COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTUREForty-second sessionGeneva, 27 April-15 May 2009
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIESUNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture
1.The Committee considered the second periodic report of the Philippines (CAT/C/PHL/2) at its 868th and 871st meetings (CAT/C/SR.868 and 871), held on 28 and 29 April 2009, and adopted, at its 887th and 888th meetings (CAT/C/SR.887 and 888), the following concluding observations.
2.The Committee welcomes the submission of the second periodic report of the Philippines, which, while generally following the Committee’s guidelines for reporting, lacks statistical information and practical information on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention and relevant domestic legislation. The Committee regrets that the report was submitted 16 years late.
3.The Committee expresses its appreciation for the extensive written responses to its list of issues (CAT/C/PHL/Q/2/Add.1), which provided important additional information. The Committee also appreciates the comprehensive and fruitful dialogue conducted with the high-level delegation and the additional oral information provided by representatives of the State party during the consideration of the report.
B. Positive aspects
4.The Committee welcomes that in the period since the consideration of the latest periodic report, the State party has ratified or acceded to the following international instruments:
(a)The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in 2008;
(b)The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, in 2003;
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, in 2003, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, in 2002;
The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in 1989, and the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant, in 2007;
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, in 1995;
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1990;
The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in 2002, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
5.The Committee notes with satisfaction the ongoing efforts at the State level to reform its legislation, policies and procedures in order to ensure better protection of human rights, including the right not to be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in particular:
(a)The adoption, in 2006, of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act (RA 9344) as well as the creation of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Council to ensure the effective implementation of the Act;
(b)The enactment, in 2006, of Republic Act 9346, abolishing the death penalty;
(c)The adoption, in 2004, of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act (RA 9262) which defines violence against women and their children, providing for protective measures for victims and penalties for the perpetrators of the violence;
(d)The adoption, in 2003, of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208);
(e)The adoption, in 1997, of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (RA 8371);
(f)The issuance, in December 2008, of Administrative Order 249 which directed concerned Executive branches of government to institute policies, programs and projects that would further enhance human rights in the Philippines; and
(g)The promulgation, in October 2007, by the Supreme Court of the Recourse to the Rule of Writ of Amparo and the Rule of the Writ of Habeas Data.
6.The Committee notes with appreciation that the State party has initiated a number of practical policies, programmes and projects, including the “Access to Justice for the Poor” Project (AJPP), the Mobile Court or “Justice on Wheels” programme of the Supreme Court and the recent directive by the National Police Commission to activate human rights desks in all police stations nationwide.
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Torture and ill-treatment and insufficient safeguards during police detention
7.Notwithstanding the assurances provided by the State party to the Committee that “torture or ill-treatment on suspects or detainees is not tolerated or condoned by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and that erring PNP personnel are dealt with accordingly”, the Committee is deeply concerned about the numerous, ongoing, credible and consistent allegations, corroborated by a number of Filipino and international sources, of routine and widespread use of torture and ill-treatment of suspects in police custody, especially to extract confessions or information to be used in criminal proceedings. Furthermore, despite the enactment of the Law on the Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation (RA 7438), there are insufficient legal safeguards for detainees in practice, including:
(a) Failure to bring detainees promptly before a judge, thus keeping them in prolonged police custody;
(b) Absence of systematic registration of all detainees, including minors, and failure to keep records of all periods of pre-trial detention; and
(c) Restricted access to lawyers and independent doctors and failure to notify detainees of their rights at the time of detention, including their rights to contact family members (arts. 2, 10 and 11).
As a matter of urgency, the State party should take immediate steps to prevent acts of torture and ill-treatment throughout the country and to announce a policy of total elimination in respect of any ill-treatment or torture by State officials.
As part of this, the State party should implement effective measures promptly to ensure that all detainees are afforded, in practice, all fundamental legal safeguards from the very outset of their detention. These include, in particular, the right to have access to a lawyer and an independent medical examination, to notify a relative, and to be informed of their rights at the time of detention, including about the charges laid against them, as well as to appear before a judge within a time limit in accordance with international standards. The State party should also ensure that all suspects under criminal investigation, including minors, are included in a central register which functions effectively.
The State party should also reinforce its training programmes for all law enforcement personnel, including all members of the judiciary and prosecutors, on the absolute prohibition of torture, as the State party is obliged to carry out such training under the Convention. Moreover, it should keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices with a view to preventing cases of torture.
Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances
8.The Committee notes the efforts undertaken by the State party in respect of extrajudicial killings, including the establishment, in 2006, of the independent Commission to Address Media and Activist Killings (the Melo Commission) and various coordination and investigative task forces, including the Task Force USIG. However, the Committee expresses its grave concern at the number of such killings that have occurred in the past years and at reports that, although the total number of killings has declined significantly, such killings as well as enforced disappearances continue. (arts. 12 and 16)
The State party should take effective steps to investigate promptly, effectively and impartially all allegations of involvement of members of law enforcement agencies in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The State party should inform the Committee in its next periodic report of efforts and measures undertaken to address extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses, including those by non-State actors. In this respect, the State party should implement the recommendations contained in the report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (A/HRC/8/3/Add.2), following his visit to the Philippines in February 2007.
9.The Committee is deeply concerned that credible allegations of torture and/or ill-treatment committed by law enforcement and military services personnel are seldom investigated and prosecuted and that perpetrators are either rarely convicted or sentenced to lenient penalties that are not in accordance with the grave nature of their crimes. The Committee reiterates its grave concerns over the climate of impunity for perpetrators of acts of torture, including military, police and other State officials, particularly those holding senior positions that are alleged to have planned, commanded or perpetrated acts of torture. (arts. 2, 4 and 12)
The State party should ensure that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment are investigated promptly, effectively and impartially, and that the perpetrators are prosecuted and convicted in accordance with the gravity of the acts, as required by article 4 of the Convention.
Furthermore, State officials should publicly announce a policy of total elimination in respect of acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and support prosecution of the perpetrators of such acts.
Definition of torture
10.The Committee notes the State party’s statement to the Committee that the Revised Penal Code guarantees that all acts of torture are classified as criminal offences with corresponding penalties under Philippine laws as well as the explanation provided by the delegation in this respect. However, the Committee is concerned that the State party has not incorporated into national law the crime of torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention. While noting information provided as to the recent passage of the Anti-Torture Bill in the House of Representatives, the Committee is concerned at the delay in legislating on this matter. (arts. 1 and 4)
The State party should incorporate into domestic law the crime of torture and adopt a definition of torture that covers all of the elements contained in article 1 of the Convention. By naming and defining the offence of torture in accordance with the Convention and distinct from other crimes, the Committee considers that States parties will directly advance the Convention’s overarching aim of preventing torture, inter alia, by alerting everyone, including perpetrators, victims, and the public, to the special gravity of the crime of torture and by improving the deterrent effect of the prohibition itself. The Committee therefore urges the State party to enact the Anti-Torture Bill as soon as possible.
Human rights defenders and other individuals at risk
11.The Committee notes with concern the numerous documented reports of harassment and violence against human rights defenders that hamper the capacity of civil society monitoring groups to function effectively. The Committee is also concerned at reports that others are also commonly victims of serious human rights violations, including torture, ill-treatment, killings, disappearances and harassment. Among those so affected are indigenous rightsdefenders, such as Lumads of Mindanao and Igorots of the Cordillera, trade union and peasant activists, journalists and reporters, medical personnel, and religious leaders. (arts. 2, 12 and 16)
The State party should take all necessary steps to ensure that all persons, including those monitoring human rights, are protected from any intimidation or violence as a result of their activities and exercise of human rights guarantees, to ensure the prompt, impartial and effective investigation of such acts, and to prosecute and punish perpetrators with penalties appropriate to the nature of those acts.
Recalling the Committee’s general comment No. 2 (CAT/C/GC/2, para. 21), the State party should ensure the protection of members of groups especially at risk of ill-treatment, including by prosecuting and punishing all acts of violence and abuses against such individuals and ensuring implementation of positive measures of prevention and protection.
De facto practice of detention of suspects
12.The Committee is deeply concerned about the de facto practice of detention of suspects by the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in detention centres, safe houses and military camps. Although authorities are required to file charges within 12 to 36 hours of arrests made without warrants, depending on the seriousness of the crime, lengthy pre-trial detention remains a problem, due to the slow judicial process. The use of arrests without warrants is reportedly extensive, and criminal suspects are at risk of torture and ill-treatment. Arrests without a warrant and the lack of judicial oversight on the legality of detention can facilitate torture and ill-treatment. (arts. 2 and 11)
The State party should take all necessary measures to address the de facto practice of detention of suspects by the PNP and the AFP, especially lengthy pre-trial detention and arrests without warrants. In this respect, the State party should take all appropriate measures to further reduce the duration of detention in custody and detention before charges are brought, and develop and implement alternatives to deprivation of liberty, including probation, mediation, community service or suspended sentences.
13.The Committee recognizes the difficult situation arising from the internal armed conflict in the Philippines and that the State party is faced with a long-lasting insurgency.
