expression. It should inter alia:
In its Concluding observations, the Committee also indicates the timeframe of the next review of the State party. It stipulates when the next State report is due, or when the next LOIPR will be adopted. It also selects between two to four issues for the follow-up procedure (see sheet No.5. All Concluding observations are available online, and are translated in the six official UN languages.
52. The State party should widely disseminate the Covenant, its two Optional Protocols, its fourth periodic report and the present Concluding observations with a view to raising awareness of the rights enshrined in the Covenant among the judicial, legislative and administrative authorities, civil society and non-governmental organizations operating in the country, and the general public. The State party should ensure that the periodic report and the present Concluding observations are translated into the official languages of the State party.
53. In accordance with rule 75, paragraph 1, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party is requested to provide, by 26 March 2023, information on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee in paragraphs 19 (violence against women), 41 (forced evictions) and 49 (participation in public affairs) above.
54. In line with the Committee’s predictable review cycle, the State party will receive in 2027 the Committee’s list of issues prior to the submission of the report and will be expected to submit within one year its replies to the list of issues, which will constitute its fifth periodic report. The Committee also requests the State party, in preparing the report, to broadly consult civil society and non-governmental organizations operating in the country. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/268, the word limit for the report is 21,200 words. The next constructive dialogue with the State party will take place in 2029 in Geneva.
Civil society representatives, who have submitted written reports for the review, can participate in formal and informal briefings to the HR Committee immediately before the review. Both briefings are conducted in a private closed session and only open for the representatives of civil society and the members of the Committee and its Secretariat. Representatives of the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) have the opportunity to participate in a separate formal briefing. They may also join the informal civil society briefing, if agreed by all.
The formal briefing is organised by the Committee as a part of its official review process and is typically scheduled on the first Monday of the review. For this briefing, official interpretation in the Committee’s working languages is provided. Usually around 30 minutes are allocated for the entire briefing on one State party, which includes time allocated to questions from Committee members. The formal briefing is an opportunity for civil society representatives to present short oral statements to the Committee highlighting their primary concerns and giving brief updates on the human rights situation in the country. Civil society representatives are requested to coordinate among themselves and, as much as possible, to present joint statements.
The informal briefing is organised by the CCPR Centre, usually for one hour in the lunch break immediately before the State review. If necessary, interpretation can be provided by the civil society representatives themselves. It is an opportunity for civil society representatives to engage in a more interactive and direct dialogue with the Committee members and answer their questions. In principle, informal briefings are held in a form of a physical meeting in Geneva, while online participation or briefing through online meeting can be arranged in certain circumstances.
Civil society representatives wishing to participate in the formal and/or informal briefings should contact the CCPR Centre and register before the deadline set by the Committee secretariat for each session. Relevant information for the registration such as deadlines can be found on the website of the Centre and information note prepared by the Committee Secretariat.
A separate registration and accreditation are necessary to obtain a pass for attending the Committee’s meetings physically. Relevant information about this registration and accreditation process can be found in the information note prepared by the Committee Secretariat for the session concerned.
The formal review of the State party is carried out by way of a dialogue between the Committee and the State delegation, which civil society representatives are only allowed to observe. Although not permitted to speak during the session, civil society representatives can attend the meeting and observe the dialogue e.g. what kind of questions are asked by the Committee and, more importantly, what kind of answers are (not) given by the State delegation. Under certain circumstances, civil society representatives might be able to informally approach individual Committee members, to the extent that it does not disturb the Committee members’ conduct, and provide short additional information, especially if information provided by the State delegation in their dialogue is not accurate.
Public meetings of the Committee, including the dialogue with the States’ delegations, are live webcasted and archived by the official UN channel, which for example civil society, even if they are not present in Geneva, can use for awareness raising and media work in the country concerned.