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2. Treaty Bodies: Going Deeper

2.2 Treaty Body follow up and grading system

The Treaty Bodies have developed a system to assess and grade the compliance of States parties with their recommendations (in a periodic review process) and their decisions or views (in respect of an individual communication). The grading system is unique to the Treaty Bodies in the international human rights architecture.

Periodic reviews

Under the periodic review process, Treaty Bodies have a system to assess and grade the compliance of States parties with some of their recommendations.

All Treaty Bodies (except the CRC and SPT) request that States submit follow up reports within 12 to 24 months after the review. The Committees request that States provide information on the level of compliance with the review recommendations, with a focus on two to five recommendations that have been identified as ‘priority’ or urgent by the Committee. States have one to two years to implement these priority or urgent recommendations.

Once the implementation period has elapsed, States are required to submit follow up reports, and so can NGOs. The Treaty Bodies then undertake an assessment of the State’s compliance with the urgent recommendations, and adopt grades reflecting the level of compliance, taking into account any information received from civil society.

Some Treaty Bodies use grades ranging from A to E, with A being the highest level of compliance. Others use an assessment of “partially implemented”, “fully implemented”, or “not implemented”.

Individual communications

Similar to the grading system adopted by Treaty Bodies in the follow up of its recommendations under a periodic review, all Treaty Bodies (except for CED) have adopted a procedure to assess State compliance with their views and decisions on individual communications.

Part of this follow up process involves the adoption of grades which reflects the level of State compliance with Treaty Body decisions. The Treaty Body’s assessment of State compliance with their decisions can be found in their follow up reports, as well as in their annual reports – which are available on the webpage of the respective Treaty Body.

For more detailed information on the use of the grading system employed by Treaty Bodies, see ISHR Academy Tips & Tricks: Treaty Body follow up and grading system


In the next section you will learn how you can input into specific cases or communications before a Treaty Body through a third-party intervention.

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