UPR 14th Session

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UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary of the 14th session of the Universal Periodic Review

The 14thSession of the UPR Working Group which kicked off in Geneva on the 22nd of October has come to an end. States under review for this second session of the second UPR Cycle were the Czech Republic, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Ukraine, Guatemala, Benin, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan Peru and Sri Lanka. They were all represented by high level delegations and the Working Group commended them for their presence, a sign of commitment to the unique peer-review process.

Even though the states under review represent different regions of the world many of them face common human rights issues which resulted in similar recommendations from the Working Group such as:

  • Take all necessary measures in order to combat human trafficking and to provide rehabilitation for victims.
  • Review conditions in detentions and prisons. States were particularly concerned about overcrowding in the facilities.
  • Ratify human rights instrument. In particular, states under review were recommended to ratify the Convention on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families.
  • Renew efforts to tackle all instances of violence and discrimination against women and provide access to justice for victims.

A highly controversial draft law in Ukraine stating that people convicted of the “promotion of homosexuality” could face prison raised particular concern due to its discriminatory nature. States strongly condemned all legislation violating the rights of LGBT persons or discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation and urged Ukraine to reconsider the draft law.

While many Member States congratulated Pakistan on its recent legislative measures to prevent violent attacks on women, they expressed deep concern over the country's blasphemy laws. Several states recommended that Pakistan repeals discriminatory blasphemy laws and ensures that there is no impunity for those who create hate laws.

The review of Sri Lanka gained attention for its long speakers list, in total 99 states participated in the dialogue. Acknowledging the challenges relating to post conflict transition, several states urged Sri Lanka to resettle and rehabilitate all internal displaced persons and recommended swift implementation of the recommendations set out by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission that was created after the civil war. 

At a Side Event during the first week, Geneva-based NGO UPR-Info presented encouraging figures showing that at mid-term, approximately 40% of the recommendations from the first cycle have been fully or partially implemented. Even in 15 % of the rejected recommendations, action has been taken. This means that 150 UPR recommendations are or will be implemented even if States rejected them during the first UPR cycle. With regard to specific issues, recommendations concerning women`s rights, rights of the child and international instruments are at top when assessing the implementation rate.

The 15th session of the UPR commences on the 15 of January 2013. 

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