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Universal Periodic Review - training

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The Universal Periodic Review (“UPR”) is a mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Under the UPR, the human rights records of all 192 United Nations member States will be reviewed by the Council on an ongoing, regular basis.
We share a presentation made by ARC on how to use UPR to advance LGBTI rights.

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Universal Periodic Review - training

  1. 1. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
  2. 2. Icebreaker Quiz: Question 1: How long ago was the UPR established? A: 10 years B: 6 years C: 8 years D: 5 years Answer: C: 8 years Question 2: The acronym SMART stands for? A: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound B: suitable, modifiable, accessible, regulatory, time-sensitive C: simple, modest, allowable, resourceable, teachable D: straight, male-identified, aggresive, righteous, Trump Answer: A: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (even though you wanted to answer D!!)
  3. 3. Icebreaker Quiz: Question 3: What percentage of civil society submissions have included SOGIESC issues? A: 1 in 20 B: 1 in 30 C: 1 in 10 D: 1 in 2 Answer: C: 1 in 10 (claiming that often used 1 in 10 queer percentage!) Question 4: The report identifies which of the following gaps in SOGIESC recommendations? A: family/partnership rights B: torture or degrading treatment, including death penalty C: freedom of expression D: decriminalization Answer: B: torture or degrading treatment, including death penalty
  4. 4. Icebreaker Quiz: Question 5: What makes the UPR a unique human rights mechanism? A: universal B: peer-reviewed C: regular D: all of the above Answer: D: all of the above Question 6: What percent of the 46,584 recommendations reviewed have been on SOGIESC issues? A: 2.5 B: 0.5 C: 5 D: 0.1 Answer: A: 2.5
  5. 5. Icebreaker Quiz: Question 7: At the request of which state, and based on early SOGIESC recommendations, all UPR reports now say that the reports are the views of the states proposing them and do not reflect the position of the HRC? A: China B: Egypt C: Samoa D: Ecuador Answer: B: Egypt (based on a review of Ecuador who willingly accepted the recommendations) Question 8: This region had the highest number of states (not percentage) receiving SOGIESC recommendations with 41? A: Asia B: Africa C: Latin America/Caribbean D: Western Europe Answer: A: Asia (only slightly inching out Africa with 40)(both regions remain lowest percentage)
  6. 6. Keeping in mind that the UPR was set up only eight years ago, the overall picture looks promising. 1,110 SOGIESC and LGBTI recommendations have been made over the 22 UPR sessions considered here. If SOGIESC issues are not in the top list of issues addressed, a great percentage of countries putting the LGBTI community in a critical situation have been addressed. More than half of the recommendations made between 2008 and 2015 are close to qualifying as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) recommendations. Recommended calls to action mostly lie in law reform and, to a lesser extent, in awareness-raising and training measures. Great emphasis has been placed on the principle of non-discrimination, the right to security, freedom from arbitrary detention and the right to privacy, through the decriminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual relationships. Most remarkably, the recommendations related to the right to found a family, addressing both partnerships and right to adopt, constitute the fourth main category of rights addressed.
  7. 7. The Universal Periodic Review The Universal Periodic Review (“UPR”) is a mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Under the UPR, the human rights records of all 192 United Nations member States will be reviewed by the Council on an ongoing, regular basis. The UPR was set up as part of the reform of the UN human rights system. It was designed to respond to criticisms that consideration of countries’ human rights records had become politicised and selective, focusing only on certain countries, while allowing more politically influential States to escape scrutiny. As a result, the UPR will ensure that the human rights records of all 192 member States will be regularly reviewed on a 4-year cycle. This means that 48 States will be reviewed per year, 16 at each of three sessions annually. The UPR is intended to be a cooperative mechanism, designed to assist States in fulfilling their international commitments and improving their human rights situation. The next slides outlines the reporting timetables for Round 3 of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
  8. 8. Advocacy cycle
  9. 9.  the State’s National Report  a compilation of UN Information  a compilation of NGO information Three reports are submitted:
  10. 10. NGO reports:  up to 5 pages  concrete recommendations to improve human rights situation  online submission system at https://uprdoc.ohchr.org  Please also e-mail to arc@arc- international.net
  11. 11. Working Group review :  The State is reviewed over a 3.5-hour period  Based on the three reports, other countries make recommendations  The State must indicate which recommendations it accepts before the final report is adopted  The State must indicate which recommendations it accepts before the final report is adopted  ECOSOC accredited NGOs can apply to participate as observers which means they are able to observe the proceedings without making oral or written statements, though may organize Information Meetings on the UPR process, with a view to sharing information
  12. 12. Step 1: submit input report You must register an account and then use the online submission system at http://uprdoc.ohchr.org . Please also send a copy to arc@arc-international.net so that we know what information has been submitted and can make use of it in follow-up advocacy.