However, the Committee is concerned about the 2007 Human Security Act (RA 9372) which has been criticized for its overly broad definition of “terrorist crimes”, the strict application of a penalty of 40 years of imprisonment, the competence of various bodies authorized to review the detention of an individual, and the restrictions on movement. The Committee is also concerned that the Act allows for suspects to be detained without warrant or charge for up to 72 hours. (arts. 2 and 16)
The State party should review the 2007 Human Security Act and amend it, as necessary, to bring it into conformity with international human rights standards.
14.The Committee take note of the statement by the delegation that the State party has neither engaged nor participated in any form of “extraordinary renditions” or refoulement and that there has been no instance where it has received a request indicating that the person to be extradited would be in danger of being subjected to torture. Notwithstanding the proscription included under Section 57 “Ban on Extraordinary Rendition” of the 2007 Human Security Act, the Committee is concerned that the Act appears to permit persons apprehended in the Philippines to be rendered to countries that routinely commit torture, as long as the receiving State provides assurances of fair treatment. (art. 3)
The State party should ensure that it complies fully with article 3 of the Convention and that individuals under the State party’s jurisdiction receive appropriate consideration by its competent authorities and guaranteed fair treatment at all stages of the proceedings, including an opportunity for effective, independent and impartial review of decisions on expulsion, return or extradition.
In this respect, the State party should ensure that the relevant judicial and administrative authorities carry out a thorough and exhaustive assessment, prior to making any expulsion order, in all cases of foreign nationals who have entered or stayed in the Philippines unlawfully, including individuals who may constitute a security threat, in order to ensure that the persons concerned would not be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the country to which each of them would be returned.
Prompt, effective and impartial investigations
15.While noting that many agencies have a mandate to investigate complaints of torture and ill-treatment, the Committee is concerned at the high number of complaints of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, the limited number of investigations carried out by the State party in such cases, and the very limited number of convictions in those cases which are investigated. Additionally, these bodies lack independence to review individual complaints about police and military misconduct. (arts. 12 and 16)
The State party should strengthen its measures to ensure prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigations into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment committed by law enforcement officials. In particular, such investigations should not be undertaken by or under the authority of the police, but by an independent body. In connection with prima facie cases of torture and ill-treatment, the alleged suspect should as a rule be subject to suspension or reassignment during the process of investigation, to avoid any risk that he or she might impede the investigation, or continue any reported impermissible actions in breach of the Convention.
The State party should prosecute the perpetrators and impose appropriate sentences on those convicted in order to ensure that the law enforcement personnel who are responsible for violations prohibited by the Convention are held accountable.
Effectiveness and independence of the Commission on Human Rights
16.The Committee is concerned that, in a number of instances, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) has been denied entry into jails and detention facilities mostly under the jurisdiction of the military. The Committee is also concerned that Section 19 of the 2007 Human Security Act grants the CHRP authority to prolong detention of suspects. In the view of the Committee, these measures compromise the capacity of the CHRP to monitor the State party’s human rights compliance. (arts. 2, 11 and 12)
The State party should take the necessary steps to strengthen the mandate, including access to detention facilities, and independence of the CHRP, including through adoption of the proposed CHRP Charter as well as allocation of sufficient resources for its effective implementation. The visitation mandate of the CHRP should include unhampered and unrestrained access to all detention facilities, including those under the jurisdiction of the military.
Ill-treatment in detention centres
17.While welcoming the measures undertaken by the State party through the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to improve conditions of detention, including the release of a total of 3,677 inmates in 2008 or nine per cent of the prison population, the Committee is concerned that there is severe overcrowding, sub-standard facilities and lack of basic facilities. (arts. 11 and 16)
The Committee recommends that the State party:
Continue its efforts to alleviate the overcrowding of penitentiary institutions, including through the application of alternative measures to imprisonment and the increase of budgetary allocations to develop and renovate the infrastructure of prisons and other detention facilities;
Adopt the BJMP Modernization Act of 2007 ( House Bill No . 00665), filed on 30 July 2007 that seeks to upgrade the physical facilities of jails and detention centres;
Take effective measures to further improve living conditions in the detention facilities .
Sexual violence in detention
18.While noting the enactment of a number of relevant laws and that the State party has established a total of 31 female dormitories, the Committee expresses serious concern at numerous allegations of cases of rape, sexual abuse and torture committed against women detainees by the police, military and prison officials/personnel. In this respect, the Committee is concerned about reports that in many provincial jails, officials continue to place women together with male inmates, and that male corrections officers continue to guard female inmates in violation of agency regulations. (arts. 11 and 16)
The State party should take effective measures to prevent sexual violence in detention, including by reviewing current policies and procedures for the custody and treatment of detainees, ensuring separation of juvenile detainees from adults, and of female detainees from males, enforcing regulations calling for female inmates to be guarded by officers of the same gender, and m onitoring and documenting incidents of sexual violence in detention, and provide the Committee with data thereon, disaggregated by relevant indicators.
