When States ratify a human rights treaty they accept also the obligation to present periodically a report detailing what measures they have taken to discharge to give effect to that treaty.
Shadow Reports (also known as ‘parallel reports’ or ‘alternative reports’), supplement, or “shadow”, these official State Reports.
Shadow Reports are prepared by “civil society” (i.e. non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, other intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions and the press) to supplement the information provided by the State and highlight issues not raised by governments in their formal communications to the supervisory body.
They provide an “unofficial” evaluation of country situations. They are helpful to call the attention to the prevalence and magnitude of the critical issues that governments might have downplayed or failed to highlight.
Shadow Reports may be presented to UN human rights bodies as well as those of regional organizations (e.g. Organization of American States, African Union etc.). They may address specific issues, treaty articles or mirror the country’s report. Once the human rights body has received the State Report as well as any Shadow Reports, it publishes its “Concluding Observations”, a document addressed to the State in question that contains the body’s concerns and recommendations.
This sections contains the Shadow Reports prepared, to date, by the Associazione Luca Coscioni and the International Human Rights Clinic of the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.