Committee against Torture
Concluding observations on the third periodic report of Benin *
1.The Committee against Torture considered the third periodic report of Benin (CAT/C/BEN/3) at its 1734th and 1737th meetings (see CAT/C/SR.1734 and CAT/C/SR.1737), held on 2 and 3 May 2019, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 1752nd meeting, held on 15 May 2019.
2.The Committee notes the submission of the third periodic report of the State party but regrets that it was submitted six years late. It welcomes the opportunity to renew its constructive dialogue with the State party on the measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention. The Committee is grateful to the State party for its written replies (CAT/C/BEN/Q/3/Add.2) to the list of issues (CAT/C/BEN/Q/3/Add.1), which were supplemented by the oral responses provided by the delegation.
3.The Committee welcomes the ratification of or accession to the following international instruments by the State party:
(a)The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, in 2012;
(b)The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, in 2012;
(c)The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, in 2017;
(d)The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, in 2018.
4.The Committee also welcomes the adoption of the following legislative measures by the State party in areas of relevance to the Convention:
(a)Act No. 2011-20 of 12 October 2011 on combating corruption and related offences;
(b)Act No. 2011-26 of 9 January 2012 on the prevention and punishment of violence against women;
(c)Act No. 2012-15 of 18 March 2013 (Code of Criminal Procedure);
(d)Act No. 2012-36 of 15 February 2013 on the establishment of the Benin Human Rights Commission;
(e)Act No. 2003-07 of 3 March 2003 on the suppression of female genital mutilation;
(f)Act No. 2015-08 of 8 December 2015 (Children’s Code);
(g)Act No. 2016-12 of 16 June 2016 on community service;
(h)Act No. 2018-16 of 4 June 2018 (Criminal Code);
(i)Decree No. 2018-043 of 15 February 2018 on the commutation of the death penalty to life imprisonment.
C.Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Pending follow-up issues from the previous reporting cycle
5.Notwithstanding the late information received in response to the list of issues, the Committee regrets that the State party did not provide, as part of the follow-up procedure, the information requested in its previous concluding observations (CAT/C/BEN/CO/2, para. 33) on: (a) the necessary review of the draft Criminal Code and the draft Code of Criminal Procedure, both now adopted; (b) the adoption of a legislative framework regulating expulsion, refoulement and extradition; (c) fundamental safeguards; (d) the administration of justice; (e) the age of criminal responsibility of minors; (f) universal jurisdiction; (g) the monitoring of places of detention; and (h) conditions of detention. These subjects are covered in the present concluding observations, in paragraphs 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 23 and 25 below.
Definition of torture
6.In the light of the recommendations made in its previous concluding observations (para. 7), the Committee welcomes the adoption of Act No. 2018-16 (Criminal Code), which includes a definition of torture and characterizes it as an independent offence in article 523 and addresses the offence from an international humanitarian law perspective in article 465. However, the Committee notes a number of lacunae in these provisions, which: (a) do not cover situations where an act of torture is committed on the instigation or with the express or tacit consent of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity; (b) do not cover complicity in torture or attempts to commit torture; (c) do not provide for the criminal responsibility of superior officers who are aware of acts of torture or ill-treatment committed by their subordinates; (d) do not exclude acts of torture from the scope of amnesties and statutes of limitation; (e) fail to specify that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as a justification for torture; and (f) incorporate, in articles 541 to 543, the exceptions for homicide, injuries and beatings ordered in accordance with the law and by command of a legitimate authority or committed in legitimate self-defence without excluding acts of torture from the scope of the exceptions. Lastly, the Committee is concerned about the lenient penalties established for offences of torture (arts. 1, 2 and 4).
7. While welcoming the State party ’ s undertaking to address the lacunae cited above, the Committee urges it to amend its Criminal Code to bring the definition of the offence of torture fully into line with articles 1, 2 and 4 of the Convention. The State party should also ensure that offences of torture cannot be time barred, are excluded from amnesties and are punishable by appropriate penalties that take into account their grave nature, in accordance with article 4 (2) of the Convention.
