Traditional Reporting Procedure
The cycle starts when the national government submits its State report on how it has implemented its children’s rights obligations to the Committee. The date of submission determines the timeline of the following steps. The State report is a public document that is uploaded on the Committee’s website.
Check when your national government’s report is due and learn what you can do if the State report is overdue or has already been submitted.
Any children’s rights defender independent from the government can submit written information to the Committee to complement the State report. This is called an alternative report. Children’s rights defenders can ask the Committee to publish their report on its website or keep it confidential. Learn more about the type of information you can submit and how to do so.
Children themselves can also submit information to the Committee through an alternative report, a video, a drawing, or through any other means. Learn more about how children can submit information.
The pre-session is a one week meeting period that takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. During the pre-session, the Committee meets with the children’s rights defenders they have decided to invite, based on the alternative reports they have received, to prepare for the country session with State representatives.
A country pre-session is a 2.5 hour confidential meeting between all Committee members, children’s rights defenders invited by the Committee and UN agencies representatives, like UNICEF, to discuss the situation of children’s rights in a given country. It is an opportunity for civil society to share information and concerns before the Committee’s country session with the State representatives of the country concerned.
Learn more about the format of the meeting and what you will be expected to do if you are invited to a country pre-session by the Committee.
Children can also meet Committee members in a separate confidential children’s meeting if they request so in advance.
Learn more about this meeting and how to request one.
Based on the information received through the State report, alternative reports and the pre-session, the Committee establishes a list of issues that require additional information (e.g. clarifications, data and statistics), which is sent to each State which submitted a report before the session that will review them.
These lists of issues are public documents accessible on the Committee’s website, under the relevant session page. They are drafted in one of the Committee’s working languages, namely English, French or Spanish and an official deadline for the government’s written replies is set. Children’s rights defenders can also provide comments to the list of issues or raise additional points not included in the list of issues by sending additional submissions to the Committee before the session.
Learn more about the list of issues and how you can use it.
Governments are asked to answer the Committee’s list of issues at least a couple of months before the session (the exact deadline can be found in the list of issues). These written replies are published on the Committee’s website when they are received by the Committee.
Learn more about the written replies of the State to the Committee.
At this stage, children’s rights defenders, including those who did not submit an alternative report or did not participate in the pre-session, can send additional submissions to the Committee to comment on the State’s written replies and/or send new or updated information to the Committee before the session, for example.
Learn more about additional submissions of children's rights defenders to the Committee.
The session is a three week meeting period that takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. During the session, the Committee meets with government representatives from the countries up for review to discuss how each State is fulfilling its children’s rights obligations.
The Committee bases the discussion on many things, including: the State report, the government’s written replies to the Committee’s list of issues, the alternative reports, information shared during the pre-session and children’s meeting, and other relevant documentation received or consulted by the Committee.
A country session is a public meeting between the Committee and the State representatives of the country up for review, during which they have an “interactive dialogue” about the situation of children’s rights in the country. Anyone, including the media and children’s rights defenders, can attend the meeting as an observer. But no one other than the State representatives or the Committee can speak during the meeting. The meeting can be watched online live or after the meeting.
Learn more about the format of the session and how you can be involved.
After each session, the Committee drafts concluding observations on the situation of children’s rights in each of the countries it has just reviewed. These concluding observations are based on the dialogue between the Committee and the State and can only mention issues discussed during the country session. They constitute a public document, which contains a summary of the dialogue, the Committee’s recommendations to the State and the date for the submission of the next State report.
Learn more about the concluding observations.
Between two State reviews by the Committee, there are no official follow up measures undertaken by the Committee. The State is expected to follow the recommendations made by the Committee and report on their implementation in its next report. All interested actors can monitor the State’s implementation of the Committee’s recommendations and contribute to their follow up.
Learn more about what you can do during this follow-up period.