States parties are obliged to implement all recommendations issued by the Committee, preferably before the next review. In order to facilitate this process and monitor implementation, the Committee has established a follow-up procedure. Under this procedure, the Committee selects up to four recommendations and request the State party to implement them and report back to the Committee within three years of the Concluding observations being issued.
Based on the information provided by the State party, and, if available, from other stakeholders, the Committee evaluates the actions taken by the State party and provides a corresponding grade for each one. Discussion on the follow-up evaluation takes place during the public meeting of the Committee, which civil society representatives, if present, can attend and observe. It is also live webcasted and archived on the UN channel. Relevant information about the follow-up procedure including results of the Committee’s evaluation, information provided by the State party and other stakeholders is published on the Committee’s website.
|A||Reply/action largely satisfactory||The State party has provided evidence of significant action taken towards the implementation of the recommendation made by the Committee. In this case, the Special Rapporteur for follow-up to Concluding observations or views requests no additional information from the State party and the follow-up procedure on the particular issue is discontinued.|
|B||Reply/action partially satisfactory||The State party has taken steps towards the implementation of the recommendation, but additional information or action remains necessary. In this case, the Special Rapporteur for follow-up to Concluding observations or views requests additional information, within a specific time frame or in the next periodic report, on specific points of the State party’s previous reply that require clarification, or on additional steps taken by the State party to implement the recommendation.|
|C||Reply/action not satisfactory||A response has been received, but action taken or information provided by the State party is not relevant or does not implement the recommendation. In the case of follow-up to Concluding observations, information provided by the State party that reiterates information previously made available to the Committee prior to the Concluding observations is considered not relevant for these purposes. The Special Rapporteur for follow-up renews the request for information on steps taken to implement the recommendation.|
|D||No cooperation with the Committee||No follow-up report has been received after the reminder(s). The State party has not provided a follow-up report after, inter alia, one reminder and a request for a meeting with the Special Rapporteur for follow-up to Concluding observations or views.|
|E||The information or measures taken are contrary to or reflect rejection of the recommendation||The State party adopted measures that are contrary to or have results or consequences that are contrary to the recommendation of the Committee or reflect rejection of the recommendation.|
Follow-up evaluation and grades given to Jamaica regarding implementation of the Committee’s recommendation on the voluntary termination of pregnancy (CCPR/C/131/2/Add.1, adopted in March 2021)
Concluding observations (118th session): CCPR/C/JAM/CO/4, 1 November 2016 Paragraph 26: Voluntary termination of pregnancy The State party should, as a matter of priority, amend its abortion legislation to help women address unplanned pregnancies and not resort to illegal abortions that could put their lives at risk. It should take measures to protect women against the health risks associated with unsafe abortions by improving its monitoring and data collection on women’s access to health care and by enabling access to sexual and reproductive health information and services to all women, including girls under the age of 16.
State party’s follow-up reply: CCPR/C/JAM/CO/4/Add.1, 19 July 2018
Information from non-governmental organizations: Jamaicans for Justice with support of CCPR Centre, March 2019
Committee’s evaluation [C]: The Committee welcomes the information provided by the State party on enabling access to sexual and reproductive health information and services to all women, including girls under the age of 16. It requests clarification of whether the steps described were taken before or after the issuance of its Concluding observations. It also requests additional information on the substantive impact of these programmes, and the overall availability of services across the State party during the reporting period. The Committee regrets the lack of information on legislative initiatives and measures taken by the State party to decriminalize the voluntary termination of pregnancy, including in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape, incest and fetal abnormality, and reiterates its recommendation in this regard. It requests precise information about any planned amendments to its abortion legislation. The Committee also regrets that no information has been provided in relation to monitoring and data collection on women’s access to health care. The Committee reiterates its recommendation and requests information about any measures taken to improve monitoring and data, and any available statistics on access to health care among women and girls.
While the primary obligation to implement the recommendations issued by the HR Committee rests with the State, civil society can play a key role in enhancing the effectiveness of the process by undertaking targeted follow up actions.
As soon as the review is completed, civil society can start raising awareness among relevant national stakeholders including Parliamentarians, local authorities, media and the general public, about its outcome, i.e., the recommendations from the Committee. Additionally, a particular focus should be placed on recommendations selected for the follow-up procedure of the Committee as well as the timeline for the State follow-up report.
Once concrete actions to be taken by the State authority is clear, civil society can start monitoring the implementation process. For this purpose, developing measurable success indicators or scheduling regular meetings with responsible authorities can be helpful.
While certain time needs to be given for the implementation of recommendations, civil society can begin to assess and document progress made by authorities, such as: concrete actions already taken by the State actors; actions that are still necessary or yet to be taken; and, if any, other relevant actions and developments that contribute to and/or go against the implementation of recommendations.
For the recommendations that are selected by the HR Committee for its follow-up procedure,civil society can submit written reports to the Committee providing relevant information, including their own assessment of implementation. During each session, the Committee evaluates the follow-up actions of several States parties. The deadline for the civil society follow-up report will be announced by the Committee on the webpage of the session concerned, usually a few months in advance of the session in question.
Follow-up actions of civil society become more effective, if it is carried out as part of a long term engagement strategic with all UN Human Rights Mechanisms.
For example, you can use your documentation and assessment of the progress (or challenges) in implementation of the relevant recommendations from the HR Committee in your reporting to other mechanisms, e.g., other Treaty Bodies and UPR, and vice versa for the next review cycle of the HR Committee.