21 September 2017
The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom, India and Brazil.
Julian Braithwaite, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the United Kingdom was fully committed to fulfilling its human rights obligations internationally, noting that it had played a key role in the establishment of the United Nations and strongly supported the work of treaty bodies, as their effective functioning was crucial for the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world. The United Kingdom saw the Universal Periodic Review as a continuous process where each cycle built on the last.
Equality Human Rights Commission, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, and the Scottish Human Rights Commission spoke in a joint statement.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers expressed concern about the effects of austerity measures and xenophobia and racism. The United Kingdom was praised for being a front-runner in summoning a global response to prevent the use of the Internet by terrorists. The United Kingdom’s action to combat hate crime was praised. Some delegations expressed concern about the growing anti-migrant sentiment in the United Kingdom.
Speaking were Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Sudan, Venezuela, Albania Bahrain, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka, Estonia, Gabon and Ghana.
Also taking the floor were the following civil society organizations: British Humanist Association, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILF), Alliance Defending Freedom, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Action Canada for Population and Development, Defence for Children International, Amnesty International, Edmund Rice International Limited, Allied Rainbow Communities International, and Conseil International pour le soutien à des procès équitables et aux Droits de l'Homme.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom.
Rajiv Kumar Chander, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that India valued the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. India was a vibrant democracy, and the Government was bent on securing basic needs, including food security, poverty alleviation, women’s empowerment, social security and other basic human rights. India endeavoured to ensure the fullest implementation of all recommendations. He thanked all stakeholders for their active participation in the review, underscoring the importance of building upon all standards achieved.
The National Human Rights Institution of India also spoke.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers encouraged India to provide more resources to secure all groups’ enjoyment of their human rights, including women and the poor. India was praised for adopting the National Food Security Act to eliminate malnutrition, particularly among children, as well as for establishing an integrated child development scheme for children under the age of six. Some speakers urged India to take immediate steps to end child marriage and sexual violence, and to end the violence and suffering caused by sterilization camps. India was also urged to address the recent wave of mob attacks targeting religious minorities.
Speaking were China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya and Lithuania.
Also taking the floor were the following civil society organizations: Centre for Reproductive Rights, Inc., Minority Rights Group, Franciscans International, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development Forum-Asia, International Commission of Jurists, Allied Rainbow Communities International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (in a joint statement), Amnesty International, and Action Canada for Population and Development.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of India.
Maria Nazareth Farani Azevedo, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations Office at Geneva, stressed that the decisions taken on the Universal Periodic Review’s recommendations were the result of broad consultations with various sectors of Brazilian society. The recommendations covered a wide variety of topics, including poverty eradication, access to health care, education and human rights education, the fight against racism and the promotion of gender equality. Ms. Farani Azevedo recalled that after more than two years of recession, Brazil had recovered from the worst economic crisis in recorded history while preserving policies aiming to promote and protect human rights.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers commended the attention given by the Government of Brazil to improving the situation of human rights. Brazil was particularly praised for its efforts in fighting poverty and improving health and education system. Several speakers urged Brazil to protect more effectively the rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands, particularly in the Amazon region. Brazil was also encouraged to strengthen its safeguards to ensure that the perpetrators of domestic violence were brought to justice.
Speaking were China, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Madagascar and Morocco.
Also taking the floor were the following civil society organizations: Conectas Direitos Humanos, Plan International Inc., Conselho Indigenista Missionário CIMI, Center for Reproductive Rights Inc., The, Association of prevention of Torture, International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education and Development – VIDES (in a joint statement), Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, Article 19 – The International Centre Against Censorship, and Amnesty International.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Brazil.
The Council will next meet on Friday, 22 September, at 9 a.m., to consider the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of the Philippines, Algeria, Poland, the Netherlands and South Africa. It will then hold a general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms, and a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review. At 5:30 p.m. the Council is scheduled to hold a closed meeting of the Complaint Procedure.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom
JULIAN BRAITHWAITE, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Office at Geneva, noted the severe impact of hurricane Maria and hurricane Irma across the United States and the Caribbean and extended sincere condolences to those affected by the earthquake in Mexico earlier this week. The United Kingdom was fully committed to fulfilling its human rights obligations internationally. It had played a key role in the establishment of the United Nations, and strongly supported the work of treaty bodies, as their effective functioning was crucial for the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world. The United Kingdom stressed that all candidates for treaty bodies should be nominated through a transparent process. Earlier this year, the United Kingdom had issued a joint statement with Morocco and Brazil on the successes and challenges of the Universal Periodic Review. During the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, the United Kingdom had made every effort to respond to questions and to address recommendations of other States. There had been a total of 227 individual recommendations. The Government met with colleagues and human rights institutions, as well as devolved administrations from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, giving considerable thought on how to respond to recommendations; in August the response was submitted. From 227 recommendations, the United Kingdom had fully implemented 96, while on 131 recommendations the Government might have taken some steps but it was not fully implementing them. The Government would provide an update through a mid-term report in 2019. The delegation did not see the Universal Periodic Review as a three and a half hour dialogue every four years, but rather as a continuous process where each cycle built on the last.
