The UN human rights system comprises several bodies which periodically make recommendations to States to assist them in implementing their international human rights obligations. Whilst these conclusions and recommendations are known by different names - UN treaty bodies produce 'concluding observations and views', Special Procedures issue 'recommendations', and Universal Periodic Review 'outcomes' — they are known collectively as 'UN recommendations'. Effective follow-up by civil society is vital to ensuring that these UN recommendations are implemented and lead to an improvement of the human rights situation on the ground.
This paper considers ways in which NGOs may use follow-up strategies and initiatives to contribute to the implementation of UN recommendations at the national level. The paper presupposes some familiarity with the UN human rights system, particularly the Special Procedures, UPR and treaty bodies.