Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of New Zealand *
1.The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of New Zealand at its 18th and 19th meetings (E/C.12/2018/SR.18 and 19), held on 22 and 23 March 2018, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 28th meeting, held on 29 March 2018.
2.The Committee welcomes the submission of the fourth periodic report of the State party, on the basis of a list of issues prior to reporting drawn up by the Committee (E/C.12/NZL/QPR/4). It expresses its appreciation to the State party for having accepted the simplified reporting procedure, as this provides an opportunity to have a focused consideration of the report and dialogue with the delegation. The Committee appreciates the constructive and frank dialogue held with the State party’s high-level intersectoral delegation.
3.The Committee welcomes the legislative, institutional and policy measures taken to ensure a high level of protection of economic, social and cultural rights in the State party, such as the implementation of the Migrant Exploitation Prevention Strategy (2015–2018) and the amendment to the Immigration Act in 2015, making it an offence to exploit temporary migrant workers, as well as the implementation of the ʼAla Mo’ui: Pathways to Pacific Health and Wellbeing action plan (2014–2018) that aims to secure the health rights of Pasifika. The Committee also acknowledges the progress made by the State party in advancing gender equality in the sphere of public life. Furthermore, the Committee welcomes the State party’s commitment to address several priorities, including reducing child poverty, increasing the minimum wage, overhauling both the mental health and education systems, and addressing more effectively the housing crisis in the State party.
4.The Committee notes with appreciation the active role played by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and by the vibrant civil society, including indigenous peoples’ organizations and representatives, in the review process of the State party’s fourth periodic report.
C.Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Justiciability of the Covenant rights
5.The Committee is concerned that in the light of the New Zealand Bill of Rights, economic, social and cultural rights do not enjoy equal status with civil and political rights. It is further concerned that:
(a)Covenant provisions are still not fully incorporated into the State party’s domestic legal order, despite the recommendations made by the Constitutional Advisory Panel in 2013;
(b)The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act lacks supremacy over other statutes and legislation adversely affecting human rights has remained in effect, despite declarations of inconsistency made by the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the courts under the Human Rights Act;
(c)While noting the role of disclosure statements as an additional mechanism for scrutinizing the compliance of draft legislation with the State party’s international human rights obligations, the Covenant obligations were not invoked in any of the disclosure statements referred to by the delegation (art. 2 (1)).
6. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that all human rights, economic, social and cultural as well as civil and political rights, have equal status. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take the necessary steps to incorporate fully the Covenant provisions into the legal order, so as to render them justiciable in the domestic courts and enable victims of violations of the Covenant rights to have access to effective remedies;
(b) Implement the recommendations of the Constitutional Advisory Panel, including by incorporating the Covenant rights into the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and ensuring the latter’s supremacy over other statutes;
(c) Ensure that recommendations made by mechanisms reviewing compliance of proposed legislation with the State party’s international human rights obligations, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and the Treaty of Waitangi are duly taken into account by legislators.
7. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 9 (1998) on the domestic application of the Covenant.
Right to freely dispose of natural wealth and resources
8.The Committee is concerned that the Treaty of Waitangi is still not legally enforceable nor referred to in the Constitution Act, and that the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal are not binding and are frequently ignored by the Government. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the limited efforts that have been made to ensure meaningful participation of Māori in decision-making concerning laws that impact their rights, including land and water rights. It is also concerned that the principle of free, prior and informed consent is not systematically implemented, in particular in the context of development and extractive activities carried out on territories owned or traditionally used by Māori (art. 1 (2)).
9. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take immediate steps, in partnership with Māori representative institutions, to implement the recommendations of the Constitutional Advisory Panel regarding the role of the Treaty of Waitangi within its constitutional arrangements, together with the proposals put forward in the 2016 Matike Mai Aotearoa report;
(b) Ensure systematic and full implementation of recommendations put forward by the Waitangi Tribunal , including in its landmark report Ko Aotearoa Tēnei ;
(c) Develop a national strategy to bring legislation and public policy into line with the provisions of the United Nations D eclaration on the R ights of I nd i genous P eoples and ensure adequate financial and human resources are provided to the independent monitoring mechanism of the Declaration established by the Iwi Chairs Forum;
(d) Considering the Waitangi Tribunal recommendations regarding processes for engaging with Māori, put in place effective mechanisms to ensure meaningful participation of Māori in all decision-making processes affecting their rights. To that end, the State party should ensure that its trade strategy include provisions on transparency and public participation, and its climate change policies are developed and implemented in partnership with Māori, including through their effective participation in the Climate Commission;
(e) Take effective measures to ensure compliance with the requirement of obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples, notably in the context of extractive and development activities, and conduct social, environmental and human rights impact assessments prior to granting licences for extractive and development activities and during operations;
(f) Consider ratifying the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) of the International Labour Organization.
10.The Committee is concerned about the entrenched unconscious bias towards Māori in education, health, justice and social services, negatively affecting their enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights (art. 2).
11. The Committee recommends that the State party introduce a government-wide strategy to ensure that the nature and impact of unconscious bias is understood by governance bodies and employees at all levels, owing to the significant detrimental impact unconscious bias has on Māori in all areas of life. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that this strategy takes on board public procurement procedures and is supported by comprehensive training and education, as well as effective monitoring mechanisms. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 20 (2009) on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights.
Protection from violence
12.The Committee is concerned about the prevalence of domestic and gender-based violence in the State party, impacting particularly Māori women and girls, despite some positive measures taken in that regard. The Committee notes the legislative reforms to the child protection system undertaken by the State party and welcomes the establishment of the Ministry for Children in 2017. However, it remains concerned that the extent of child abuse in the family and in State care, in particular experienced by children with disabilities and Māori children, remains considerable. The Committee is also concerned that claims of historic abuse of children in State care have not been effectively investigated (art. 10).
13. The Committee recommends that the State party take a holistic approach in addressing violence in the family and child abuse. In particular, it recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt a comprehensive and cross-cutting strategy to eradicate family violence and ensure effective implementation of the new law on family violence;
(b) Intensify its measures to protect all victims of domestic and gender-based violence, paying particular attention to Māori women and girls, while bearing in mind the historic grief and trauma experienced by them when developing solutions in partnership with Māori people and relevant civil society organizations;
(c) Continue to invest in addressing child abuse, while paying particular attention to children with disabilities and Māori children. To that end, the State party should ensure that the Ministry for Children is fully equipped and operational;
(d) Take steps to bring perpetrators of domestic and gender-based violence to justice and punish them adequately, if convicted, and strengthen awareness-raising campaigns and the provision of training for law enforcement officers to sensitize them to all forms of domestic violence and child abuse;
(e) Effectively investigate claims of abuse of children in State care, operationalize the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care, and ensure it is equipped with the resources necessary to discharge its duties efficiently.
Maximum available resources
14.The Committee is concerned that Covenant obligations are not adequately considered in the budget process and that budgetary allocations for areas relating to Covenant rights remain insufficient (art. 2 (1)).
15. The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to ensure the maximization of the resources allocated for the realization of Covenant rights, including by making the necessary adjustments to the Public Finance Act (1989) by introducing human rights impact assessments. It also recommends that appropriate consideration of the Covenant obligations of the State party is established when fiscal and resource generation and allocation decisions are made. While noting the State party’s commitment to the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Committee recommends that the initiatives and resources allocated to their achievement be underpinned by the Covenant obligations.
Business and human rights
16.The Committee regrets that the State party has not yet adopted a national action plan on business and human rights and is concerned that the regulatory framework for companies operating in the State party and those domiciled under its jurisdiction acting abroad does not fully ensure respect for economic, social and cultural rights. Moreover, the Committee is concerned about the reported underresourcing of the national contact point established under the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (art. 2 (1)).
17. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Expedite the adoption of a national plan of action on business and human rights to implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework;
(b) Strengthen the regulatory framework, including that concerning legal liability, for companies operating in the State party and those domiciled under its jurisdiction acting abroad, to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights and that victims can claim reparations through the State party’s judicial and non-judicial mechanisms;
(c) Strengthen the capacity of the national contact point.
18. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 24 (2017) on State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the context of business activities.
Persons with disabilities
19.The Committee notes the positive measures taken with respect to persons with disabilities, including the creation of a Disability Data and Evidence Working Group to improve data collection and information on persons with disabilities and the establishment of a commissioner responsible for disability rights, pursuant to the amendment introduced in 2016 to the Human Rights Act. The Committee, however, remains concerned that:
(a)Existing legal provisions do not conform to international standards regarding reasonable accommodation and inclusive education;
(b)Persons with disabilities remain disadvantaged in their enjoyment of Covenant rights, with their social and economic outcomes remaining far below the outcomes of the general population (art. 2).
20. The Committee recommends that the State party harmonize its domestic legislation, notably the provisions of the Human Rights Act (1993) and the Education Act (1989) related to the rights of persons with disabilities, including concerning reasonable accommodation and inclusive education, and bring them into line with international standards. The Committee also recommends that the State party continue its efforts to improve the living conditions of persons with disabilities, including by effectively implementing the updated New Zealand Disability Strategy (2016–2026) and the Disability Action Plan (2014–2018), in close collaboration with the groups concerned.
Equality between men and women
21.The Committee notes the increase in women’s representation in elected bodies, but remains concerned that while they comprise the majority of civil servants (60.5 per cent), only 38 per cent of chief executives of public departments are women, and that in the private sector the representation of women in leadership roles and on boards remains much lower (art. 3).
22. The Committee recommends that the State party pursue its efforts to achieve gender parity in all elected bodies. It also recommends that the State party step up its measures to increase women’s representation in leadership roles in the public sector and to that end strengthen awareness-raising campaigns on the roles of women and men in the family and in society. The Committee encourages the State party to take targeted measures , such as quotas to promote gender equality in the private sector. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 16 (2005) on the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights.
23.While noting the information on the decrease in the general unemployment rate in recent years and the statistics provided, the Committee expresses its concern that the number of underemployed people has doubled (estimated at 221,000). It also notes with concern that the unemployment rate among Māori and Pasifika is approximately double the general rate, in spite of the efforts undertaken by the State party, and that women and persons with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed. The Committee is also concerned about the high numbers of youth, particularly among Māori, Pasifika and persons with disabilities, who are not in employment, education or training (art. 6).
24. The Committee recommends that the State party take targeted measures to address underemployment more effectively. It also recommends that the State party assess the effectiveness of measures taken to increase employment opportunities in general and for specific groups, notably Māori, Pasifika, women, persons with disabilities and youth. In doing so, the State party should work in partnership with the groups concerned to increase their participation in the labour market and create incentives for companies to employ persons with disabilities, such as a decrease in the social security contribution of the employer for a fixed time period. The Committee encourages the State party to step up its efforts to address the increasing numbers of youth not engaged in education, employment or training and draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 18 (2005) on the right to work.
25.The Committee takes note of the information provided by the State party regarding the gradual increase of the minimum wage to subsistence level that is envisaged. The Committee is, however, concerned that under the Minimum Wage Act, persons with disabilities may be paid lower salaries, below the minimum wage (art. 7).
26. The Committee urges the State party to adopt the necessary legislative and administrative measures, including by revising the Minimum Wage Act, repealing the exemption permit system and providing support, if warranted, to the employers of persons with disabilities , to ensure that all workers, without discrimination, receive a minimum wage that enables them to have decent living conditions for themselves and their families. The Committee recommends that the State party pursue its efforts, including by means of labour inspections, to effectively enforce the minimum wage and impose appropriate penalties on non-compliant employers. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 23 (2016) on the right to just and favourable conditions of work, paragraphs 18–24.