Equality and Human Rights Commission, in a joint statement with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said that despite the progress made by the United Kingdom, many challenges remained ahead. The United Kingdom had long been a champion of human rights, but that reputation was now under threat. That was linked to the risks brought for human rights protection with the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The Government had not incorporated fully the United Nations’ treaties, and there was a lack of leadership on human rights across the Government. A clear action plan to implement the Universal Periodic Review’s recommendations should be adopted. The three human rights commissions were committed to report back to the Council on their assessment of the situation of human rights in the country.
Russian Federation voiced concern about measures of censorship imposed on certain media, including through closing down bank accounts. It was unfortunate that the United Kingdom was not ready to carry out investigations on mass cases of sexual violation committed against children. The Russian Federation called on the United Kingdom to work to correct the failings in its own achievements.
Sierra Leone outlined that in the aftermath of Brexit and the subsequent reports of racially motivated attacks and hate crimes, the Government of the United Kingdom had engaged to tackle racism and racial discrimination through the recent launch of relevant programmes. Sierra Leone noted that the United Kingdom had contributed to the Voluntary Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.
Egypt was concerned about the policies of the United Kingdom which had facilitated many ideas of hatred and xenophobia. Those policies brought about an atmosphere of xenophobia.
Sudan commended the engagement of the United Kingdom with the Universal Periodic Review. It noted that the United Kingdom had accepted many of the recommendations, but it regretted that it had not accepted the recommendation made by Sudan.
Venezuela continued to be seriously alarmed by the austerity measures in the United Kingdom, which had increased the inequality gap. It hoped that the United Kingdom would take significant steps in line with the recommendations, including measures to implement them.
Albania warmly welcomed the United Kingdom and welcomed its acceptance of a considerable number of recommendations. It commended the United Kingdom on the accomplishments during its third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.
Bahrain welcomed the delegation of the United Kingdom and noted with satisfaction the number of accepted recommendations, including those made by Bahrain, in particular the actions taken to combat hate crime.
China was concerned about the growing anti-migrant sentiment in the United Kingdom, and regretted that the recommendations in relation thereto had not been accepted. It urged the United Kingdom to take practical measures to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Côte d’Ivoire thanked the United Kingdom for the interest it had shown in considering the recommendations. It welcomed the efforts carried out by the United Kingdom, and called on the Council to adopt the report.
Sri Lanka extended a warm welcome to the United Kingdom, noting that 96 recommendations had been supported and implemented. It encouraged the United Kingdom’s efforts to continue combatting human trafficking, and it endorsed the report.
Estonia stated that although the United Kingdom was leaving the European Union, it should remain committed to the European Convention of Human Rights. Estonia congratulated the United Kingdom for being a front-runner in summoning a global response to prevent the use of the Internet for terrorism.
Gabon congratulated the United Kingdom on submitting its third report and for taking steps towards the full promotion of human rights. It encouraged the United Kingdom to continue implementing the recommendations.
Ghana welcomed the adoption of the 2016 Action Plan on Hate Crime in the United Kingdom and its efforts to invest in the well-being of children. Ghana urged the United Kingdom to ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, as well as the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.
British Humanist Association stated that it was disappointing to note the absence of any criticism of the Government of the United Kingdom on the religious discrimination practiced by State funded faith schools. The Government was urged not to simply keep current limits on religious selection at free schools, but to extend them to all State-funded religious schools.
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILF) said that the United Kingdom’s commitment to undertake a careful assessment before authorizing arms transfers was at odds with its continued arms transfers to several countries, foremost Saudi Arabia.
Alliance Defending Freedom was disappointed that its concerns raised and recommendations made with respect to the United Kingdom did not seem to have been taken into account. The Government needed to make a clear commitment that it would not liberalize abortion laws. Abortion was already an egregious violation of the right to life.
