Follow-up report to the Concluding Observations shows progress in Portugal and Angola and Turkey takes a step back

Follow-up report to the Concluding Observations

On Thursday, 23 October 2014, the Special Rapporteur for the follow-up on concluding observations, Mr. Salvioli, presented his report to the Human Rights Committee.

The text adopted contains grades ranging from the highest level of satisfaction (grade A) of the States’ responses to the lowest (grade E). It assesses the recent information received on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations in relation to Hungary, Togo, Bulgaria, Turkmenistan, Guatemala, Portugal, Turkey, Paraguay, China-Hong Kong, China-Macao and Angola.

Having provided a largely satisfactory response on the progress made in the area of domestic violence, Portugal was awarded an A. On this, the Committee highlighted the recent legal amendments that extend the scope for definition of domestic violence.

Angola’s assessment resulted in a more mixed picture: while appreciating the legislative intervention to guarantee free birth registration (A), additional information has to be provided on the issues related to the compliance of the National Institution of Human Rights with the Paris Principles (C1) and gender based violence/domestic violence (B1 and B2),

On the other hand, the Turkish response concerning compulsory military service indicates that there are no plans to introduce a civilian alternative to that, in contrary to the Committee’s recommendations (E). Regarding the other issues addressed, such as stigmatisation and violence against LGBT persons (C2) and honour killings (C2 and D1), the Committee reiterated its recommendations despite the absence of the State’s reply.

The need to obtain additional information was also pointed out with reference to the measures taken by Hong Kong to implement universal and equal suffrage (C1), to ensure equal rights to migrant workers (C1) and to improve the Chinese language education for minorities and non-speaking students (B2).

Similar conclusions on the introduction, rather than the implementation, of universal suffrage were reached with regard to Macao (C1). The Committee reiterated its recommendation of withdrawing the reservation to article 25 (b) of the Covenant which, according to the State’s reply, does not comply with its current political system.

The assessment on Guatemala focused on, among other things, issues related to the grave violations of human rights caused by the armed conflict and the recovery of historical memory (B2), as well as the protection of human rights defenders (B2 and C1) and the public acknowledgment of their contribution (D1).

Similarly, the serious violations of human rights that occurred in Paraguay led the Committee to grade the State a C1 in relation to the lack of investigation of the cases, including the whereabouts of disappeared persons. The State’s response to the criminal acts committed by the neighborhood watch committee (C2) and the police raid in Curuguaty (B2) has also been assessed in the report. In resect to the latter issue, the problem of impunity and prosecution of the demonstrators and farmers has been raised during the Committee’s discussion.

The full report will soon be available online.

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