Macedonia : States considers amechanism to implement Committee’s recommendations
The Human Rights Committee reviewed the third periodic report of Macedonia on the 2nd and 3rd of July 2015. The Committee noted impressive improvement in the area of domestic violence but asked for further clarification on the number of shelters and the number of perpetrators punished. Committee members posed questions on the mandatory three day waiting period in the new abortion law but did not explicitly reference this requirement in the concluding observations. However, the Committee did call on Macedonia to eliminate “procedural barriers” in the law which could lead women to seek unsafe abortions and also raised concerns that anti-abortion campaigns stigmatise those who seek abortions.
Discrimination was a high profile issue, with the Committee expressing particular concern about the issue of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Committee welcomed Macedonia’s introduction of a revised strategy for Roma but noted problems remain including regarding social inclusion, freedom of movement and police brutality against members of the Roma community.
While welcoming the reforms of the justice sector, the Committee emphasized that strengthening judicial independence maintains a priority, highlighting three key concerns related to security of tenure, quality of justice and merits based recruitment and protection against political influence. The rights of children also featured prominently with questions on corporal punishment of children, birth registration, and the treatment of unaccompanied minors.
The Committee asked the state about steps taken to ensure the Macedonian people were aware of the option for redress via the Covenant, noting that while Macedonia had ratified the First Optional Protocol no cases had been brought to the Committee.
The Committee also welcomed the delegations comments that they would look into building a follow up mechanism for the Committee’s concluding observations.
Other issues raised included surveillance, investigations into the 2001 conflict, conditions in Idrizovo Prison, religious education and media freedom.
The Concluding Observations for which the State should provide information on the implementation within one year, concern:
- Trafficking in human beings (15)
- Freedom of movement (16)
- Mass surveillance of communications (23)
For a comprehensive overview of the discussion, see the proceedings on the OHCHR website.
The next periodic report should be submitted by the State party on the 24 July 2020 including specific up-to-date information on the implementation of all its recommendations and on the Covenant as a whole
Discover the interviews with Human Rights Activists from Macedonia
The Center interviewed two Human Rights Defenders from Macedonia, Natasha Boskova from the Coalition “Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities”, and Drasko Kostovski from the Health Education and Research Association (HERA).