Inadmissibility of confessions obtained under torture
8.Although the State party has provided a general assurance that evidence obtained illegally is not admitted by the courts, the Committee regrets that there are no legal provisions expressly prohibiting the use of torture and ill-treatment to obtain confessions. The Committee also regrets that no information has been provided about the application of this principle by judges (art. 15).
9. The State party should take the necessary measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that confessions obtained through torture and ill-treatment are systematically declared null and void, and to ensure that this obligation is met in practice.
10.The Committee welcomes the fundamental safeguards contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, namely, the right of persons deprived of their liberty to be informed of the reason for their detention, contained in article 62, and their right to be examined by a doctor of their choice, to inform and receive visits from a family member and to appoint a lawyer, contained in article 59. It regrets, however, that, in practice, the aforementioned information is not always provided to defendants; that the majority do not have the means to appoint a lawyer; and that deprivation of liberty is not systematically recorded in logbooks. The Committee further notes that the maximum duration of police custody can be extended for up to eight days by the Public Prosecutor. Although the Constitutional Court of Benin has the power to review custody orders, the Committee considers eight days to be too long, as it exposes defendants to a heightened risk of torture or ill-treatment (art. 2).
11. The State party should:
(a) Take the necessary measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that, irrespective of the charges, the maximum duration of police custody does not exceed 48 hours, renewable once only in duly justified exceptional circumstances, in the light of the principles of necessity and proportionality;
(b) Guarantee that all persons deprived of their liberty are afforded, in practice, all fundamental legal safeguards from the outset of their deprivation of liberty, including, specifically, that they are informed immediately of the charges against them; have prompt access to a lawyer or to free legal aid throughout the proceedings; can inform a relative or another person of their choice about their detention or arrest; can receive a medical examination from an independent doctor; and have their deprivation of liberty recorded in logbooks at all stages of their proceedings;
(c) Guarantee detainees ’ right to be brought before a judge after 48 hours of police custody, at the very latest, or to be freed, and to challenge the legality of their detention at any stage of the proceedings;
(d) Continue its efforts to improve knowledge and awareness among police officers and gendarmes, with a view to ensuring that persons held in custody are informed of all their rights, in all places and in all circumstances;
(e) Continue its efforts to ensure that all prisons are provided with a computerized central registry, and that, in the meantime, existing logbooks are properly maintained;
(f) Guarantee that all public officials respect fundamental legal safeguards and provide information in its next report to the Committee on the number of complaints received regarding a failure to respect fundamental legal safeguards and on the outcome of such complaints.
Universal jurisdiction and judicial cooperation
12.The Committee is concerned about the lack of provisions in the criminal legislation of Benin that would enable the State party to establish universal jurisdiction. Moreover, while welcoming the adoption of legislation that provides for cooperation between Benin and the International Criminal Court, the Committee regrets that an agreement concluded between Benin and the United States of America, whereby United States nationals in the territory of Benin cannot be transferred or surrendered to the International Criminal Court to be tried for the most serious international crimes including torture, remains in effect, despite the fact that the State party, having acceded to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, was barred from concluding such an agreement by virtue of article 98 of the Statute (arts. 6, 7, 8 and 9).
13. In line with the recommendations made by the Committee in its previous concluding observations (paras. 15 and 16), the State party should take the measures necessary to establish and exercise universal jurisdiction. Furthermore, the State party should reconsider the validity of its agreement with the United States of America preventing the transfer or surrender to the International Criminal Court of United States nationals in the territory of Benin.
Principle of non-refoulement
14.While taking note of the new provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure governing extradition, which supplement the provisions of Act No. 86-012 of 26 February 1986 establishing regulations for foreign nationals in Benin, the Committee observes that these regulations predate the Convention’s entry into force for the State party and is concerned about the absence of legal provisions recognizing the principle of non-refoulement when there is a danger of a person being subjected to torture. While noting the State party’s assurances that extraditions are carried out in a manner consistent with the Economic Community of West African States Convention on Extradition of 1994, which stipulates, in article 5, that the principle of non-refoulement must be respected in cases involving torture or ill-treatment, the Committee is concerned that a number of the bilateral judicial cooperation agreements concluded by the State party are not consistent with article 3 of the Convention (arts. 3 and 7).
