The Human Rights Council this morning adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Indonesia, Algeria and the United Kingdom.
The Council adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Indonesia. The Vice-President said of the 269 recommendations received, 205 enjoyed the support of Indonesia, and 59 were noted. Additional clarification was provided on another five recommendations, indicating which parts of the recommendations were supported and which parts were noted.
Speaking in the discussion on Indonesia were Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, United Nations Population Fund, Venezuela, Yemen, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Gambia, Kazakhstan, and Tanzania.
Also speaking were Centre for Global Nonkilling, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Plan International, Inc., Federation for Women and Family Planning, Lawyers for Lawyers, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Southeast Asia Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Caucus, Inc., Franciscans International, CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and Lutheran World Federation.
The Council adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Algeria. The Vice-President said of the 290 recommendations received, 216 enjoyed the support of Algeria, and 70 were noted. Additional clarification
was provided on another four recommendations, indicating which parts of the recommendations were
supported and which parts were noted.
Speaking in the discussion were Burkina Faso, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lesotho, Libya, and Maldives.
Also speaking were World Evangelical Alliance, Lawyers for lawyers, Article 19 – International Centre Against Censorship, International Service for Human Rights, CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme, Amnesty International, Advocates for Human Rights, Interfaith International, and Promotion du Développement Economique et Social.
The Council adopted the Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom. The Vice-President said that out of the 302 recommendations received, 135 enjoyed the support of the United Kingdom and 167 were noted.
Speaking in the discussion were Burkina Faso, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Maldives, Namibia, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Also speaking were Campagne Internationale pour l’Abolition des Armes Nucléaires, Human Rights Watch, British Humanist Association, International Lesbian and Gay Association Intervention, Edmund Rice International Limited, Federation for Women and Family Planning Intervention, Alliance Defending Freedom, World Jewish Congress, Anti-Slavery International, and Partners For Transparency.
The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s fifty-second regular session can be found here.
The Council will reconvene this afternoon at 3 p.m. to continue with the consideration and adoption of the outcome documents of the other States examined during the forty-first session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group.
Consideration of Universal Periodic Review Outcome of Indonesia
The Council has before it the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Indonesia.
Presentation of Report
Indonesia said 269 recommendations were conveyed during the review. The majority of recommendations were related to the promotion and protection of gender equality and the rights of women and children, strengthening legal and institutional frameworks, as well as international human rights instruments. Much progress had been achieved in the development and fulfilment of women’s and children’s rights. Various legal frameworks were continuously being produced and improved to achieve optimal efforts in fulfilling human rights and in making them in line with international norms and standards.
The Government had diligently looked into and carefully considered every recommendation. The Government had decided to support 205 recommendations, took note of 59 recommendations, and five recommendations were partially supported following the Council’s rules and procedures.
On the recommendations related to the protection of indigenous peoples, the concept of “indigenous peoples” did not apply to Indonesian society. However, the Government of Indonesia attached great importance to protecting the rights of the customary law communities. On recommendations relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer groups, Indonesia noted that there were no internationally accepted laws, rules, norms or principles on this particular issue. Indonesia was committed to the principles of upholding the rule of law, and continued to protect the fundamental rights of everyone. On the abolition of the death penalty, it remained part of positive law, where its application was safeguarded under international legal instruments. Indonesia supported the majority of recommendations related to human rights defenders.
Some speakers congratulated Indonesia on its constructive engagement during its fourth Universal Periodic Review, and commended the State for accepting 205 of the 269 recommendations suggested. It was hoped that the positive engagement with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism would pave the way for continued progress in advancing human rights in Indonesia. Speakers noted with appreciation the major national and local reforms of the Indonesian Government, which were aimed at accelerating the implementation of the human rights of vulnerable groups, combatting violence against women and children, and fighting human trafficking. Indonesia’s efforts to strengthen social protection programmes for vulnerable communities, including the provision of staple food, financial assistance and subsidies aimed at reducing poverty levels, was commended.