The State party should also take effective measures to ensure that detainees who allegedly are sexually victimized are able to report the abuse without being subjected to punitive measures by staff, protect detainees who report sexual abuse from retaliation by the perpetrator(s), promptly, effectively and impartially investigate and prosecute all instances of sexual abuse in custody and provide access to confidential medical and mental health care for victims of sexual abuse in detention, as well as access to redress, including compensation and rehabilitation, as appropriate.
Furthermore, the Committee calls upon the State party to consider enacting the draft Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2008.
Children in detention
19.While appreciating the State party’s clarification of measures undertaken to reduce the number of children in detention, including the enactment of the 2006 Juvenile Justice Welfare Act (RA 9344), a variety of social welfare services provided for children in conflict with the law and the release of 565 minors in 2008, the Committee is concerned that a significant number of children remain in detention and at reports of a de facto practice of not separating children from adults in detention facilities throughout the country, despite the requirement included in the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act demanding such separation. (arts. 11 and 16)
The State party should further reduce the number of children in detention and ensure that persons below 18 years of age are not detained with adults; that alternative measures to deprivation of liberty, such as probation, community service or suspended sentences are available; that professionals in the area of recovery and social reintegration of children are properly trained; and that deprivation of liberty is used only as a measure of last resort, for the shortest possible time and in appropriate conditions.
20.The Committee takes note of the detailed information provided by the State party on the inclusion of human rights components in the training programmes and sessions for all military and law enforcement units of the Government, in close cooperation with the CHRP. However, the Committee is concerned at the lack of information on monitoring and evaluation of the impact of these training programmes in reducing incidents of torture and ill-treatment. (art. 10)
The State party should further develop and strengthen educational programmes to ensure that all officials, including law enforcement officials and prison staff are fully aware of the provisions of the Convention, that reported breaches will not be tolerated and will be investigated, and that offenders will be prosecuted. All relevant personnel should receive specific training on how to identify signs of torture and ill-treatment, and such training should also include the use of the Istanbul Protocol which should be provided to physicians and translated into the Filipino and other languages, as appropriate, and utilized effectively. Furthermore, the State party should assess the effectiveness and impact of such training/educational programmes.
21.While noting the information provided by the State party, including the draft legislation to strengthen the Witness Protection Programme (WPP) and recent activities of the WPP, the Committee expresses its concern at reports that the Programme is not sufficiently implemented, that intimidation of witnesses deters them from coming forward to use the program and that detainees who suffer ill-treatment are often coerced by the police to sign waivers or statements to the contrary. The Committee is concerned at the statement by the delegation that “except in a few highly urbanized cities conditions in Philippine courts hardly inspire confidence in the witnesses that they are well protected if they participate in the trial”. (art. 13)
The State party should, as a matter of priority, take the necessary measures to strengthen the WPP under the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act (RA 6981) to guarantee the safety of witnesses to torture incidents and other human rights violations. The State party must give high priority to the funding and effectiveness of this programme.
Redress, including compensation and rehabilitation
22.The Committee welcomes the creation of a Board of Claims under the Department of Justice for Victims of Unjust Imprisonment or Detention and Victims of Violent Crimes and for Other Purposes. Nonetheless, the information submitted to the Committee regarding the number of victims of torture and ill-treatment who may have received compensation and the amounts awarded in such cases is insufficient, and the Committee is concerned at reports of inadequate compensation and arbitrary refusals and delays concerning compensation. The Committee regrets the lack of information on treatment and social rehabilitation services and other forms of assistance, including medical and psycho-social rehabilitation, provided to these victims. However, it takes note of the information provided in the replies to the list of issues that the formulation of a Rehabilitation Program within one year from the entry into force of the proposed Anti-Torture Bill is stipulated in the Bill. (art. 14)
The State party should strengthen its efforts to provide victims of torture and ill-treatment with fair and adequate compensation, redress and as full rehabilitation as possible. Furthermore, the State party should provide in its next periodic report information about any reparation programmes, including treatment of trauma and other forms of rehabilitation provided to victims of torture and ill-treatment, as well as the allocation of adequate resources to ensure the effective functioning of such programmes.
23.While noting that Section (d, e) of Republic Act 7438 and Section 25 of the 2007 Human Security Act prohibit the admissibility of evidence obtained through torture or duress, the Committee is concerned at reports that such prohibition is not respected in all cases and that the burden of proof as to whether the statement has been made as a result of torture rests with the suspect, not the prosecution. (art. 15)
The State party should take the necessary steps to ensure inadmissibility in court of confessions obtained under torture or duress in all cases in line with the provisions of article 15 of the Convention.
Children involved in armed conflict
24. The Committee appreciates the various legislative and other measures adopted by the State party, including the 2001 Comprehensive Program on Children Involved in Armed Conflict, the creation, in 2004, of an Inter-Agency Committee on Children Involved in Armed Conflict, the activities of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in this respect as well as the visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict in December 2008. Nonetheless, the Committee expresses serious concern about allegations of continued abduction and military recruitment of child soldiers by the non-State armed groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the New People’s Army and the Abu Sayyaf. (art. 16)
The State party should take the necessary steps, in a comprehensive manner and to the extent possible, to prevent the abduction and military recruitment of children by armed groups that are distinct from the armed forces of the State. The State party should also take the necessary measures to facilitate the reintegration of former child soldiers into society.
25.The Committee takes note of various measures taken by the State party, including the enactment, in 2004, of the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act (RA 9262) and the establishment of a significant number of Women and Children Desks in police stations all over the country and the Women and Children Protection Centre of the PNP. However, the Committee expresses its concern about the prevalence of violence against women and children, including domestic violence. It is further concerned about the lack of State-wide statistics on domestic violence and that sufficient statistical data on complaints, prosecutions and sentences in matters of domestic violence were not provided. (arts. 1, 2, 12 and 16)
The State party should increase its efforts to prevent, combat and punish violence against women and children, including domestic violence. The Committee calls upon the State party to allocate sufficient financial resources to ensure the effective implementation of t he Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act. The State party is encouraged to participate directly in rehabilitation and legal assistance programmes and to conduct broader awareness campaigns for officials ( judges, law officers, law enforcement agents and welfare workers) who are in direct contact with the victims . In addition, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts in respect of research and data collection on the extent of domestic violence.
Furthermore, the State party is encouraged to promptly enact the Magna Carta of Women (House Bill 4273) which is the national translation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
26.While noting the significant efforts of the State party, including the recent convictions of traffickers, the adoption, in 2003, of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208) with the creation of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to coordinate and monitor its implementation as well as the “We are not for sale: Victims of Human Trafficking Speak Up Project”, the Committee is concerned that the Philippines continues to be a source, transit and destination country for cross-border trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation and forced labour. The Committee regrets the very limited number of cases of filing, prosecution, and conviction of perpetrators of trafficking with many of those cases being dismissed at preliminary stages. (arts. 2, 12 and 16)
The State party should take all necessary measures to implement the current laws combating trafficking and provide protection for victims and their access to medical, social rehabilitative and legal services, including counselling services, as appropriate. The State party should also create adequate conditions for victims to exercise their right to make complaints, conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigation into all allegations of trafficking and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice and punished with penalties appropriate to the nature of their crimes.
27.The Committee regrets the absence of comprehensive and disaggregated data on complaints, investigations, prosecutions and convictions of cases of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement and military personnel, as well as on extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, trafficking and domestic and sexual violence. The Committee takes note of the statement in the report that “a statistical presentation of action done on complaints related to acts of torture is hampered by the absence of a law specifically defining torture.”(arts. 12 and 13)
The State party should compile statistical data relevant to the monitoring of the implementation of the Convention at the national level, including data on complaints, investigations, prosecutions and convictions of cases of torture and ill-treatment, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, trafficking and domestic and sexual violence as well as on redress, including compensation and rehabilitation provided to the victims.
28.While welcoming the various efforts by the State party towards its ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), the Committee encourages the State party to consider ratifying the Optional Protocol as soon as possible.
29.The Committee recommends that the State party consider making the declarations under articles 21 and 22 of the Convention.
30.While noting that the State party has ratified all the core United Nations human rights treaties currently in force, the Committee invites the State party to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
31. The Committee invites the State party to submit its core document in accordance with the requirements of the common core document in the harmonized guidelines on reporting, as approved by the international human rights treaty bodies and contained in document HRI/GEN/2/Rev.5.
32.The State party is encouraged to disseminate widely the reports submitted by the Philippines to the Committee and the concluding observations, in appropriate languages, through official websites, the media and non‑governmental organizations.
33.The Committee requests the State party to provide, within one year, information on its response to the Committee’s recommendations contained in paragraphs 7, 15, 16, 18 and 19 above.
34.The State party is invited to submit its next periodic report, which will be considered as its third periodic report, by 15 May 2013.