15. The State party should ensure that national legislation regulating asylum and expulsion, and all mutual legal assistance agreements to which it is a party, expressly recognize its obligation not to expel, return ( “ refouler ” ) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment. Refoulement decisions should be subject to judicial review on a case-by-case basis and should carry a right of appeal that has suspensive effect. The State party should also include in its next report to the Committee information on the number of persons expelled or extradited, specifying to which countries, the number of judicial decisions overruling or cancelling expulsion orders on the basis of the principle of non-refoulement, and any other relevant measures taken.
Administration of Justice
16.The Committee takes note of the State party’s efforts, including, in particular: (a) the adoption of a new map of judicial districts providing for the establishment of six new courts; (b) the increase in the number of judges; and (c) the appointment of custodial judges (juges des libertés et de la détention) in all judicial districts in Benin and the establishment of a specialized custody court (chambre des libertés et de la détention) to rule on disputes concerning deprivation of liberty. The Committee remains concerned, however, that: (a) some courts are a long way from any remand facility, which raises issues for the transfer of detainees and their access to justice; (b) the legal aid mechanism is not effective; and (c) there are very few lawyers practicing in Benin (206) and most of them are based in or near the capital, making it difficult for persons involved in judicial proceedings, particularly those with the fewest resources, to secure adequate representation throughout the proceedings. The Committee is also concerned that the Supreme Judicial Council is heavily influenced by the executive branch and that allegations of corruption are undermining confidence in the judicial system (arts. 2 and 13).
17. The State party should:
(a) Guarantee effective access to justice for all persons involved in judicial proceedings by strengthening the legal aid system, facilitating access to a lawyer and ensuring that there are remand facilities close to all courts;
(b) Increase the independence of the judiciary by, inter alia, reinforcing efforts to combat corruption and undertaking a reform of the National Judicial Council, in order to prevent interference from the executive branch.
18.While welcoming the fact that the Children’s Code provides for the appointment of specialist juvenile judges, and the establishment of “child-friendly” courts, the Committee is concerned to note that, according to credible reports, many juvenile judges have been reassigned to other positions after being trained. The Committee is still more concerned to note that, according to figures provided orally by the State party’s delegation, a quarter of all cases brought to court involve violence against children, and that the majority of children in detention are awaiting trial and are unaware of the grounds for their detention. The Committee regrets that the State party has not implemented the recommendations made in its previous concluding observations (para. 14) to raise the age of criminal responsibility, which article 236 of the Children’s Code currently sets at 13 years (arts. 2, 11 and 16).
19. The State party should:
(a) Appoint independent juvenile judges with security of tenure in every judicial district, having duly provided them with training in the administration of juvenile justice, including alternative measures to detention;
(b) Ensure that the juvenile courts are effectively operational and endowed with specialist judges in sufficient number , with a view to expediting proceedings involving children deprived of their liberty;
(c) Closely monitor the use of pretrial detention by juvenile judges and ensure compliance with article 14 of the Children ’ s Code, which stipulates that the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child should be a measure of last resort and that its duration should be as short as possible;
(d) Raise the age of criminal responsibility to bring it in line with international standards;
(e) Establish a child protection mechanism to facilitate the early identification and documentation of cases of violence against children and to offer protection measures, including judicial measures, to victims.
20.Notwithstanding the safeguards established in article 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Committee remains concerned about the misuse of pretrial detention in practice, noting with particular concern that its duration sometimes considerably exceeds the maximum sentence established for the offence. While acknowledging the encouraging indicators provided by the State party, the Committee is concerned that systematic use of pretrial detention remains a practice highly typical of the judicial culture, which directly contributes to prison overcrowding (art. 2).
21. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a ) Ensure that pretrial detention is effectively reviewed by a custodial judge, that its duration does not exceed the legally established maximum and is as short as possible, and that its use is exceptional, necessary and proportionate;
(b) Actively promote, within the prosecution service and among judges, the use of alternatives to pretrial detention, in accordance with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (the Tokyo Rules);
(c) Immediately release all persons who have been detained awaiting trial for a period exceeding the maximum sentence carried by the offence of which they stand accused.
Conditions of detention
22.The Committee finds the unsanitary conditions typically found in police and gendarmerie stations regrettable. With regard to places of detention, overcrowding remains a serious concern in spite of alleviating measures such as the construction of new prisons, extension of existing prisons and establishment of the Prisons Agency. The Committee is also concerned about: (a) the lack of hygiene and bedding; (b) the inadequate quality and insufficient quantity of food; (c) the lack of medical personnel, health care and medical treatment; (d) the lack of segregation between persons detained without charge, remand detainees and convicted prisoners; and (e) the insufficient number of prison officers. The situation of former death row prisoners who have had their sentence commuted to life imprisonment is a further source of concern. Lastly, while it notes the recent efforts made to address corruption, the Committee remains concerned about the corruption within the prison administration that has given rise to acts of extortion and the granting of privileges in prison facilities (arts. 11 and 16).
23. The State party should:
(a) Improve material conditions in all places of detention, ensuring that prisoners receive the medical care and medicines necessary for their health in a timely manner and without charge, have access to nutritional and sufficient food, and enjoy adequate sanitary conditions and sufficient bedding;
(b) Take measures to end prison overcrowding by making greater use of alternatives to detention;
(c) Maintain a strict separation between detainees according to their status;
(d) Increase staffing levels in the prison service;
(e) Continue efforts to combat corruption in prison facilities;
(f) Offer prisoners serving life sentences some prospect of release or a reduction in their sentence after a reasonable period of time and establish an independent judicial mechanism to periodically review their situation, in order to grant them some prospect of hope.
Monitoring of detention facilities
24.While welcoming the fact that various institutions in the State party have the possibility of visiting places of detention, the Committee is concerned that the monitoring committee system, which should have been rolled out in every prison, is not effectively operational. It is also concerned about the administrative restrictions and obstacles that hamper non-governmental organizations’ ability to conduct visits, which are conditional upon their holding a permit issued by the Directorate of Prison Administration that has a validity period of only three months (arts. 2, 11 and 16).
25. The State party should:
(a) Immediately establish monitoring committees in every prison, ensure that they are open-ended and include all stakeholders, and provide them with the resources and powers necessary to process complaints and investigate any conduct on the part of law enforcement officers and prison staff that might be contrary to the Convention;
(b) Take appropriate measures to grant all accredited non-governmental organizations ongoing access to detention facilities.
Impunity: complaints mechanism, investigations and amnesties
26.While welcoming the fact that, pursuant to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Chief Public Prosecutor is under an obligation to initiate an investigation ex officio whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that an act of torture has been committed, the Committee regrets that there is no independent complaints mechanism empowered to receive and address complaints that is accessible to all victims of torture or ill-treatment, including those deprived of their liberty. The Committee also regrets the lack of a legislative framework for the protection of victims. It reiterates the concern expressed in paragraph 9 of its previous concluding observations about the impunity seemingly enjoyed by persons suspected of having committed acts of torture and killings between 1972 and 1990, following the implementation of Act No. 90-028 of 9 October 1990, in violation of the State’s obligation under the Convention to carry out an investigation (arts. 2 and 12).
27. The State party should:
(a) Establish an independent, safe complaints mechanism that is accessible to victims of acts of torture and ill-treatment and through which their complaints can be addressed promptly;
(b) Adopt a legal framework for the protection of victims;
(c) Conduct thorough and impartial investigations into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, including acts committed between 1972 and 1990.
National Human Rights Commission
28.While taking note of the establishment of the Benin Human Rights Commission and the appointment of its members, and welcoming the fact that, according to information provided by the State party, the Commission has recently made unannounced visits to several places of deprivation of liberty, the Committee remains concerned about information suggesting that the Commission’s budget is insufficient to guarantee its efficient operation and independence (art. 2).