Indonesia’s progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, including the adoption of new laws, was also recognised. The establishment of regional technical units on the protection of women and children was noteworthy. The newly passed Criminal Code of 2022 was a step forward with the exemption of abortion on the grounds of rape and sexual violence. However, the issue of legal safe abortion services remained unaddressed, which highlighted the need to amend and harmonise laws and policies to ensure access to safe abortion services. Some speakers said it was worrying that in recent years restrictive laws had been systematically used to arrest, prosecute, and punish activists, journalists, and government critics. The Indonesian Government was called on to seriously protect civic space and the safety and security of civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and journalists. The majority of speakers recommended the adoption of the fourth Universal Periodic of Indonesia by consensus, and wished Indonesia success in its implementation
The Vice-President said that of the 269 recommendations received, 205 enjoyed the support of Indonesia, and 59 were noted. Additional clarification was provided on another five recommendations, indicating which parts of the recommendations were supported and which parts were noted.
Indonesia said it was honoured that the delegations recognised Indonesia’s commitment to fulfilling its human rights obligations. Indonesia prioritised genuine dialogue and cooperation in that regard within the context of the Universal Periodic Review, which had the greatest impact on the ground. The Government was committed to implementing the accepted recommendations, and invited all stakeholders, including civil society, to work closely with it to implement these, as well as to support and monitor their implementation. The effort was a non-stop process: challenges lay ahead, including climate-related challenges and potential pandemics, but these would not lessen the solid political will to implement all human rights for the ethnically diverse people of Indonesia. Indonesia remained committed to human rights and was putting forward its candidacy for the Human Rights Council.
Consideration of Universal Periodic Review Outcome of Algeria
The Council has before it the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Algeria.
Presentation of Report
Algeria said it had harnessed all possibilities to interact with the outputs of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism on the basis that cooperation and dialogue with international and regional mechanisms were the foundation of human rights. The report had resulted in a significant number of constructive recommendations. They were seriously considered and studied and mechanisms for enacting them were determined. More than 120 delegations had spoken and 100 had praised Algeria’s efforts in the field of promoting human rights, particularly in the frame of the 2020 Constitution. Algeria retained a prime place for fundamental freedoms, located in a humanistic vision for society. During the review, 290 recommendations were made, with 216 accepted; 55 of these recommendations were considered to have been already implemented. Four recommendations received partial support while 70 were the object of reservations.
The process of ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances was under consideration. It was noteworthy that there were no restrictions on the funding of civil society organizations. The Algerian Constitution provided that freedom of opinion was protected, and press freedom was guaranteed. Algeria was not prepared to decriminalise defamation for this reason. Algeria renewed its commitment to implement the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, taking into account the principle of gender equality enshrined in the Constitution. Some of the recommendations contained elements that contradicted national identity and values, as well as historical, cultural and religious specificities. Algeria reiterated its commitment to implementing the recommendations which had been accepted, in accordance with all actors and in line with the Constitution.
Many speakers congratulated Algeria on its report and took note with satisfaction of the additional information provided, as well as the acceptance of 216 recommendations. Algeria vigorously promoted economic and social development, fostered equity in education, developed health services, safeguarded the rights of women, children and people with disabilities, and combatted human trafficking. The country was committed to human rights, as well as to the Universal Periodic Review as the main mechanism for this issue. The national action plan to combat trafficking in persons was welcomed. There had been a strengthening of institutional and legislative reforms, including with regard to the independence of the judiciary. Algeria was commended for taking strides in enacting legislation to criminalise all forms of violence as part of the great steps made towards achieving gender equality and ensuring that all individuals were able to live free from fear of harassment and in enjoyment of their human rights.
The review saw active participation and constructive engagement and Algeria’s commitment to the Universal Periodic Review process as a whole, including with the recommendations made, and through positive cooperation with many international human rights instruments, ensuring a balance of the powers within the country, including the judiciary. The Government was called upon to allow forcibly closed Protestant churches to be re-opened, and to allow religious minorities to register. Recommendations on human rights defenders had not been accepted, and these should be accepted and effectively implemented, particularly with regard to allowing lawyers to carry out their work without harassment and intimidation when working on human rights issues, as well as allowing them access to their clients. Concerns about the freedom of expression were also raised, with regard to the criminalisation of peaceful dissent through recent legislation. All prisoners of conscience should be released and all charges made against them be dropped forthwith.
