ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS OUTCOMES OF THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW OF GERMANY, DJIBOUTI AND CANADA

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS OUTCOMES OF THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW OF GERMANY, DJIBOUTI AND CANADA
19 September 2013

The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Germany, Djibouti and Canada.

Hans Heinrich Schumacher, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations at Geneva, said Germany was firmly committed to fighting racism in all its forms and took the issue of incitement to hatred very seriously.  The protection of human rights of migrants was guaranteed in Germany, even in cases of undocumented migration.  The promotion of equal rights for women and men and the elimination of disadvantages in all spheres of life was one of the founding principles of the basic German law.  A National Action Plan on inclusion had allowed it to create a broad awareness about disability.

Beate Rudolf, Chairperson of the German Institute for Human Rights, said it was disappointing that Germany refused to ratify international treaties because of their incompatibility with domestic law, and called upon the Government to set up a high-level domestic mechanism to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations Germany had accepted.

In the discussion on Germany, speakers thanked Germany for its active participation in the Universal Periodic Review process.  Germany was urged to maintain its commitment in the implementation of its obligations under relevant international instruments, to continue taking action to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and to prevent, promptly prosecute and punish trafficking in persons.  Germany was also called upon to reconsider its reservations to international human rights treaties.

Speaking in the discussion were Indonesia, Iran, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, State of Palestine, Togo, Viet Nam, Algeria and Azerbaijan.

The Charitable Institute for Protecting Social Victims, Franciscans International, Save the Children International, Amnesty International, Institute for Women’s Studies and Research, European Disabilities Forum, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik and Canners International Permanent Committee also spoke.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Germany.

Mohamed Siad Doualeh, Permanent Representative of Djibouti to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Djibouti wanted to continue the ongoing democratic process and to build a strong nation, committed to peace in the region and in the world.  The political reforms undertaken since 2009 showed the willingness of the authorities to constantly promote and protect human rights.  Djibouti reiterated its attachment to the Universal Periodic Review process and called upon the international community to help Djibouti with the implementation of the recommendations it had accepted.

In the discussion on Djibouti, speakers welcomed positive measures taken to strengthen and protect human rights and encouraged it to effectively implement recommendations.  It was encouraged to adopt necessary measures to protect the rights of women and children, as well as to continue endeavours to fight poverty.  Djibouti had made considerable progress in creating universal health coverage, despite the economic difficulties faced.  Tribute was paid to Djibouti for its efforts made in the social and economic spheres to fight poverty, despite the harsh climatic conditions.

Speaking in the discussion were Togo, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kuwait, Malaysia and Maldives.

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme also took the floor. 

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Djibouti.

Elise Goldberg, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Canada took the protection and promotion of the rights and freedoms of its citizens very seriously; it was a tradition dating back 800 years.  Canada accepted 122 of the 162 recommendations it received.  It had rejected recommendations suggesting “national action plans” as all levels of government pursued common objectives, which was an asset of Canadian federalism, and all levels of government were involved in preparing its response.  Canada was committed to ending violence against aboriginal women and girls through legislative and non-legislative means, was working to improve women’s empowerment and equality, and had furthered the rights of the child.

Sarah Pallesen, International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions, on behalf of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, said that the Commission’s submission to the Council outlined a number of areas where progress was still needed, namely the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the mechanisms to implement Canada’s international commitments, and ensuring full equality for Aboriginal peoples.

In the discussion on Canada, speakers commended Canada’s continued commitment on the promotion and protection of human rights, not only at the national but also at the bilateral, regional and global levels.  It was encouraged to enhance relations with indigenous peoples.  Canada should also increase its efforts to tackle challenges such as discrimination on the basis of gender, religion and race, which were still present in Canadian society, as well as on violence against women.  Canadian authorities should step up cooperation with Council’s special procedures, one speaker said.

Speaking in the discussion were Cuba, Djibouti, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Togo, Viet Nam, Algeria, Belarus and Botswana.

The Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco, Charitable Institute for Protecting Social Victims, Action Canada for Population and Development, International Lesbian and Gay Association, Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists, Institute for Women’s Studies and Research, International Indian Treaty Council and Association for Progressive Communications also took the floor. 

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Canada.

The Human Rights Council will resume its work tomorrow, Friday, 20 September, at 10 a.m. when it will consider the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Reviews of Bangladesh, Azerbaijan and Russia. 

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Germany

HANS HEINRICH SCHUMACHER, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that dialogue and cooperation were essential for promoting and protecting human rights and Germany was doing its best to participate in this exchange.  It was firmly committed to the Universal Periodic Review.  Germany had also used its national report to show how the recommendations accepted in the first Universal Periodic Review were implemented.  It thanked the German Institute on Human Rights and German civil society for their valuable input into the Universal Periodic Review.  Two hundred recommendations were made and were studied carefully during the last months.  The German Institute as well as civil society had been again invited to comment and discuss their response to all these recommendations.  Germany was firmly committed to fight racism in all its forms.  Since 2008 this fight was based in a National Action Plan against racism, providing a large range of measures against racism.  Germany took the issue of incitement to hatred very seriously.  A person stirring up hatred against a national, racial, ethnic or religious group or against parts of the population or against an individual because of his or her membership in one of these groups was liable to prosecution for incitement to hatred.  Countering right-wing extremism and hate crime was an on-going task which enlisted Government and society as a whole in all walks of life.  The aim of the Government was to bundle initiatives from civil society and different levels of Government and policy-making in order to successfully detect, prevent and respond to all manifestations of right-wing extremism and hate crimes.  This holistic approach comprised repressive measures by the police and justice system as well as preventive measures and better protection for vulnerable members of society. 

The protection of the human rights of migrants was guaranteed in Germany, even in cases of undocumented migration.  The legal system granted the right to education, basic health care and statutory legal protection.  In recent years, the situation for the children of migrants had fundamentally improved.  School attendance had become obligatory in almost all federal states, including for children whose deportation had been temporarily suspended and for children involved in asylum procedures.  Germany continued to ensure equal chances and participation of all persons with a migrant background in the social, economic and cultural life of Germany.  Important areas of engagement were the integration and self-organization of migrant women and the integration of young migrants into school and professional education, among others.  The integration of migrants was an important issue and since 2006, the Government had been hosting ‘Integration Summits’.  The promotion of equal rights for women and men and the elimination of disadvantages in all spheres of life was one of the founding principles of the German basic law.  A lot had been achieved in these last decades to make equal rights for all a reality.  Still, there were challenges ahead to overcome gender inequality in some spheres of life and in particular in the labour market.  Since ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol in 2009, the German Government had adopted a National Action Plan to make inclusion a reality in Germany.  The National Action Plan allowed it to, for the first time, create a broad awareness for disability policy and to mainstream it into its ministries, federal states and communities as well as into institutions and companies. 

BEATE RUDOLF, Chairperson of the German Institute for Human Rights, commended Germany’s efforts to involve civil society during the preparation of the State report, but was disappointed that Germany had not lived up to its promise to combat the problem of racism.  Ms. Rudolf invited the Government to implement the recommendations it had received from the German Parliament.  It was disappointing that Germany refused to ratify international treaties because of their incompatibility with domestic law, and she called upon the Government to set up a high-level domestic mechanism to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations Germany had accepted.

Indonesia commended Germany on its ongoing commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, and said that diversity of culture should be celebrated, not avoided.  Indonesia welcomed Germany’s commitment to continuing its fight against racism, discrimination, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

Iran said it hoped that Germany would fully implement the recommendations it had accepted, and encouraged Germany to boost its efforts to address discrimination against ethnic minorities, the use of racial profiling, and the use of force by police in prisons, psychiatric hospitals and detention centres against minors and foreigners.  
 