International Association of Democratic Lawyers noted that Julian Assange was a victim of arbitrary detention. Mr. Assange could be arrested for bail violation if he left the Embassy of Ecuador in London and he had been unable to enjoy his right to freedom of movement.
Action Canada for Population and Development was concerned that the United Kingdom continued to criminalize abortion in Northern Ireland. It was worried about its rejection of the recommendations to address that grave human rights situation.
Defence for Children International was concerned that the United Kingdom was only supporting 42 per cent of the recommendations received. The organization urged the United Kingdom to implement the recommendation concerning the safeguarding of the Human Rights Act.
Amnesty International regretted the United Kingdom’s rejection of every single one of the 13 recommendations calling for the preservation of its current level of human rights protection. It was concerned that the proposals to replace the Human Rights Act of 1998 would result in the weakening of standards and decoupling of the national human rights system from international standards.
Edmund Rice International Limited noted that an increasing number of people in the United Kingdom accessed food banks, and that 20 per cent of parents went regularly without food to ensure that their children were fed. The Government failed to address homelessness in Northern Ireland, which had reached critical levels and was compounded by issues of mental health.
Allied Rainbow Communities International said that the United Kingdom’s laws criminalizing same-sex conduct had been crafted in the middle of the nineteenth century and had made their way on the backs of the empire to all British colonies. That was a bitter legacy of colonialization. It was integral that the United Kingdom apologize for the colonial laws criminalizing the same sex desire.
Conseil International pour le soutien à des procès équitables et aux Droits de l'Homme stated that the United Kingdom had been a direct colonizer in the territories in the Indian Ocean in the past and nowadays it was an indirect colonizer. People of those territories had been robbed of their wealth and had experienced direct colonization. There had been a deterioration in the democratic situation in general which had obliged peoples and Governments to accept the status of being dominated.
The President of the Human Rights Council said that out of the 227 recommendations received, 96 enjoyed the support of the United Kingdom, while 131 were noted.
JULIAN BRAITHWAITE, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that the United Kingdom remained fully committed to the Universal Periodic Review and continued to encourage all States to participate honestly and openly in it. The United Kingdom would not repeal its human rights acts as the result of its leaving the European Union. The Government was confident that it was fully complying with international human rights treaties. It had in place laws and policies to give effect to those treaties. The same approach was applied to British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies. The Government was tackling food shortages, modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, and those issues were a major priority for the Government nationally and internationally. Mr. Braithwaite regretted that the United Nations Working Group on arbitrary detention had rejected the United Kingdom’s request to change its opinion on the case of Julian Assange. Mr. Braithwaite clarified that Julian Assange had never been arbitrarily detained; he was free to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy at any time, but he would be subject to the United Kingdom’s laws.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of India
RAJIV KUMAR CHANDER, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said India valued the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. The platform was an open invitation for engagement in human rights, and encouraged the further progress of human rights. India was a vibrant democracy, where the key to development was seen as a key to securing security, dignity and freedom for all. The Government was bent on securing basic needs, including food security, poverty alleviation, women empowerment, social security and other basic human rights. Noting the challenges that stemmed from the complexity and diversity of the Indian society, Mr. Chander said that India endeavoured to ensure the fullest implementation of all recommendations. India had received 250 recommendations, of which 152 had been accepted, and 98 were taken note of. He thanked all stakeholders for their active participation in the review. It was of utmost importance to build upon all standards achieved. India was fully committed to achieving a life full of dignity and respect for all.
National Human Rights Commission of India said many recommendations remained to be implemented, and proposed to work with both the Government and civil society towards the implementation of these. They pertained to both categories, civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights. They also covered the rights of disadvantaged sections of society. Several of them had relevance to the human rights situation of India and required serious implementation. The process of successive reviews would only have success if recommendations were implemented in a successful way. India would work with all stakeholders on all recommendations.
China welcomed the constructive approach adopted by India during the Universal Periodic Review. China welcomed the adoption by India of its recommendations. China appreciated India’s efforts to eliminate poverty and improve access to housing and food.
Côte d’Ivoire said that the implementation of the recommendations by India would significantly improve the human rights situation in that country. India was encouraged to continue to cooperate with the international community.
Cuba commended India’s progress in protecting human rights in spite of the remaining challenges. It particularly welcomed the efforts made in the area of education for early childhood. Cuba appreciated that India had accepted the recommendations related to combatting human trafficking.
Egypt encouraged India to provide more resources to secure the enjoyment of all groups of their human rights, including the most vulnerable groups such as women and the poor. India had promoted openness and transparency and free access to information. The country had also secured working conditions and promoted the social empowerment of women.