29.The State party should guarantee the Benin Human Rights Commission ’ s operational independence by assigning sufficient human and material resources to enable it to fulfil the mandate conferred upon it in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles).
National mechanism for the prevention of torture
30.The Committee notes with concern that, despite having acceded to the Optional Protocol in 2006 and having received two visits, in 2008 and 2016, from the Subcommittee on Prevention of Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which recommended that a national preventive mechanism be established as a matter of priority, the State party has not yet established such a mechanism. The Committee notes that the State party’s expressed intention is to have the Benin Human Rights Commission assume this role (arts. 2 and 11).
31. The State party should accelerate the process of establishing a national preventive mechanism, designate it publicly and officially, and promptly inform the Subcommittee. The State party should also ensure that the mechanism has a preventive mandate that is consistent with the Optional Protocol and that it has the independence, staff, resources and budget necessary to effectively fulfil its mandate, which must include a programme of regular, unannounced visits to all places of detention in the country.
Treatment of children: Torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other harmful practices
32.While noting that the Criminal Code and the Children’s Code both contain provisions that prohibit acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against children, the Committee remains deeply concerned about the numerous acts of violence, including sexual violence, that continue to be committed against children in schools and places of custody and detention. In the vast majority of cases, these acts continue to go unpunished. The Committee also regrets that children are not separated from adults in detention and are detained in conditions that fall short of international standards without access to schooling or other forms of educational activity. The Committee is also concerned to note that legislation providing protection for children is not adequately applied and that training and awareness-raising measures addressing actors in the field have been insufficient to eradicate infanticide, the harmful practices, ill-treatment inflicted upon so-called child “witches”, early and forced marriages, child trafficking and female genital mutilation, which is still practised in some parts of the country despite the adoption of Act No. 2003-03 on the elimination of female genital mutilation (arts. 1 and 16).
33. The State party should:
(a) Ensure that the Criminal Code and the Children ’ s Code are effectively applied, conduct impartial and thorough investigations into acts of torture and ill-treatment against children and ensure that those responsible, including State agents who condone or tolerate such acts, are prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with appropriate penalties;
(b) Establish mechanisms in schools and in police and gendarmerie stations for reporting all forms of violence against children in order to ensure that such violence is investigated and prosecuted;
(c) Take the steps necessary for the effective implementation of the Children ’ s Code, including the rehabilitation of victims of torture, ill-treatment, negligence and other forms of abuse;
(d) Ensure a strict separation between juveniles and adults in detention facilities and the application of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules);
(e) Improve conditions of detention for minors, specifically hygiene and sanitation in detention facilities, the quality, quantity and timeliness of food rations, and the availability of educational activities conducive to their future reintegration;
(f) Conduct awareness-raising campaigns about children ’ s rights, infanticide and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and witchcraft accusations, including in the remote areas where such practices persist;
(g) Develop programmes to combat the trafficking and forced labour of children.
Suppression of protests
34.The Committee is concerned about information brought to its attention according to which, on 1 May 2019, after the results of the parliamentary elections were announced, law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces suppressed protests in Cotonou by employing excessive use of force, including live ammunition, against hundreds of demonstrators surrounding the residence of the former President to show their support, which allegedly resulted in the death of at least two people (arts. 2, 12 and 16).
35. The Committee encourages the State party to carry out impartial and thorough investigations into all allegations of excessive use of force, without delay and to develop clear guidelines on the use of force and weapons, incorporating the principles of lawfulness, necessity and proportionality and the precautionary principle. It also encourages the State party to bring laws and regulations governing the use of force into line with international standards, in particular the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials adopted by the United Nations in 1990.
Violence against women and girls
36.The Committee is concerned about the alarmingly high rate of violence against women in places of deprivation of liberty, schools, and private settings, notwithstanding the adoption of Act No. 2011-26 of 9 January 2012 on the prevention and punishment of violence against women. The Committee regrets the small number of prosecutions brought against the perpetrators of such acts and the apparent failure to observe due diligence obligations. It also regrets the lack of statistical data available on complaints received and convictions and criminal penalties handed down in relation to acts of violence (arts. 2 and 16).