Maldives was pleased to note that Germany had accepted the two recommendations made by Maldives concerning the criminalization of acts of torture and the promotion of awareness-raising activities on the questions related to gender discrimination.  Maldives thanked Germany for providing additional information on those two recommendations through the addendum submitted to the Council.

Morocco thanked Germany for the information provided on the implementation of recommendations accepted.  Morocco applauded the efforts made by Germany to ensure the integration of migrants in the German society and welcomed the openness of the Government to hold a dialogue with the Muslim community.

Nigeria thanked Germany for its active participation in the Universal Periodic Review process and for the commitments made towards ensuring compliance with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.  Nigeria urged Germany to maintain its demonstrated commitment in the implementation of its obligations under relevant international instruments.

Philippines noted with appreciation Germany’s existing statutory protection for migrants and its programmes for the protection of victims of forced marriage and sexual abuse.  Despite its non-acceptance of a recommendation by the Philippines to consider ratifying the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families, the Philippines would continue to constructively engage with Germany.

Russia noted with satisfaction that the majority of recommendations received had been accepted, including ones made by Russia.  Russia called on the German authorities, with the participation of representatives of civil society, to reconsider their reservations to international human rights treaties. 

South Africa urged the German Government to continue taking action to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  South Africa acknowledged with appreciation the large number of recommendations accepted by Germany, which reinforced its commitment to the Universal Periodic Review.

Palestine commended Germany for the proactive manner in which it had participated in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.  Palestine took note of the measures undertaken by Germany for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country, including those related to discrimination, women and migrants.

Togo thanked Germany for accepting most of the recommendations made during its second Universal Periodic Review, including those made by Togo, which showed the willingness of Germany to respect its human rights obligations.

Viet Nam noted with satisfaction that Germany had put constant efforts in advancing the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for its people, while maintaining a leading role in socio-economic development in the European Union.  Germany played an active, constructive and responsible role in the Council, the Universal Periodic Review process and other United Nations mechanisms.

Algeria welcomed Germany’s acceptance of the recommendation calling the Government to combat all forms of discrimination.  Such a strategy would contribute to strengthening the fight against Islamophobia.  Algeria took note of the non-acceptance of the recommendation pertaining to the ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and hoped that the Government would take measures to ensure that the rights of migrants were respected.
 
Azerbaijan was disappointed that Germany had refused the recommendation concerning the establishment of a complaint mechanism for the proper investigation of the ill-treatment and excessive use of force by law enforcement agencies.  Azerbaijan was concerned that right-wing movements, including neo-Nazi groups, were constantly rising and the absence of an adequate response from the Government in this regard. 

Charitable Institute for Protecting Social Victims was deeply concerned that cases of ill-treatment by police or excessive use of force were not always investigated promptly, impartially, independently, adequately and effectively as required by international human rights standards.

Franciscans International recommended that Germany take concrete measures and steps aimed at formally protecting victims of trafficking, including granting temporary or permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate factors as stipulated in Article 7 of the Palermo Protocol. 

Save the Children International highlighted that Germany had said that all legal regulations and implementation of international human rights law and standards on migrants and asylum seekers were already being complied with.  This was not true regarding custody pending deportation of minors. 

Amnesty International welcomed the improved consultation with civil society in the lead up to the review but noted that consultation was not an end in itself.  Amnesty International hoped to see substantial changes in the assessment of human rights challenges in Germany. 

Institute for Women’s Studies and Research expressed concern at the absence of provisions adequately criminalizing acts of torture in criminal law in Germany.  It was also concerned that migrants, refugees and minority women could be subjected to multiple forms of discrimination with regard to education, health, employment and social and political participation. 

European Disability Forum welcomed the acceptance by Germany of several recommendations concerning the rights of persons with disabilities.  It was important that these words became the reality.  Private entities in Germany that offered facilities and services open to the public had to take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities. 