Just and favourable conditions of work
27.The Committee is concerned about the working conditions of migrant workers, which are characterized by excessive working hours and non-payment or underpayment of wages. It is also concerned about the significant non-compliance by employers with employment laws, including in industries that employ migrant workers. It is further concerned about the prevalence of workplace deaths and injuries, especially in the agriculture, forestry and construction sectors, which engage a high proportion of Māori workers (art. 7).
28. The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Adopt the necessary measures to ensure that all migrant workers enjoy the same conditions as other workers as regards remuneration, limitation of working hours and rest and leisure;
(b) Take measures to raise awareness among migrant workers of existing complaint mechanisms and facilitate their access to legal assistance;
(c) Strengthen the capacity of the labour inspectorate to monitor the conditions of work, including at workplaces with migrant workers, with a view to fully enforcing employment standards, bringing exploitative employers to justice and compensating victims;
(d) Effectively implement workplace health and safety legislation.
29. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 23.
30.The Committee notes that New Zealand has the lowest gender wage gap among OECD countries. It is, however, concerned that women are more likely to be engaged in part-time, casual and low-paid employment, constituting an obstacle to eliminating the gender wage gap and affecting women’s pension benefits when they retire. It is also concerned that women are disproportionately engaged in multiple employment. The Committee remains concerned that the principle of equal pay for work of equal value is still to be incorporated in the State party’s legislation (art. 7).
31. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Intensify its efforts to diversify women’s work opportunities, including occupations that are traditionally male-dominated, and ensure that ethnic and disability perspectives are integrated in all such efforts ;
(b) Adopt targeted measures to foster an environment conducive to realizing equal employment opportunities for men and women, including by undertaking awareness-raising campaigns, adopting temporary special measures and further promoting flexible work arrangements that help parents in balancing family and work ;
(c) Effectively address the causes of the high percentage of women engaged in multiple employment;
(d) Adopt measures to incorporate the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in the State party’s legislation and develop a streamlined mechanism to implement it across occupations.
Trade union rights
32.The Committee is concerned that the State party maintains its reservation to article 8 of the Covenant. It is also concerned about the legal restrictions on trade union rights (art. 8).
33. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party adopt the measures necessary to enable it to withdraw its reservation to article 8 of the Covenant. The Committee recommends that the State party pursue its intention to revise the Employment Relations Act so as to bring it into line with the obligations under article 8. It also recommends that the State party put in place mechanisms to protect new employees against unfair dismissal during the trial period.
Right to social security
34.The Committee is concerned that previous reforms of the social security system have resulted in sanctions being imposed on non-compliant beneficiaries, including those with dependent children, and in excessively focusing on getting beneficiaries into paid work. The Committee is also concerned that owing to the nature of the activities or services being provided and the assessment of the level of risk involved, among other factors, the contracts of Māori social service providers are more likely to be renewed on an annual basis while non-Māori contracts are renewed every five years (art. 9).
35. The Committee recommends that the State party pursue its intention to reform the social security system, including the Social Security Act (1964), in wide consultation with social partners, the National Human Rights Commission and civil society, in order to ensure the realization of the right to social security. In doing so, the State party should ensure that social security legislation and policy are based on the pursuance of the realization of the right to social security. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that persons in need of social assistance effectively receive social security benefits that are adequate and allow the beneficiaries and their families to enjoy an adequate standard of living;
(b) Assess the effectiveness of the sanctions regime, bearing in mind the core content of the right to social security and the best interests of the child;
(c) Ensure equal work conditions, including concerning contract renewal, of all social services providers and address any indirect disparity in that regard.
36. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 19 (2007) on the right to social security and its statement, adopted in 2015, on social protection floors: an essential element of the right to social security and of the sustainable development goals.