37. The State party should:
(a) Ensure the effective implementation of Act No. 2011-26 of 9 January 2012, and thoroughly investigate all cases of violence against women, so as to ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted and duly punished and that victims obtain redress;
(b) Organize mandatory training on the prosecution of acts of sexual and gender-based violence for all law enforcement and judicial officers and carry out awareness-raising campaigns;
(c) Ensure that all victims of sexual and gender-based violence are able to access shelters and receive the necessary medical care, psychological support and legal assistance;
(d) Collect statistical data on the number of complaints received and the number of convictions and criminal penalties handed down in relation to those complaints, and share them with the Committee in its next periodic report.
38.While taking note of the State party’s efforts to raise awareness and provide training about human rights, the Committee regrets the lack of precise statistical information about the recipients of such training. It also regrets the fact that training provided for public officials does not include instruction on the provisions of the Convention, particularly the absolute prohibition of torture, and on the guidelines for the detection of signs of torture or ill-treatment based on the standards set out in the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Istanbul Protocol) (art. 10).
39. The State party should enhance its training on the absolute prohibition of torture and its training programmes for officials likely to be involved in monitoring, questioning or handling persons deprived of their liberty. In particular, it should ensure that the programmes include ongoing training covering the Convention ’ s provisions, non-coercive investigatory techniques and the Istanbul Protocol. The State party should also establish methodologies for assessing the impact of its training courses in helping to reduce the number of cases of torture and ill-treatment.
40.The Committee takes note of the following legislative provisions establishing the right to redress: (a) articles 206 to 210 of the Code of Criminal Procedure relating to wrongful detention on remand or in police custody, notably article 209, which provides for the establishment of a compensation committee in such cases; (b) Decree No. 98-23 of 29 January 1998 providing for the establishment of a standing committee for the compensation of victims of injury caused by the State; and (c) articles 286, 206 and 135 of the Children’s Code, which provide for redress, reintegration and the establishment of child and adolescent protection centres, respectively. However, the Committee regrets that it has not been provided with any statistical information that might enable it to assess the scope or effectiveness of such measures in practice (art. 14).
41. The Committee recalls its general comment No. 3 (2012) on the implementation of article 14 by States parties and urges the State party to:
(a) Take the necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure that victims of acts of torture and ill-treatment have access to effective remedies and can obtain redress, including in cases where the perpetrator has not been identified;
(b) Conduct a comprehensive assessment of victims ’ needs and ensure that specialized rehabilitation services are promptly available;
(c) Provide the compensation commission for wrongful detention on remand or in police custody with the resources necessary for its effective operation;
(d) Ensure that the standing compensation commission established by Decree No. 98-23 of 29 January 1998 is operationally active;
(e) Make all child and adolescent protection centres effectively operational by strengthening their human and material capacities, and ensure adequate training for their staff;
(f) Provide the Committee, in its next periodic report, with detailed information on cases where victims of acts of torture and ill-treatment have had access to effective remedies and have obtained redress.
42. The Committee requests the State party to provide, by 17 May 2020, information on follow-up to the Committee ’ s recommendations contained in paragraphs 11 (e), 21 (c), 25 (a) and (b) and 35 above. In context, the State party is invited to inform the Committee about its plans for implementing, within the coming reporting period, some or all of the remaining recommendations in the concluding observations.
43. The Committee invites the State party to consider making the declaration under article 22 of the Convention recognizing the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals subject to its jurisdiction.
44. The Committee invites the State party to consider ratifying the core United Nations human rights instruments to which it is not yet party.
45. The State party is requested to disseminate the report submitted to the Committee and the present concluding observations widely, in appropriate languages, through official websites, the media and non-governmental organizations, and to inform the Committee about its dissemination efforts.
46. The Committee requests the State party to submit its next periodic report, which will be its fourth, by 17 May 2023. For 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 fourth periodic report under article 19 of the Convention.