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, in a joint statement, appreciated Germany’s efforts to ensure the participation of civil society in the Universal Periodic Review process.  Germany had accepted the larger part of the 200 recommendations, but critical issues such as asylum seekers, migrants, discrimination and corruption, among others, were not satisfactorily addressed.

Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik highlighted the acceptance of recommendations to improve the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Germany.  It wished to add the need for special psychological treatments, especially for those asylum seekers and refugees who had experienced extreme trauma.

Canners International Permanent Committee said that Germany was firmly committed to establishing world peace and an international order characterized by the rule of law.  It respected the values of democracy, development and freedom of rights.  The country had been a major pioneer of the European integration project.

HANS HEINRICH SCHUMACHER, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva, wished to make three concluding remarks.  Firstly, he thanked civil society organizations for all their remarks, kind or unkind.  Germany could do better and this notion would be passed to its Government.  Secondly, racism was taken utterly seriously in German society.  Lastly, as far as the Geneva mission was concerned, the plea that civil society should take part in the implementation of recommendations would be taken up. 

The Council then adopted the outcome report of the Universal Periodic Review of Germany. 

Consideration of the Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Djibouti

MOHAMED SIAD DOUALEH, Permanent Representative of Djibouti to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that Djibouti wanted to continue the ongoing democratic process and to build a strong nation, committed to peace in the region and in the world.  The several political reforms undertaken since 2009 showed the willingness of the authorities to constantly promote and protect human rights.  Djibouti provided the Council with additional information on the pending recommendations.  With regard to the recommendation on the opportunity of sending an open-ended invitation to all special procedures mandate holders, Djibouti would continue to send ad hoc invitations according to its priorities.  Concerning the establishment of a framework that ensured freedom of expression, Djibouti said that freedom of expression was effectively respected in the country.  Nonetheless, Djibouti would spare no efforts to continue to improve the relevant legislation. Finally, concerning the recommendations calling for the modification of the family code to prevent discrimination against women, Djibouti recalled that the delegation that participated in the review was headed by two women.  This constituted a clear signal that the political, social and economic development would be gender sensitive.  Alphabetisation programmes had been undertaken and had so far benefitted 34,000 women.  Several programmes made sure that women’s sexual and reproductive rights were respected.  Djibouti reiterated its attachment to the Universal Periodic Review process and called upon the international community to help Djibouti with the implementation of the recommendations accepted.

Togo commended Djibouti for its full cooperation with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and welcomed progress made in submitting reports to treaty bodies, as well as noted progress made in the area of access to justice.  Djibouti was encouraged to effectively implement recommendations made.

United Arab Emirates welcomed positive measures taken by Djibouti to strengthen and protect human rights.  The United Arab Emirates hoped that Djibouti would continue to make efforts to protect human rights and that it would take measures for institutional reforms so as to preserve dignity, justice and ensure equality among citizens. 

Venezuela said that the Government had shown its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights in cooperating with Review process, and that it had provided all of the information requested during the process with concrete answers to questions that were asked.  Djibouti had made considerable progress in creating universal health coverage, despite economic difficulties faced. 

Viet Nam welcomed the delegation of Djibouti and its commitment to the Universal Periodic Review process.  Viet Nam welcomed that Djibouti  had accepted the recommendation made to it by Viet Nam and wished Djibouti further success in strengthening its human rights environment.

Yemen congratulated Djibouti for its achievement in amending its constitution, particularly with respect to children’s rights.  Yemen wished Djibouti every success in the second cycle of its Universal Periodic Review.

Algeria said Djibouti had shown a great deal of openness during its Universal Periodic Review.  Algeria welcomed the acceptance of the recommendations it had made to Djibouti, particularly with regard to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.

Benin commended Djibouti for its second Universal Periodic Review and noted with satisfaction the various reforms undertaken, including in the areas of education, health, housing and sanitation.  Benin encouraged Djibouti to continue the reforms and invited the international community to help the country with the implementation of its human rights obligations.

