UPR Outcomes at the 52 Session of HRC: Highlights
On the 24th, 27th and 28th of March 2023, the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council the adoptions of the outcome reports for the 41st Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) took place.
The Outcome Reports of Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Philippines, Algeria, Poland, Netherlands, and South Africa were adopted. Overall, 2’624 recommendations were supported by the States under Review, that is 69% of acceptance rate (Total of recommendations: 3.812).
Highlights of the Adoptions
Among the 245 recommendations received by Bahrain, 172 were supported and priority was given to human rights in justice, security, and sustainable development. During the Adoptions, Bahrain mentioned the efforts of the country in promoting human rights as the recently approved measures to expand the scope of alternative sentencing with the start of the Open Prisons Program to reduce overcrowding inside prisons and it is working on a set of national laws to implement international convention to criminalize hate speech, religious hatred, sectarianism, and racism.
During its fourth UPR cycle, Ecuador supported 164 recommendations and undertook different voluntary commitments including the institutionalization of the national mechanism for the presentation of reports and follow-up to ensure the implementation of UPR recommendations. Ecuador also created the Ministry for Women and Human Rights in November 2022, and engaged in setting up a new regularization process for the socio-economic insertion of foreign citizens, especially Venezuelans through the cooperation with international organizations and donor countries.
Tunisia supported 192 recommendations and announced concrete steps to bolster human rights protection. The Tunisian representative announced the establishment of a National Assembly that would allow the country to respect and implement human rights recommendations, including those from other human rights bodies. The country supported recommendations relating to an insurance regime for unemployment and it is currently analyzing the situation to establish a fund in this regard.
After supporting 232 recommendations, Morocco has already taken steps to implement these recommendations, with the adoption of a modern constitution to promote political pluralism through periodic and transparent elections in order to strengthen the roles of elected institutions and offer a wide range of possibilities for important reforms, including in the justice system. Morocco also intends to continue to implement the “National Action Plan for Democracy and Human Rights” and the “New Development Model” as part of the promotion of transparency and good governance.
Indonesia demonstrated its commitment to implement the 205 supported recommendations during the 4th UPR cycle invited all stakeholders, including civil society organizations and the national human rights institution, to work closely with it to implement these, as well as to support and monitor their implementation. Indonesia has worked to further strengthen human rights of vulnerable groups and combat violence against women and children. The country has also made efforts to strengthen social protection programmes for vulnerable communities, by providing financial assistance and subsidies aimed at reducing poverty levels.
Finland is in the process of implementing all the 168 accepted recommendations. The government recognizes the added value of the consultations with civil society in the different phases of the UPR, including the implementation process. Finland committed to submit a mid-term report. The Finnish Government is making efforts to combat racism and xenophobia by creating an action plan which made training on hate crime and ethnic profiling mandatory for all police officers and civil servants in police departments.
The United Kingdom committed to submit the mid-term report in 2025 to follow-up the responses on all the recommendations received. 135 are the recommendations supported by the United Kingdom. The country has put in place measures to combat violence and domestic abuse and to strengthen the legislative framework to ensure victims of domestic abuse have unhindered access to free legal advice and representation. Many of the recommendations supported aimed at increasing opportunities for women and persons with disabilities to gain access to formal employment and to improve policies to combat hate crimes in communities.
221 recommendations were accepted by India during its fourth UPR cycle. India has recently established a national mechanism for implementation, reporting and follow-up for all human rights reporting obligations. The country has put in place different steps to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, tracked through the Sustainable Development Goals’ India Index and Dashboard. The Indian government intends to take develop a national plan to prevent and combat gender-based violence and the intention to expand the contraceptive basket of choice.
Brazil has the highest number of accepted recommendations and has already taken steps to implements these 301 recommendations. The new Government that took office in January 2023, reassessed its position with regard to the recommendations received and aligned the new national human rights policies with the commitments and obligations the country had taken at the international level. Numerous actions have been undertaken to increase visibility of women, LGBTQI+ community, indigenous people and person with disabilities, to provide safe and regulated migration in line with the Brazilian migration law, to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance, as well as to reduce extreme poverty that has increased during the covid-19 pandemic.
The Philippines supported 215 recommendations from its last review and intend to take concrete actions to protect human right defenders (HRDs) and journalists, combat discrimination and gender-based violence, develop new guidelines for the access to justice, combat human-trafficking, accelerate pandemic recovery, provide better access to healthcare and education, and criminalize child marriage.
Algeria supported 216 recommendations. The country announced that the process of ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances was under consideration. Algeria committed to promote economic and social development, improve health services, safeguarded the rights of children and people with disabilities Initiatives were taken to combat human trafficking as the development of the national action plan to combat trafficking in persons.
Poland supported 89 recommendations and provided explanation on the recommendations that were noted. The country has taken steps to address the needs of persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities.
The Netherlands accepted 165 recommendations on specific topics, including migrations, with measures to provide access to health, education, accommodation, and protection of vulnerable migrants. One of the highlights of the adoptions was the apologies of the Kingdom for its participation in slavery in the past and up to the present day. The Netherlands announced a fund available of €200 million funds to raise awareness of the consequences of slavery, with the participation of those affected. The Government had been working on a bill on sustainable and acceptable reception facilities for asylum seekers given the increased requests.
Among the 293 recommendations received by South Africa during the 4th UPR cycle, 269 were accepted. The ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the progress on the national plan on violence against women, the economic empowerment of women, the reduction of unemployment and the two million households’ free basic municipal services including water and electricity are outcome measures undertaken by South Africa following its last UPR examination.