  13. 13. Step 2: excerpt references from the 3 preliminary reports NATIONAL REPORT F. The legislation 57. The Employment Act 1995 makes provision for prevention of and redress for discrimination. It states: “Where an employer makes an employment decision against a worker on the grounds of the worker’s age, gender, race, colour, nationality, language, religion, disability, HIV status, sexual orientation or political, trade union or other association, the worker may make a complaint to the Chief Executive stating all the relevant particulars.” UN COMPILATION [No references to sexual orientation or gender identity] COMPILATION OF STAKEHOLDERS’ INFORMATION 2. Right to privacy, marriage and family life 5. JS1 recommended that provisions which maintain criminal sanctions for sexual activity between consenting adults be repealed. It referred to Section 151 of the Penal Code which establishes, among others, sanctions for sexual activity “against the order of nature”. JS1 stated further that provisions against sexual activity between consenting adults have been found to constitute a clear violation of international human rights law. JS1 referred to, inter alia, the views of the Human Rights Committee in Toonen v Australia adopted in Mary 1994 as well as the Committee’s Concluding Observations on several countries. Also, it was indicated that this position was consistent with other regional and national jurisprudence. 6. JS1 recommended that Seychelles bring its legislation in conformity with its commitment to equality and non-discrimination, and its international human rights obligations, by repealing all provisions which may be applied to criminalise sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex.
  14. 14. Step 3: formulate and disseminate sample intervention and recommendations  Key Issues/Recommendations: recommend that the Seychelles: a) bring its Penal Code into conformity with its international human rights obligations by repealing those provisions which criminalise same-sex activity between consenting adults, and b) extend existing legislation protecting individuals from discrimination on the basis of grounds including sexual orientation , to include gender identity.  Sample Intervention: We commend the Seychelles for it’s commitment to equality and non-discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation, as illustrated in the Employment Act of 1995. We further commend the Seychelles for their support of the recent joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, delivered at the 16th session of the Human Rights Council. Can the delegation indicate what steps are being taken or planned to advance non-discrimination on these grounds? We note that some stakeholders expressed concern that Section 151 of the Criminal Code might be used to penalise same-sex activity between consenting adults. The UN Human Rights Committee has confirmed that such laws violate the rights to both privacy and non- discrimination, contrary to articles 17(1) and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee further considered that these laws “run counter to the implementation of effective education programmes in respect of HIV/AIDS prevention” by driving marginalised communities underground. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also recently called for the repeal of laws criminalising consensual same-sex conduct. We therefore recommend that the Seychelles: a) bring its Penal Code into conformity with its international human rights obligations by repealing those provisions which criminalise same-sex activity between consenting adults, and b) extend existing legislation protecting individuals from discrimination on the basis of grounds including sexual orientation, to include gender identity.