The Vice-President said out of the 290 recommendations received, 216 enjoyed the support of Algeria, and
70 were noted. Additional clarification was provided on another four recommendations, indicating which parts
of the recommendations were supported and which parts were noted.
Algeria clarified that it had accepted 216 recommendations in full and four partially. The refugees in Algeria had been refused the protection of international law and it would have been a better question to ask why they had not been able to pursue self-determination. The questions asked were an insult to the United Nations agencies in those camps and to the plight of the people living here. Saying the camps were void of rights was an insult to the humanitarian organizations that had been working in the camps for many years. Islam was practiced by the majority of Algerians but was still bound by the law in Algeria. Algeria had a Ministry of Religion but did not have a single religion; religion was allowed to flourish as long as rules were followed. The question of the death penalty had been flagged by many speakers; Algeria was an abolitionist country. There had been no executions in the country for 30 years, and it was one of the first countries in the world to announce an actively implemented moratorium on the death penalty. To make the claim that the judiciary was not independent was entirely unfounded and incorrect.
Consideration of Universal Periodic Review Outcome of the United Kingdom
The Council has before it the Universal Periodic Review outcome of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Presentation of Report
United Kingdom said it was committed to the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and to acting as a force for good in the world. It believed that these principles were the indispensable foundations on which open, stable and prosperous societies thrived and were essential to the functioning of democracies and to upholding and enforcing the rights of citizens. The Government remained fully committed to upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and relevant international human rights treaties. The Universal Periodic Review was a constructive process through which States could learn from and help each other in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, a unique and crucial mechanism for sharing best practice and promoting continual improvement of human rights on the ground.
The United Kingdom remained fully committed to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, the United Nations treaty monitoring system, and the Human Rights Council, as well as to the promotion and realisation of the full enjoyment of all human rights by all people around the world. After the Review meeting, the United Kingdom’s Government had reserved its position on the 302 recommendations received in order to ensure it could give them the full and proper consideration they deserved. Substantial consultations were held. In total, of the 302 recommendations it received, the United Kingdom had supported 135 recommendations, noted 112, and indicated its partial support for the remaining 55 recommendations. The Universal Periodic Review was an ongoing process and the United Kingdom committed to submitting a mid-term report.
Northern Ireland National Human Rights Commission said there had been progress in some areas, however, there had been limited progress in other areas and indeed new issues of concern. The United Kingdom’s Government had introduced legislation to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a Bill of Rights, which could weaken human rights protections, would have significant implications for devolution, and was incompatible with the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. The Government and devolved administrations should publish clear, actionable plans for implementing the respective recommendations.
Many speakers warmly welcomed the delegation of the United Kingdom and appreciated the constructive engagement during the review. They commended the authorities of the United Kingdom for the recommendations endorsed and urged them to implement them effectively, with a view to ensuring better promotion and protection of human rights. Speakers commended the efforts undertaken by the Government to combat violence and domestic abuse, and noted the positive steps taken to strengthen the legislative framework to ensure victims of domestic abuse had unhindered access to free legal advice and representation. Efforts made by the United Kingdom to protect freedom of religion, and the new law on internet safety which aimed to protect children from harmful content were also welcomed. Speakers appreciated the acceptance of recommendations to increase opportunities for women and persons with disabilities to gain access to formal employment and to improve policies to combat hate crimes in communities.
Some speakers noted that they shared the concern of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights about the replacement of the human rights law with more limited legislation. Some expressed concern about the serious human rights violations which existed in the United Kingdom, including chronic racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia, and trafficking in persons and exploitation. The United Kingdom was urged to fulfil its human rights obligations, including to address the high poverty levels in children, and excessive use of force against migrants. It was also important to take steps to ensure the rights of migrant workers and members of their families. It was hoped that the United Kingdom would use the Universal Periodic Review to tackle its human rights problems and adopt practical measures to promote human rights. Speakers urged the United Kingdom to review the possibility of implementing the 112 recommendations which it had taken note of.
The Vice-President said that out of the 302 recommendations received, 135 enjoyed the support of the United Kingdom, and 167 were noted.