State Parties to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child are obliged to report to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child on the status of the implementation of the provisions of the Charter in their respective countries. Pursuant to article 43 of the Charter, State Parties should submit their initial report to the Committee 2 years after ratification of the Charter and every three years thereafter. The Initial reports provide general information about the respective State as well as the legislative and institutional frameworks available for the protection of children’s rights. Moreover, initial reports highlight the measures undertaken by the State towards the realization of children’s rights under the Charter. Periodic reports highlight the measures undertaken by States on the implementation of the prior concluding observations and recommendations of the Committee in addition to efforts employed to implement the provisions of the Charter.
Upon receiving State Party reports, the Committee undertakes preliminary review of the reports after which it draws list of issues to the respective States on matters that need clarification or more information. The Committee, then, holds constructive dialogue with the Delegation of the State whose report is being considered during one of its Sessions. Consideration of State Party reports form part of the Open Sessions of the Committee whereby the discussions between the Committee and the Delegation of the State are attended by any interested person. The State Party reporting procedure is one of the key mechanisms through which the Committee continuously monitors the implementation of the Charter at a domestic level. Following the consideration of State Party reports, the Committee issues concluding observations and recommendations to the respective States where it highlights the progress achieved and further measures that should be undertaken to enhance the implementation of the Charter. The reporting cycle continues and States in their preceding reports to the Committee continue to provide information about the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee. Moreover, the Committee undertakes follow-up country visits/missions to State Parties with a view to assess the implementation of its concluding observations and recommendations and encourage States to submit their upcoming reports.