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9 August 2017

The Committee against Torture this morning discussed follow-up to individual communications under article 22, and follow-up to concluding observations and recommendations under article 19 of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Concerning the compliance with individual communications based on article 22 of the Convention, a representative of the Secretariat, on behalf of Sapana Pradhan-Malla, Rapporteur on follow-up to individual complaints, briefed the Committee members on two cases currently before the Committee.  In the case from Finland, it had been noted that on 15 July 2015, the author and the two minor children had been granted asylum and later on a renewable residence and work permit.  There was therefore no merit to the Committee’s meeting with the Permanent Mission of Finland on this matter.  The second case concerned refoulement of applicants from Denmark to the Russian Federation, in which the Committee had requested the State party to refrain from the deportation.  To date, there had been another refusal of the asylum application, the applicants were still in Denmark awaiting deportation.

The Committee’s previous Follow-up Reports to the Complaints Procedure can be read here.

Presenting the report on follow-up to article 19 of the Convention, Abdelwahab Hani, Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations, noted an improvement in States’ compliance with reporting and follow-up procedures, although there were still some States, such as Venezuela, Iraq and Jordan, which did not submit their reports despite reminder letters sent.  Reminder letters would be soon sent to Israel and the Philippines whose reports were due in May 2017.  In the cases of Turkey and of Burundi, the ordinary follow-up procedure overlapped with the Committee’s special request for information in relation to events in those two countries, remarked Mr. Hani.

On a positive note, some States submitted their reports early, such as Kuwait; others had provided additional information – for example texts of laws (Switzerland, Kuwait and France); Austria had responded to a request for urgent information and had submitted a partial report with the information on some recommendations; and Tunisia had attached a table with the information on the status of implementation of all concluding observations, methodology used to inform and engage stakeholders, and budgetary implications as well.  A submission from the Police Trade Union from France had been received as well, which provided the perspective of law enforcement on the Committee’s concluding observations, and this was another example of the growing interest in the work of the Committee, stressed Mr. Hani. 

The report being presented today provided in-depth analysis of the follow-up reports received from six States parties: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Spain, Denmark and New Zealand, and the analysis of available shadow reports.  In 50 per cent of cases, the information provided by States parties was satisfactory and directly linked to the recommendations which enabled the Committee to adequately assess the implementation of its concluding observations.  In 40 per cent of the cases, the information was extensive and interesting although not completely linked to the recommendations, while the information provided in 10 per cent of the cases was not satisfactory.

General documentation on the follow-up procedure under article 19 of the Convention against Torture and documentation related to States’ follow-up to concluding observations can be found here.

It was noted during the meeting that the Committee’s annual report was publicly available on the Committee’s website in the six official languages of the United Nations, and it provided a summary of the inquiry which had just been completed in reference to Egypt.

The Committee will next meet in public on Friday, 11 August, at 10 a.m., to adopt its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Antigua and Barbuda, Paraguay, Ireland and Panama, which it reviewed during its present session, adopt the programme of work for future sessions, and close its sixty-first session.

For use of the information media; not an official record


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