States provide information on the follow-up of their UPR recommendations during side event

On Wednesday 8 June, during the 17th session of the Human Rights Council, Canada organised a side-event on the UPR follow up. Delegations reviewed during the fourth session of the UPR were invited to present their progress made in implementing the recommendations received in February 2009. Delegates from Mauritius, Mexico, Senegal, Canada and Jordan took part in the event.

Mauritius

The delegate shared their initiative of creating a template for follow-up for the relevant agencies and the experience of submitting a mid-term report. He explained that the follow-up reinforced the internal dialogue on human rights. It was considered in Mauritius as a crucial step and therefore an inclusive approach should be adopted with the civil society and national institution.

The following improvements were shared:

  • Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol on CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict;
  • A National Plan of Action was launched on 8 March 2009 and a Domestic Violence Committee was set up;
  • Micro credit schemes and programmes to promote the empowerment of women and fight poverty were created.

Mexico

The Mexican delegate pointed out the existence of a working group in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for including the UPR and treaty bodies recommendations into national human rights programmes. The first report of this working group will be released on 16 June.

The following improvements were shared:

  • Human rights treaties have been placed at the level of the Constitution;
  • Violence on persons for their sexual preferences has been prohibited;
  • Financial and legal autonomy was granted to human rights agencies.

Senegal

His Excellency Mr. Fodé Seck , Ambassador of Senegal, explained the great popularity the UPR was enjoying in the country. Stakeholders were consulted in the follow-up of the review to give adequate responses to recommendations and will continue to participate during the process.

The following improvements were shared:

  • Visit of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and the Working Group on arbitrary detention in 2009;
  • Presentation of their initial report to the Committee on migrant workers and periodic reports to the Committee on the elimination of racial discrimination and the Committee against torture
  • New law on gender equality for all elective functions requested each political party to present a list composed of 50% of women;
  • Creation of a national body to tackle human trafficking with a particular emphasis on women and children;
  • Launch of an initiative called "les marraines de quartier" made of elder women to counsel woman on how to raise their children;
  • Launch of a campaign against female genital mutilation.

Canada

The Director of Human Rights from Ottawa stated that the country accepted the majority of recommendations and made a number of voluntary commitments.

The following improvements were shared:

  • Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities;
  • Endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Monthly interdepartmental meetings on follow-up to recommendations;
  • Human rights training seminars organised for lawyers and officials.

Jordan

Jordan has a Standing Committee on human rights preparing the reports for treaty bodies and the UPR. The delegate underlined that most UPR recommendations were echoing those of the treaty bodies.

The following improvements were shared:

  • Shelters for victims of honour crimes, often perceived as detention shelters, would not be managed by the private sector and civil society
  • Domestic workers were now treated in the law as Jordanians
  • Prisons have been reformed, some new ones opened and some old ones closed
  • There was a new law to be endorsed raising the age of criminality from 7 to 12;
  • Police courts have been changed to have one judge coming from civil courts
  • Political reforms have been undertaken in relation to civil and political rights such as amending the constitution to give more power to Parliament.