Estonia welcomed the steps taken by India to protect and promote human rights. Estonia encouraged India to effectively prosecute cases of domestic violence. The right to fair trial should be strengthened to enhance transparency of judicial processes.
Ethiopia thanked the Indian delegation for their oral update and commended their efforts aimed at promoting justice for all, particularly for the most vulnerable and poor. India was encouraged to take full measures in order to implement the recommendations.
Ghana welcomed India’s adoption of the National Food Security Act to eliminate malnutrition, particularly among children, as well as the establishment of the integrated child development scheme under the age of six. Ghana supported the adoption of the report.
Iran commended India for its efforts towards the further promotion of its social-economic development and measures on poverty reduction. Iran had put forward three recommendations to the report.
Iraq appreciated that India had accepted two recommendations made by Iraq. India was also commended for the acceptance of most of the recommendations.
Kyrgyzstan appreciated the positive engagement of India with the Universal Periodic Review. It was noted that India needed to conduct additional serious measures to eliminate violence against women and children.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic commended India’s unwavering commitment to protect women and combat violence against women, addressing poverty and promoting social security. India was praised for the ratification of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Libya welcomed the delegation and thanked it for its oral update. It hoped that India would continue its efforts towards education and food security, and recommended the adoption of the report.
Lithuania wished India continued success in the upcoming work on human rights, noting that it had taken positive steps towards strengthening the national human rights mechanisms and accepted numerous important recommendations. At the same time it regretted that its own recommendations had only been noted, without providing an explanation.
Centre for Reproductive Rights, Inc. urged India to take immediate steps to end child marriage and sexual violence, and to install a minimum legal age of marriage at 18 years. It urged the Government to address gaps and inconsistencies that left girls vulnerable to child marriage, noting that one in three girls in India married under the age of 18. It also urged India to end the violence and suffering caused by sterilization camps.
Minority Rights Group said the adoption of India’s Universal Period Review came at a time when numerous groups faced minority discrimination. It urged India to address the current legislation lacunas related to violence and discrimination, to investigate incidents of targeted violence, and to address the recent wave of mob attacks targeting religious minorities.
Franciscans International appreciated India’s insistence to ensure that laws were consistently implemented. It noted, however, that an environment of intolerance and fear was evident among religious communities. Noting that the Government had not formulated a comprehensive law to prevent violence against religious minorities, it called upon the Government to immediately put an end to the incidents of mob lynching.
International Humanist and Ethical Union said the Constitution of India had been increasingly challenged by a rise in Hindu nationalism. In recent years, several rationalist activists had been killed by extremists, whilst government officials had refrained from forcefully condemning the killings. Instead, politicians of the BJP party had voiced derogatory remarks about minorities.
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development Forum-Asia voiced concerns about the prevalence of torture in India and regretted that the State had not accepted the recommendations related to this crime. India had failed to protect minorities on its territory as well as to prosecute officials despite strong evidence of abuse of force by the security forces.
International Commission of Jurists regretted that India had not supported recommendations related to decriminalizing consensual same-sex relations, abolishing the death penalty and combatting impunity for serious human rights violations.
Allied Rainbow Communities International urged India to act in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling and to take all action to protect the rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. The rising tide of intolerance had created a climate that allowed for brutal violence against minorities and dissenting voices, including lynching and targeted assassinations.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide, in a joint statement with World Evangelical Alliance,
was concerned that the space for journalists and human rights defenders was deteriorating. National legislation continued to be used to exert violence against religious minorities. Christian Solidarity Worldwide called on the Government of India to guarantee the right to free belief.
Amnesty International regretted that India had rejected the recommendations aimed at decriminalizing same sex relations and protecting persons of African descent. Freedom to dissent was increasingly under threat in India. By taking steps to return Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar, India had failed its international obligations.
Action Canada for Population and Development welcomed the fact that 12 countries had made recommendations to India regarding the need to recognize marital rape as a form of rape, but was concerned that India had not accepted these recommendations. Another disappointment was that specific issues faced by women with disabilities had not been addressed by the Council.
RAJIV KUMAR CHANDER, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Office at Geneva, stated that India had a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society with respect for diversity. India had adopted a rights-based secular framework, including a range of commissions and instruments for the protection of human rights, and a vibrant civil society existed. The Government was implementing a range of protective and affirmative measures for improving the protection of human rights, in the spirit of leaving no one behind. India recognized the high value of the Universal Periodic Review and was one of the first countries to successfully complete the Universal Periodic Review. Implementing the recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review would be a national priority and India was hoping to translate these recommendations into positive reality on the ground. India wished success to all countries with their Universal Periodic Review.
