Once a country has ratified international human rights conventions it is obliged to a set of commitments, one of which is to submit periodic reports on the status of treaty implementation to the relevant UN treaty bodies during the process known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Many governments struggle with this commitment however, due to a lack of capacity and/or political will. In order to complement, or in some cases contradict, the official state reports, civil society has the opportunity to submit alternative shadow reports to the UN treaty bodies too.
In the small archipelago nation of Cabo Verde (a signatory to almost all international human rights conventions) the government has created an Inter-ministerial Commission responsible for preparation and submission of official state reports, yet civil society lacks the training and skills to draft complementary shadow reports. To date, only one report submitted by a local NGO is registered with an international human rights convention.
Aiming to strengthen civil society’s capacity, within the framework of the DRI’s project Promoting Human and Labour Rights through GSP+, the Cabo Verdean National Commission for Human Rights and Citizenship (CNDHC), in partnership with the country’s NGO Platform, organised a two-day training from 5-6 September in the capital Praia. It targeted to equip NGOs with knowledge about how to prepare and submit reports, understand the functions of the treaty bodies and reporting cycles, and prepare plans of action for the submission of three reports identified as priorities by the end of 2019.