Botswana commended Djibouti for its acceptance of a majority of the recommendations made during the review, which demonstrated the country’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights.  Botswana noted with appreciation the efforts made by Djibouti in the fight against poverty.  The programmes and reforms undertaken by Djibouti to combat economic hardship, notwithstanding its arid climate, were encouraging.

China appreciated the active and constructive participation of Djibouti in the Universal Periodic Review process and its acceptance of most of the recommendations made.  China encouraged Djibouti to continue its efforts to change the traditional negative stereotypes related to women and their role in society.

Côte d’Ivoire welcomed Djibouti’s endorsement of a great number of recommendations made and encouraged it to adopt the necessary measures to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights, and to protect the rights of women and children, as well as to continue endeavours to fight poverty.

Cuba said that during the Review, progress in the areas of poverty reduction and reduction of unemployment was made in Djibouti.  Cuba recommended that the outcome report be adopted and Djibouti was urged to continue to implement measures that contributed to the promotion and protection of human rights.

Ethiopia commended Djibouti’s commitment to continue to implement recommendations accepted in the first and second Review cycles.  It noted with appreciation the decision of the Government to consider or ratify all international human rights instruments and to review national laws to ensure conformity with international obligations. 

Gabon welcomed the cooperation that Djibouti had shown toward the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.  Rights to freedom of expression, work and education were being established and Gabon welcomed that, like it, Djibouti had ended the death penalty.

Kuwait valued Djibouti’s genuine efforts to improve the human rights situation in its country and particularly its adoption of a reformed basic election law.  Its judicial and educational reforms, and new policies on drugs, were commended. 

Malaysia appreciated the commitment and positive engagement shown by Djibouti and was pleased that the recommendations made by Malaysia to Djibouti during the Universal Periodic Review cycle would be taken up.

Maldives was pleased that Djibouti had accepted the three recommendations made by Maldives.  Maldives congratulated Djibouti for its efforts to provide healthcare and to improve child mortality rates.  Maldives took note of the efforts made in the promotion of the right to education and the elimination of female genital mutilation and was encouraged by the awareness-raising campaigns in all parts of the country.

East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project said that Djibouti had to ensure that public freedoms were respected.  There was no free press and independent journalists were harassed.  The organization called upon Djibouti to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.  Over 10 political opponents were still incarcerated in inhumane conditions.  All political prisoners had to be freed.

International Federation of Human Rights Leagues expressed concern about the human rights situation in Djibouti.  Political activists and independent journalists were harassed.  Djibouti should urgently implement all recommendations made during its Universal Periodic Review to ensure respect for its human rights obligations.

Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme paid tribute to Djibouti for the efforts made in the social and economic spheres to fight poverty, despite the harsh climatic conditions.  It also welcomed the outcome of Djibouti’s integrated programme to remedy harsh habitats in the country.

MOHAMED SIAD DOULEH, Permanent Representative of Djibouti to the United Nations Office at Geneva, once again reiterated Djibouti’s deep gratitude to delegations that took the floor this afternoon.  It would tirelessly and concretely implement recommendations and would enlarge its consultation with civil society.  Djibouti asked for international cooperation and technical support from the international community to meet those objectives.  Civil society was entitled to criticize, but misrepresentation and the inaccurate statement made by East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project called for clarification.  Transparency of elections would not be revisited.  Today, there was political dialogue between the parliamentary majority and political parties that belonged to the coalition of the opposition, in a constructive and serene manner, to ensure that the nation was strong and full of solidarity.  Allegations of torture were strongly rejected.  The main fight to be waged was against poverty and a herculean task was ahead.

The Council then adopted the outcome report of the Universal Periodic Review of Djibouti. 

Consideration of the Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Canada

ELISE GOLDBERG, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Canada took the protection and promotion of the rights and freedoms of its citizens very seriously; it was a tradition dating back 800 years.  Canada further believed that all countries could benefit from the experience of others.  In the second cycle of its Universal Periodic Review, Canada heard 162 recommendations addressed to all levels of the Federal Government of Canada.  All levels of government pursued common objectives, which was an asset of Canadian federalism.  That was important because all levels of government were involved in preparing its response, and explained why Canada rejected recommendations suggesting “national action plans”.

Of the 162 recommendations, Canada accepted 122.  Ms. Goldberg explained that Canada first accepted recommendations regarding United Nations system instruments and treaty bodies.  In those discussions, Canada ensured the voices of civil society and indigenous groups were heard.  Secondly, Canada accepted the recommendations made to it with regard to aboriginal peoples, particularly with regard to their economic wellbeing, land claims, self-governance and access to safe drinking water.  Canada did not accept the recommendation to adopt a national action plan for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  The Government was committed to ending violence against aboriginal women and girls through legislative and non-legislative means.  Thirdly, the Government was working to improve women’s empowerment and equality, in partnership with provincial and territorial governments.  Fourthly, recommendations addressing racial discrimination in Canada had already been addressed by the right to equality, while the criminal law contained legislation on racial discrimination and hate speech.  Fifthly, Canada had long furthered the rights of the child and rejected the claim that child prostitution was on the rise in Canada.  Sixthly, housing, education, healthcare and economic rights were protected by a myriad of initiatives at all levels of government.  Finally, Canada’s counter-terrorism efforts were regularly reviewed by the courts and the actions of the police were subject to oversight: it did not recognise that the right to assembly was under threat.  Canada used detention lightly and only when absolutely necessary.

SARAH PALLESEN, International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions on behalf of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, said that the Commission’s submission to the Council outlined a number of areas where progress was still needed, namely the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the mechanisms to implement Canada’s international commitments, and in ensuring full equality for Aboriginal peoples.

Cuba noted the efforts Canada had made to strengthen human rights in the areas of education, gender equality, and sport, and to protect women and children against violence.  Cuba strongly encouraged Canada to strengthen measures for the rights of indigenous peoples, who continued to be disadvantaged. 

Djibouti said that it appreciated Canada’s commitment to strengthening human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy in the world, and encouraged it to step up efforts to combat all forms of discrimination and racism.  

Gabon said it welcomed Canada’s implementation of national policies based on public consultations with the inclusive participation of civil society organisations and indigenous peoples.  Canada was encouraged to enhance relations with indigenous peoples and step up efforts to increase levels of education of indigenous peoples. 

Indonesia commended Canada’s continued commitment on the promotion and protection of human rights, not only at the national but also at the bilateral, regional and global levels.  At the bilateral level, the two countries shared best practices on various human rights themes, in the context of bilateral human rights dialogue.

Iran said the bigger picture was still unclear when it came to Canada’s accountability in implementing the demands and recommendations of delegations.  Canada’s refusal of four recommendations by Iran was another clear sign that questioned and undermined Canada’s determination to rectify existing short-comings in the field of human rights in the country.

Morocco commended Canada for its efforts to build a multicultural society based on tolerance and freedom, in particular its efforts with respect to minority language rights and migrant workers.

Nigeria thanked Canada for its active participation in the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.  Nigeria was encouraged by Canada’s cooperation with the Human Rights Council and its determination to continue to promote and protect the human rights of its citizens.

Philippines said that Canada’s acceptance of 122 of the recommendations was a clear manifestation of its commitment to the Universal Periodic Review.  Canada’s engagement with international human rights conventions and its protection of the rights of children were notable. 

Russia noted Canada’s cooperation with the Universal Periodic Review process, but deplored the rejection by Canada of two recommendations made by Russia, and urged Canada to investigate the incidents of violence against Russian citizens in Canada to which it had drawn its attention. 

Togo said that it had noted that Canada fully cooperated with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and welcomed the determination shown by Canada to build progressive partnerships with indigenous peoples in order to help achieve economic prosperity. 

Viet Nam expressed satisfaction at the acceptance by Canada of a large number of recommendations, but said that Canada should increase its efforts to tackle challenges such as discrimination on the basis of gender, religion and race, which were still present in Canadian society. 

Algeria took note of Canada’s non-acceptance of it and other countries’ recommendation on the ratification of the Convention of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families.  It was hoped that measures taken by the Government to protect migrant workers would contribute to the protection of that vulnerable segment of society.

Belarus said that Canada was not sufficiently critical in its human rights assessments of the situation in the country.  Canada had not been visited by Council mandate holders in some time.  The authorities should step up cooperation with the Council’s special procedures, especially the Special Rapporteurs on the rights of migrants, and on the sale of children, child prostitution and pornography, among others.

Benin welcomed Canada’s efforts to eliminate violence against women and to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Benin noted progress in the situation of indigenous peoples, including in the areas of access to drinking water and sanitation, even if some needs were still not satisfied. 

Botswana commended Canada’s approach in preventing and reducing violence against women and children.  Canada’s provision of health and social assistance to women victims and in holding perpetrators accountable were also noted.  Botswana recommended the adoption of the outcome report of the Universal Periodic Review of Canada. 

Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice welcomed Canada’s acceptance of several recommendations concerning the protection of victims of human trafficking.  The organization regretted the rejection and partial acceptance of recommendations pertaining to the protection of migrant workers. 

Charitable Institute for Protecting Social Victims was deeply concerned about the alarming patterns of violence afflicting indigenous women.  Canada had not put in place the measures necessary to address and overcome the deeply embedded and long-standing structural and systemic inequalities that women faced. 

Action Canada for Population and Development, speaking on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative, said it remained concerned with the substantial deficit in Canada’s implementation of recommendations received from international human rights bodies.  Canada must take concrete actions to realize women’s human rights, specifically the rights of indigenous women.

International Lesbian and Gay Association drew attention to the shortcomings of Canada’s asylum policy.  Refugees from so-called “safe countries of origin”, who claimed persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, faced dangerously fast-tracked refugee hearings and did not have the right to appeal the decision of the Canadian authorities.       

Amnesty International said that Canada had made no new commitments and had only accepted recommendations which it was already implementing through existing policies.  Canada’s refusal to adopt a national plan of action to deal with violence against indigenous women was troubling.  

International Commission of Jurists said that it remained concerned about the human rights impact of Canadian oil and gas companies in the countries where they operated.  There was a pressing need for an effective regulatory framework, which would hold accountable Canadian companies active in the extractive industry abroad.   

Institute for Women’s Studies and Research said there were numerous reports about the degrading situation of aboriginal children in Canada.  Canada was urged to review legislation and practices in the provinces and territories where birth registration had been illegally altered or the names of parents had been removed, and ensure that the names on such birth certificates were restored. 

International Indian Treaty Council said that there was a rise of murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada.  Without an inquiry it could not identify the roots of the crisis, nor develop a national strategy to resolve it.  Hundreds of families would have to carry on without any answers. 

Association for Progressive Communications said that despite systemic violence against indigenous women in the country, individual cases were often given low priority by local authorities and media.  As part of its strategy to address violence against women, Canada was called upon to work with communities, particularly in rural areas and on reservations and to improve meaningful access to the Internet.

ELISE GOLDBERG, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked all speakers for their comments.  She said Canada was proud of its human rights record and its peaceful and free society.  Canada worked hard to ensure that systematic racism did not become a problem, with a combination of laws, policies and programmes.  Several delegations noted the importance of national action plans, which could be useful.  However, action plans were not the only tool to improve the human rights situation.  Canada had had a Special Rapporteur visit the country this year, and it encouraged Belarus to also accept the visits of Special Rapporteurs.  Canada would continue to follow up the implementation of the recommendations accepted.  The Government was determined to ensure the full realization of all human rights.

The Council then adopted the outcome report of the Universal Periodic Review of Canada. 



For use of the information media; not an official record

HRC13/115E