Right to an adequate standard of living
37.The Committee notes the State party’s commitment to achieving a significant and sustained reduction in child poverty. However, it expresses its concern about the rise in child poverty in the State party. It is also concerned about the disproportionate numbers of Māori and Pasifika children and children with disabilities living in households with incomes below the relative income poverty line (art. 11).
38. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to combat poverty, in particular among households with dependent children, notably Māori or Pasifi ka children and children with disabilities. In particular, the Committee urges the State party to accelerate the enactment of the child poverty reduction bill introduced in January 2018, and ensure that the child well-being strategy is well resourced and effectively implemented. It also requests the State party to provide disaggregated information in its next periodic report on the progress achieved in meeting the targets in the strategy. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party consider developing an overall poverty reduction strategy based on the Child Well-being Strategy.
Right to housing
39.The Committee notes the measures envisaged by the State party to increase the availability of quality affordable housing, including through the KiwiBuild programme. The Committee is however concerned that disadvantaged groups and individuals, notably Māori and Pasifika families and persons with disabilities are more likely to experience severe housing deprivation, including overcrowded conditions. The Committee is also concerned that housing costs have significantly increased, leading to housing becoming unaffordable for many families and thereby increasing homelessness. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned by the considerable number of unsafe rental housing units and the shortage of social and affordable housing. Finally, the Committee is concerned about the slow pace of processing claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes, including concerning access to adequate housing (art. 11).
40. The Committee recommends that the State party adopt a human rights-based national housing strategy, taking into account the 2018 Housing stocktake report produced by the Government. It also recommends that the State party:
(a) Step up its efforts to increase the availability of quality affordable housing, paying particular attention to low-income, Māori and Pasifika families, persons with disabilities and older persons, and allocate the necessary resources for the effective implementation of the KiwiBuild programme;
(b) Address more effectively the growing phenomenon of homelessness, including by implementing the strategy to end homelessness, and monitor and record more systematically the situation of the homeless;
(c) Ensure that any evictions comply with international standards, including respect for due process guarantees and the provision of alternative housing;
(d) Redouble its efforts to regulate the private housing market, including by controlling rent increases, and take effective measures to ensure that housing rental units are safe for living, including by strengthening legislation that requires minimum quality standards for heating and insulation in rental homes;
(e) Strengthen its efforts to swiftly process the outstanding claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes, including by establishing a well-equipped specialized tribunal, and promote the implementation of the recommendations made by the Human Rights Commission in its monitoring report, “Staying in the red zones”.
41. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comments No. 7 (1997) on forced evictions and No. 4 (1991) on the right to adequate housing.
Right to water
42.The Committee is concerned at persistent challenges in access to safe drinking water, leading to outbreaks of disease (art. 11).
43. The Committee recommends that the State party take immediate steps to address the obstacles to access to safe drinking water, including by implementing the findings of the Havelock North drinking water inquiry, and introducing the necessary legislative and regulatory changes to ensure access to safe drinking water for all. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to it general comment No. 15 (2002) on the right to water.
Right to health
44.The Committee is concerned about the persistent gaps in the enjoyment of the right to health, with Māori and Pasifika experiencing the worst health outcomes. It is in particular concerned that Māori have higher rates of chronic diseases, experience higher disability rates and are negatively overrepresented in suicide and mental health statistics (art. 12).
45. The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to close the gaps in the enjoyment of the right to health by improving the health outcomes of Māori and Pasifika, in close collaboration with the groups concerned. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party reinstate the Māori health plans, increase its investment in customary Māori public health systems and ensure that the groups concerned are represented and empowered in decision-making processes in health and disability policy, design, planning and delivery. It draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 14 (2000) on the right to the highest attainable standard of health.
46.The Committee notes the State party’s announcement in January 2018 to establish an independent inquiry into mental health and addiction services. However, it expresses its concern that the services are insufficiently responsive to meet the rights and needs of persons with mental health disabilities, including those in prisons (art. 12).
