The following is a suggested template for NGO follow-up shadow reports to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT Committee). The U.S. government combined third to fifth periodic report (CAT/C/USA/3-5) was reviewed by the UN CAT Committee in November 2014 and Committee recommendations (Concluding Observations) were issued on November 28, 2014. The Committee has requested follow-up on their “recommendations relating to ensuring or strengthening legal safeguards for persons detained; conducting, prompt, impartial and effective investigations; and prosecuting suspects and sanctioning perpetrators of torture or ill-treatment, as contained in paragraphs 12 (a), 14 (c) and 17… [and] concerning remedies and redress to victims, as contained in paragraph 26 (c) and (d) of the present concluding observations.” And the U.S. Government submitted their one year follow-up report on November 27, 2015.
The recommendations outlined 5 specific follow-up issues: 1. Inquiries into allegations of torture overseas (para. 12(a)); 2. Guantanamo Bay detention facilities (para. 14(c)); 3. Interrogation techniques (para. 17); 4. Excessive use of force and police brutality (para. 26(c)); and 5) Passage of the ordinance entitled Reparations for the Chicago Police Torture Survivors (para. 26 (d)) for the U.S. to provide updated information on implementation within one year (due November 28, 2015). Based on the general UN follow-up procedures for concluding observations and the CAT guidelines for follow-up, NGOs can submit alternative follow-up, or shadow reports to the UN once the US Government has submitted their report. These follow-up shadow reports should be concise and only focus on the 5 recommendations identified by the Committee as outlined in the follow-up procedure. This template is for all 5 issue areas for follow-up. NGOs should only report on those issues they work on and delete sections not relevant to their work. The CAT Follow-Up Rapporteur will analyze, discuss, and adopt a follow-up progress report on the U.S. in a closed session in Geneva (most likely at the CAT Session April 18-May 13, 2016).
Deadline: Reports should be submitted by the updated deadline of March 1, 2016
February 26, 2016 [3 months after the US government follow-up report submission to the UN is due].
To learn more generally about the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, please visit out CAT webpage.