  15. 15. Step 4: Monitor references and encourage States to accept recommendations  100.57 Faire en sorte que la législation nationale soit conforme à l’engagement du Gouvernement en faveur de l’égalité et de la non- discrimination, en interdisant la discrimination fondée sur l’orientation sexuelle ou l’identité de genre (Canada);  100.58 Adopter une législation qui interdise expressément toute discrimination fondée sur l’orientation ou l’identité sexuelles (Australie);  100.59 Faire en sorte que le Code pénal tienne compte des engagements internationaux des Seychelles en prenant des mesures appropriées pour garantir que les relations sexuelles entre adultes consentants du même sexe ne donnent pas lieu à des sanctions pénales (Norvège)  100.60 Réaffirmer leur engagement en faveur de l’égalité et de la nondiscrimination en dépénalisant les relations sexuelles consenties entre adultes du même sexe ainsi qu’en supprimant toute disposition discriminatoire enversvles lesbiennes, les gays et les personnes bisexuelles ou transgenres (France);  100.61 Abroger toutes les dispositions du droit pénal interne réprimant les relations sexuelles consenties entre adultes du même sexe et lutter contre la discrimination à l’égard des lesbiennes, des gays et des personnes bisexuelles ou transsexuelles par des mesures politiques, législatives et administratives (Espagne); II. Conclusions et/ou recommandations 100. Les recommandations ci-après seront examinées par les Seychelles, qui fourniront des réponses en temps voulu, au plus tard à la dix-huitième session du Conseil des droits de l’homme, en septembre 2011.
  16. 16. Step 5: NGO intervention during report adoption at HRC plenary Questions asked by NGOs: “Can the Seychelles indicate a timeframe for decriminalising consensual same-sex relations between adults? … Can the delegation indicate what steps are being taken or planned to advance non-discrimination on the grounds of both sexual orientation and gender identity?” Response of delegation: “Regarding the question from Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network on timeframes for changing the law – when it comes to Section 151 of the Criminal Code, I think it will be pretty soon. It will not take us a long time to repeal this section. We all know that its old and I don’t think either the government or Seychelles’ society want it in there anymore. On your second question: I think what needs to be done is to disseminate. First of all we should repeal this provision in the Penal Code, and then we can undertake some dissemination of what is the understanding or position of the government concerning these persons. The very fact that the outcome of the UPR will be published in a report – the position of the government and the recommendations of other countries will be able to be seen in the report – will be a very important step in the dissemination, and enabling us to provide more fair provisions in our legislation and administration, and provide protection to these persons.”
  17. 17. SOGIESC references from previous UPR reviews Which TWO countries have NEVER received a UPR recommendation on SOGIESC issues?
  18. 18. Team Exercise: Guessing SOGIESC references from previous UPR reviews Recommendation: Secure the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons by amending Article 534 of the Penal Code and by codifying a protection against the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons into law (Cycle 2) Status: Noted State under review (SUR): LEBANON Recommendation: Push forward for the elimination of discriminatory provisions affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (Cycle 2) Status: Noted SUR: SUDAN Recommendation: Modify or repeal Article 230 of the Penal Code in order to decriminalize same-sex relations of consenting adults (Cycle 2) Status: Noted SUR: TUNISIA
  19. 19. Team Exercise: Guessing SOGIESC references from previous UPR reviews Recommendation: Guarantee the right to the protection of privacy to all persons and take measures to ensure equality and non-discrimination on all grounds, including sexual orientation, in conformity with articles 17 (1) and 26 of the ICCPR, by revising article 338 of its Penal Code, which criminalizes sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex (Cycle 2) Status: Noted SUR: ALGERIA Recommendation: Review national legal provisions, as e.g. those criminalising habitual debauchery, which are open to abuse for persecution and intimidation of persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity or of persons with HIV-AIDS (Cycle 1) Status: Noted SUR: EGYPT
  20. 20. Building the Framework for your UPR report  Was there an LGBTI focused civil society report in the first round of the UPR? Was it part of a broader report?  Which groups participated? Who should participate in this round?  Would you suggest a specific report or working with a coalition? Who would you partner with?  What were the recommendations from the first cycle? Were they implemented? Do they require further investigation?  Are there new or additional issues that need to be highlighted? Are these issues documented?  How would you structure a report for this round?

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