The Vice-President of the Council said that of the 260 recommendations received, India had supported 152 and noted 98.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of India.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Brazil
MARIA NAZARETH FARANI AZEVEDO, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that the Universal Periodic Review embodied the principles of universality, non-selectivity, non-politicization, international solidarity, constructive dialogue, cooperation and transparency. Brazil was convinced that all countries benefited from constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process. Brazil had prepared for the review in a spirit of openness, transparency and commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights. It had presented its report in a responsible manner, fully aware that Brazil had many achievements to share and that, as any other country, it still faced challenges in order to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by all persons under its jurisdiction. Brazil had received 246 recommendations from 103 different countries. All but four of them had been accepted. Only in those specific cases, which were incompatible with the Brazilian legal system, had Brazil not been able to support the recommendations. Regarding the recommendation 136.99 by the Holy See, Brazil reiterated that it would continue to protect families composed of a man and a woman, as it protected all families, as well as the unborn, in accordance with the Brazilian legislation and the decisions made by Brazil’s Supreme Court. The decision on each recommendation was the result of broad consultations with various sectors of Brazilian society. It had established an online system to receive inputs, had held a public hearing in Congress, and had kept open dialogue with all those interested in contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights.
The recommendations covered a wide variety of topics, including poverty eradication; access to healthcare; education and human rights education; the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and religious intolerance; the promotion of women’s and girls’ rights; gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and the promotion of the rights of ethnic groups, minorities and people in vulnerable situations, including people of African descent, indigenous peoples, persons of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual orientation, children, the elderly, refugees and migrants. Recommendations had also been received concerning the prevention of torture, the promotion of the rule of law, due process, and access to justice. Brazil expressed its gratitude for the comments and constructive criticism presented in good faith during the review. Many recommendations had requested Brazil to continue, reinforce or strengthen the initiatives already in place. After more than two years of deep recession, Brazil had steadily managed to recover from the worst economic crisis in recorded history, while preserving policies aiming to promote and protect human rights, in particular of those of the most vulnerable. During that difficult period, Brazil had benefited from a vibrant civil society, open political debate, free press and an independent judiciary. It had organized local elections in October 2016, whose outcomes had been widely accepted. In conclusion, Ms. Farani Azevedo assured the Human Rights Council that the Government remained committed to an ambitious reform agenda, and that the accepted recommendations would have the full support and engagement of the Government of Brazil.
China appreciated the achievements of Brazil in eradicating poverty, and it supported the country’s efforts in fighting human trafficking and protecting the environment. China recommended that the Human Rights Council adopt the Universal Periodic Review of Brazil.
Côte d’Ivoire commended the attention of the Government of Brazil paid to human rights, and encouraged it to continue full cooperation with the international community. The Council was urged to adopt the report emerging from Brazil’s Universal Periodic Review.
Egypt thanked Brazil for its presentation and commended the Government’s efforts to increase cooperation with the Human Rights Council. Egypt recommended that the Council adopt the report and it wished Brazil all success in implementing the recommendations it had accepted.
Estonia commended Brazil for its constructive participation in the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review and thanked it for having explained the noted recommendations. It encouraged Brazil to increase efforts to combat domestic violence and maternal mortality, and to ensure the rights of the child.
Ethiopia commended Brazil for having accepted many recommendations, including the one on the implementation of the national action plan on climate change. Ethiopia encouraged Brazil to fully implement the accepted recommendations.
Ghana took positive note of Brazil’s programme to protect human rights defenders and to investigate violations of the rights of human rights defenders. Brazil was encouraged to continue to work towards the promotion and protection of human rights by its citizens.
Haiti thanked Brazil for having taken account of its three recommendations on reducing the murder rate among Afro-Brazilians, guaranteeing access to justice, and improving the quality of public teaching for Afro-Brazilians. Haiti encouraged Brazil to submit the mid-term report and it called on the Council to adopt the report by consensus.
India stated that Brazil had actively and constructively taken part in the third cycle of the Universal Period Review, which had resulted in 246 recommendations. Brazil’s commitment to the process had been reflected in its support for all except four of the recommendations received.
Iran noted the progress that Brazil had made since its last reporting period, namely the development of national human rights instruments in order to enhance access to justice. Brazil had also made progress in combatting modern forms of slavery and human trafficking.
