The main human rights treaties of the United Nations system may be applied vis-à-vis States which have ratified them; this also relates to the clauses dealing with individual complaints (i.e. the “Conventional Procedures”). Furthermore, reservations made by States parties must be taken into due account.
The Committees consist of independent experts serving in their individual capacity and elected by the States parties to the treaties. They receive, in intervals of 4 to 5 years, the States reports which offer them information about the progress reached in the implementation since the States became parties to treaty. In general, those reports are examined after 18 months in a public hearing with the representatives of the State; they are prepared after having contacted national Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs).
If there are States parties whose reports are very significantly overdue, the Committees might review the implementation of the Convention concerned in the light of information received from sources other than the States parties.
The links presented below offer presentations of the United Nations procedures which would complete or even substitute explanations provided here: