Seychelles commits to 142 recommendations to improve human rights performance
Screenshot taken from the UN Web TV showing the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Barry Faure making his presentation at the UN Human Right's Council session in Geneva on Friday. (UN web TV)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted the outcome of Seychelles' second review on its human rights landscapes, the island nation’s authorities have said. The adoption came at the 32nd session of the council held in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a press statement that the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean now has around four years to fulfill its commitment to implement a number of recommendations aimed at further improving its human rights performance.
The recommendations that have been accepted are geared towards the strengthening and reviewing of the country’s national human rights institutions, dealing with gender discrimination, gender-based and domestic violence and gender empowerment.
The Universal Periodic Review is a process where member states of the United Nations explain what actions they have taken to address human rights and fulfill obligations in their respective countries. It is done every four and a half years.
Seychelles had its second review in January based on reports from the government, independent human rights groups and stakeholders. Some 60 member states of the United Nations shared their views and came up with a list of 150 recommendations on the country’s human rights performances.
In his presentation at Friday’s session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Barry Faure, who was leading the delegation at the Geneva meeting, said Seychelles’ response to the 150 recommendations were based on national consultations held in recent months.
These he said had involved government agencies, civil society stakeholders and members of the national assembly.
“Seychelles has accepted 142 recommendations and for two broad reasons; firstly on the basis that we make a commitment to implement the recommendation and believe it can be achieved within the four year period until our next UPR and secondly on the basis where the recommendation has already been fully addressed by the government of Seychelles,” said Faure in his presentation posted online by the UN Web TV.
Faure also talked about recommendation calling for non-discrimination of persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He noted the recent passing in the Seychelles national assembly of a bill to amend the penal code to decriminalize the act of sodomy.
Commenting on seven recommendation that have not been accepted he said that these were not being rejected nor declared entirely unachievable.
“Taking into account the exact premise and requirement of the recommendations we consider that such recommendations may not be feasibly implemented in the short term in the upcoming four years. We may nonetheless take measures if and when appropriate to support such recommendations,” Faure said, adding that there were instances where recommendations addressing more than one issue was partly accepted and partly noted.
The Seychelles Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said the UN Human Rights session comes at a symbolic moment for Seychelles, as on the country will be celebrating 40 years as an independent nation on June 29.
Faure told the Geneva meeting that the civil society, parliament and other relevant stakeholders will be involved in strategies developed to implement the recommendations agreed upon to improve the human rights performance of the country and committed to providing regular updates to the UN Human Rights Council.