Iraq appreciated the acceptance by Brazil of recommendations submitted by Iraq and the fact that Brazil had accepted the majority of recommendations. Iraq recommended that the report of Brazil be adopted.
Libya welcomed the delegation of Brazil and thanked it for the acceptance of many recommendations. It encouraged Brazil to continue with the measures to combat poverty and to improve health services and education.
Madagascar commended the efforts deployed by Brazil to assist persons with disabilities in the areas of education, health and accommodation. Adoption of new legislation prohibiting corporal punishment and sexual violence was appreciated as it would help Brazil to consolidate its rule of law.
Morocco took careful note of the measures introduced by Brazil, in particular those on achieving universal access to health, and on promoting awareness raising programmes. It commended Brazil’s continued efforts in the field of human rights and wished Brazil an excellent Universal Periodic Review.
Conectas Direitos Humanos welcomed the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Brazil, stating that the recommendation made by the Holy See on the natural family and the unborn was completely against human rights. Brazil’s rejection of that recommendation was in accordance to its national and international obligations. It condemned the efforts made by the local conservative groups to overturn the decision of Brazil in that regard.
Plan International, Inc. commended Brazil’s acceptance of the vast majority of recommendations, many of which were related to children’s rights and the family. It urged the Government to ensure full compliance with related legislation, and to implement legislation ensuring a life free of institutional violence.
Conselho Indigenista Missionário CIMI noted that Brazil was violating human rights, in particular the right of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands. The Amazon region was being destroyed, crimes committed, and cases of genocide had occurred against isolated indigenous communities.
Centre for Reproductive Rights, Inc., The urged the Government of Brazil to take more steps to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The chances of dying from pregnancy or during childbirth in Brazil were extremely high. The organization urged Brazil to repeal its highly restrictive anti-abortion legislation.
Association for the Prevention of Torture stated that almost five years after its last Universal Periodic Review cycle, conditions in prisons in Brazil had continued to deteriorate. Brazil had the third highest prison population in the world. The organization called on the federal Government to implement the measures related to the recommendations on the establishment of regional bodies to that effect.
International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education and Development – VIDES, in a joint statement with Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco
said that the international community had the obligation to respect all that women did. Violence against women was a malicious crime, and it was important that perpetrators were brought to justice. Further efforts were needed to ensure the rights of women in Brazil.
Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII spoke about prisons in Brazil, noting the importance of visitation of prisoners. The prison system of Brazil was overcrowded and there was mistreatment of detainees. Brazil should expand prison regulation instruments and alternative measures to detention. It should take measures to support the families of prisoners and foster their access to social services.
Article 19 – The International Centre against Censorship stated that Brazilian journalists and bloggers who had reported on corruption and mass development projects were at risk of reprisals. Some 10 journalists had been murdered. Civil society representation should be reinstated and holistic protection protocols should be developed. Amendments to Brazil’s anti-terrorism law, if adopted, would allow it to be used against human rights defenders.
Amnesty International expressed serious concern about the situation for human rights in Brazil. While the country had accepted recommendations to investigate killings by the police, the number of people killed during police action was increasing. Brazil should take all measures to end all unlawful killings by the police. The programme of protection had been dismantled in the last years, putting hundreds of defenders’ lives at risk.
The President of the Human Rights Council said Brazil had received 246 recommendations, out of which it had supported 242 and noted four.
MARIA NAZARETH FARANI AZEVEDO, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked all countries and civil society organizations for having taken the floor and for having engaged constructively in the dialogue with Brazil. The Government was responsive to the civil society requirements and it was committed to fulfilling the recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review. The Government was open to discussing methods and mechanisms of implementation. The Ministry of Human Rights was a natural focal point for the harmonization of human rights policies and it would play a key role in that endeavour by performing coordination and promoting rights of women and girls, minorities, people of African descent, indigenous peoples, persons of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual orientation, children, the elderly, and other people in vulnerable situations. Brazil had ratified almost all regional and international conventions for the protection of human rights.
Regarding indigenous people, Ms. Farani Azevedo reiterated that the Government was committed to protecting their rights, as enshrined in the Constitution, and as implemented through public policies in the areas of education and health with a $ 750 million budget. On the issue of torture, in 2013 a national committee and mechanism for combatting torture had been created. The ongoing custody hearing programme had yielded significant results. In closing, Ms. Farani Azevedo reaffirmed Brazil’s attachment to the values of the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review, and it remained open for any constructive suggestions.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Brazil.
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