Review mechanism for National reports on the two Covenants

The UN Human Rights Committee and Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights supervise how all States Parties have performed the two Covenants mainly by reviewing the National reports submitted by such States Parties. The spirit of the review mechanism for National reports lies in confirming whether States Parties have fulfilled their obligations under the two Covenants through constructive dialogues between the treaty bodies and states parties.

In the review process for National reports, first, States Parties submit National reports as required under the two Covenants and NGOs may submit parallel reports to supplement or comment on the National reports submitted by the governments of such states; after reviewing National reports and parallel reports, the said committees make lists of issues (LOIs) and request States Parties to provide additional or more detailed clarifications on matters not covered in the reports, the governments of States Parties shall respond to the LOIs, and NGOs may also respond in parallel to LOIs or the responses of States Parties; then, on the basis of the reports, responses and other relevant information submitted by States Parties and NGOs, the said committees request States Parties to send representatives to engage in constructive dialogues and review how such states have performed the two Covenants; and the said committees finally give concluding observations with suggestions on the lack of human rights protection in such states, the said committees will also follow up through regular reports and other special procedures to ensure that all States Parties continue to fulfill the obligations under the two Covenants.

Not being a member of the UN, the ROC has no role in reviewing National reports submitted to the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. However, in order to enhance the protection of human rights in the ROC and ensure that our human rights levels are brought in line with the international community, the ROC remains active in examining the promotion of various human rights policies and the development of human rights by reference to the UN's reviewing procedures for National reports. It does so by submitting the first National report in 2012 and second National report in 2016, and inviting 10 international human rights experts as members in 2013 and 2017 to review the National reports, parallel (shadow) reports, and responses to LOIs submitted by the government and non-governmental organizations and give 81 and 78 concluding observations respectively, including affirming the determination of the ROC and her people to fulfill applicable human rights obligations and recommending improvements on the lack of human rights protection. This review model is not only groundbreaking and unique, but of great significance to the ROC and the international community.