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Non-Governmental Organisations and the Reporting Obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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For more content, see International Community Law Review.

This paper takes into consideration the reporting obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. After outlining the scope and function of this kind of procedure, the focus will be on the possibility of enlarging the sources of information available to the members of the Human Rights Committee.

It will be stressed how the Human Rights Committee does not limit itself to the analysis of the official documents by member States, and how non-Governmental Organisations intervene with ad hoc submissions. A number of questions may arise:

– Is there a legal framework granting non-State actors the possibility to actively take part in the procedures?

– What are the concrete actions that can be undertaken by non-State actors?

– Is the protection of human rights positively affected by such intervention?

– Is it desirable to grant such participation and role?

The purpose of this article is to illustrate how, in practice, the involvement of such non-State actors as NGOs can have bene ficial effects on the protection of human rights, in a spirit of cooperation with States, which remain, nonetheless, the centre of the system as a whole.

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