47. The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure the availability and appropriate provision of mental health services, including community-based care, for those members of society who need them, including prison inmates. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that the independent inquiry into mental health and addiction services be provided with adequate resources, and take steps to implement the recommendations arising from the inquiry, once they are available.
Right to education
48.Despite the efforts made by the State party, the Committee is concerned about the persistence of disparities in the enjoyment of the right to education, whereby Māori and Pasifika students, notably at secondary school and university levels, achieve lower outcomes than those of European background and experience higher rates of stigma and disciplinary measures at schools. The Committee is particularly concerned at the limited availability of Māori, or Māori-speaking, teachers, limiting even further access to education in Māori language. The Committee is furthermore concerned at:
(a)The placement of children with disabilities in special education systems, notably owing to financial constraints;
(b)The prevalence of bullying and harassment in schools;
(c)The indirect education costs leading to school dropouts, mostly by students from disadvantaged and marginalized households (arts. 13 and 14).
49. The Committee recommends that the State party pursue its plan to reform the education system. In doing so, it should develop culturally appropriate education programmes in partnership with Māori and Pasifika and identify associated education targets, with the aims of improving the educational outcomes among Māori and Pasifika students and tackling stigma and disciplinary measures in schools. It also recommends that the State party invest in increasing the availability of qualified Māori teachers and take other measures to strengthen access to education in the Māori language and its retention. The Committee also recommends that the State party:
(a) Take effective measures to facilitate access by children with disabilities to inclusive education, including by strengthening the allocation of resources for the provision of reasonable accommodation and any additional support needed;
(b) Implement a zero-tolerance policy against bullying and harassment in schools and ensure the effective protection of victims of bullying and harassment;
(c) Take effective steps to address indirect schooling costs, including by implementing the scheme to increase funding for public schools, so as to ensure equal access to education by all children and students.
50. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 13 (1999) on the right to education.
51. The Committee encourages the State party to consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
52. The Committee recommends that the State party consider ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
53. The Committee recommends that the State party take fully into account its obligations under the Covenant and ensure the full enjoyment of the rights enshrined therein in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the national level, with international assistance and cooperation when needed. Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals would be significantly facilitated by the State party establishing independent mechanisms to monitor progress and treating beneficiaries of public programmes as rights holders who can claim entitlements. Implementing the Goals on the basis of the principles of participation, accountability and non-discrimination would ensure that no one is left behind.
54. The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to progressively develop and apply appropriate indicators on the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights in order to facilitate the assessment of progress achieved by the State party in complying with its obligations under the Covenant for various segments of the population. In that context, the Committee refers the State party to, inter alia, the conceptual and methodological framework on human rights indicators developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (see HRI/MC/2008/3).
55. The Committee requests that the State party disseminate the present concluding observations widely, in official and commonly used languages, at all levels of society, particularly among parliamentarians, public officials and judicial authorities, and that it inform the Committee in its next periodic report about the steps taken to implement them. The Committee encourages the State party to engage with the Waitangi Tribunal, the Human Rights Commission, non-governmental organizations and other members of civil society in the follow-up to the present concluding observations and in the process of consultation at the national level prior to the submission of its next periodic report.
56. In accordance with the procedure on follow-up to concluding observations adopted by the Committee, the State party is requested to provide, within 18 months of the adoption of the present concluding observations, information on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee in paragraphs 13 (a) (family violence strategy ) , 35 (b) (sanctions regime in social security) and 40 (chapeau on a national housing strategy) above.
57. The State party is invited to submit its fifth periodic report by 31 March 2023. For that purpose and in view of the fact that the State party has agreed to report to the Committee under the simplified reporting procedure, the Committee will, in due course, transmit to the State party a list of issues prior to reporting. The State party’s replies to that list of issues will constitute its fifth periodic report under article 16 of the Covenant. In addition, it invites the State party to update its common core document in accordance with the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the international human rights treaties (HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6, chap. I).