First follow-up progress report on individual communications
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has given insight in the follow up measures taken by State Parties after the first individual communications. How does the Committee assess the impact of the views adopted?
In October 2019, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child published its first follow-up progress report on individual communications lodged under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in a communications procedure. According to Article 11 of the Optional Protocol, State Parties are under the obligation to ‘give due consideration to the views of the Committee, together with its recommendations’ and to ‘submit a written response, including information on any action taken and envisaged in the light of the views and recommendations of the Committee’. The report presented by the Committee is a compilation of information received from State Parties and complainants on measures taken to implement the views and recommendations on individual communications submitted under the Optional Protocol (rule 28 Rules of procedure under the Optional Protocol).
The Committee’s report gives insight in the follow up measures taken by State Parties in the three cases. The Committee has used four assessment criteria – A. Compliance; B. Partial Compliance; C. Non-compliance; D. No reply – to assess the information provided by State Parties and complainants. For example, concerning the case I.A.M. v. Denmark, which revolved around the deportation of a mother and her baby to the Puntland (Somalia), Denmark informed the committee that the Danish Refugee Appeals Board found no basis for reopening the case given that the complainant and her daughter had left Denmark and that their location was unknown. In addition, Denmark explained that, as requested by the Committee, the Committee’s views were made public through on the websites of the Refugee Appeals Board and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (both in English). The Committee ultimately concludes that Denmark has partially complied (“B”) with its recommendations. Even though the Committee accepts that it was not possible to implement the individual remedy due to the absence of information about the whereabouts of the complainant and her daughter, it remains concerned about the absence of information on any measures taken to prevent similar violations in the future.
Even though the Progress Report is limited to three cases in which the Committee has decided on the merits – the other cases concern N.B.F. v. Spain on the age-determination process regarding unaccompanied migrant children and C.E. v. Belgium on the denial of a visa to a Moroccan child take in under kafalah – it shows the nature of the follow up process as well as the Committee’s involvement in order to assess the impact of the views adopted. It offers an opportunity for the Committee to continue to engage with State Parties on the required steps to better implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.